Magsaysay tops mock polls of senatorial bets

Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - April 18, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Former senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr. of the administration coalition Team PNoy topped the mock polls of senatorial bets conducted last Tuesday by the Movement for Good Governance (MGG).

The mock poll was held after a forum dubbed “Timbangan 2013” at the Ateneo Professional Schools in Rockwell, Makati where the qualities and liabilities of 24 Senate aspirants were scrutinized by a panel of experts based on a scorecard prepared by the MGG.

The forum panelists included University of the Philippines economics professor Solita Monsod, former finance secretary Roberto de Ocampo, former Commission on Elections commissioner Augusto Lagman, former Negros Occidental governor Rafael Coscolluela, and Ateneo de Manila School of Government professor Joy Aceron.

Prior to the start of the forum attended by students, members of academe and journalists, the initial mock polls were conducted.

The first mock polls were topped by former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros of Team PNoy, with former senator Richard Gordon of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in second place and Magsaysay in third.

After the forum, the second mock polls were conducted and Magsaysay got first place, followed by re-electionist Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III also of Team PNoy, and Hontiveros in third.

Completing the list from fourth to 12th spots are JC de los Reyes, Gordon, former Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn, former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chair Grace Poe, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, former senator Jamby Madrigal, and re-electionist Sen. Francis Escudero.

Re-electionist Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano was in 13th place.

Those who did not get any votes in the mock polls were re-electionist Senators Gregorio Honasan, Antonio Trillanes and Loren Legarda, former senator Ernesto Maceda, former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito, Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, former Tarlac governor Margarita Cojuangco and Nancy Binay.

The panelists scrutinized the senatorial bets using the MGG scorecard which rated the candidates as having passed or failed based on the following criteria: effectiveness (competence, track record and decisiveness), empowerment (inspiration, social justice and participation) and ethics (integrity, stewardship and reform).

“This scorecard helps Filipinos regardless of social class and background to evaluate candidates in terms of whether they are fit for public office. It enables voters to critically think through all the information, jingles and gimmicks thrown at them by political campaigners,” said Monsod, who is also chairman of MGG.

The panelists also admitted that crucial to their evaluation of the candidates was their connection to a political dynasty. 

According to them, Magsaysay has rejected any links to a political dynasty, unlike his fellow senatorial bets.

“He said political dynasty should not be part of the country’s political culture,” said Aceron.

Monsod said by not electing candidates linked to any political clan, a voter has already taken the first step toward the removal of political dynasties in the country.

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