Too many showbiz politicians
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - August 13, 2015 - 10:00am

There is a report that Mayor Herbert Bautista is running for the Senate under the LP to join Lito Lapid, Tito Sotto, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla. Alma Moreno is also running with Manny Pacquiao under the UNA banner and they wish to follow the footsteps of such illustrious predecessors as Eddie Ilarde, Freddie Webb, Ramon Revilla and Robert Jaworski. The Liberals are even courting Governor Vilma Santos to run for vice president and walk the same path which Kabayan Noli de Castro followed under GMA. Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno is also running. Well, to paraphrase the late Dolphy, running is no problem at all. The real problem starts when the candidate wins.

Of course, every Filipino has the right to run for public office as long as he knows how to read and write. It is not for us to disqualify actors and comedians, basketball players and boxers. They too are Filipinos. But by running for an office that requires some knowledge of law and law-making, and by winning the office by sheer popularity, they deprive the nation of having real senatoriable, albeit less popular, to hold the office. These comedians just sit in their offices and do not legislate the measures needed by our country and people. They cannot be expected to participate with enough sense and sensibility in parliamentary debates and deliberations. They just raise their hands to vote when the house is divided. Some of them cannot even explain their votes.

There was a time in our history when we cannot think of the Senate without such iconic and legendary legal luminaries like Claro M. Recto, Jose P. Laurel, Raul Manglapus, Jose W. Diokno, Lorenzo Tanada, Jovito Salonga, Ambrosio Padilla and Arturo Tolentino. The stalwarts in the Upper chamber like the Sotto brothers, Don Felimon and Don Vicente, the great orator Francisco Soc Rodrigo, the young Turks then composed of Ramon Mitra, Doy Laurel and Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, and later such legal eagles as our own Marcelo B. Fernan.

Today, in the language of former Congressman Teddy Boy Lacson, without Miriam D. Santiago, the average IQ in the Senate would be reduced to zero. That, of course, is a hyperbole, but indeed, the quality of our senators can no longer approximate those days of the Rectos and the Laurels.

There were also many women of substance who were elected to the Senate, such ladies as Geronima Pecson, the first female senator of the Republic, and Pacita Madrigal Warns, later Gonzales, Maria Kalaw Katigbak, Eva Estrada Kalaw, Tecla San Andres Ziga (the first female Bar topnotcher and mother of another senator, Victor), Helena Benitez, Magnolia W. Antonino, Letecia-Ramos-Shahani, Santanina Razul, Nikki Coseteng, Dra. Luisa Estrada, and the current female senators that include Lady Miriam and Loren Legarda, as well as Lani Cayetano, Grace Poe and Nancy Binay. And guess who is aspiring to join them. Alma Moreno is running for that office all the way from being councilor of Parañaque. Well, the people deserve the senators they elect.

If Lito Lapid can make it, why not Alma Moreno? If Tito can do it, why can't Vic and Joey join him too? If Jinggoy and Bong can win, why can't Coco Martin, and Lloyd and Papa Piolo? If Alma has the right to give it a try, why not Pokwang too and Kris Aquino's Darla? This is a free country. To be electable as senators, one does not have to be a lawyer, not even a law student. Reading and writing is enough.

ALMA MORENO AMBROSIO PADILLA AND ARTURO TOLENTINO CLARO M COCO MARTIN CONGRESSMAN TEDDY BOY LACSON DON FELIMON AND DON VICENTE DOY LAUREL AND BENIGNO EDDIE ILARDE EVA ESTRADA KALAW FRANCISCO SOC RODRIGO FREDDIE WEBB
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