2025 senatoriables: The more qualified, the less winnable

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

The reason why many high-caliber Filipinos with competence, credibility, and commitment to serve are not running for senators in 2025 is because those who are dominating the surveys are incompetent comedians, actors, basketball players, and boxing champions. We are a nation of so many brilliant, honest, and hard-working people who are being led by moneyed and popular impostors, nincompoops, and jesters

Imagine in the last senatorial elections high level legal luminaries like Dean Chel Diokno and Senator Richard Gordon were beaten by ex-convicts and second-rate trying-hard copycats, to borrow Cherry Gil's famous line. This nation that prides itself as the first democracy in Asia, is populated by citizens who prefer to elect lawmakers who are TV actors and comedians over Law deans, experienced parliamentarians, and icons in law and public service. These incompetent and unthinking voters are the first ones to complain of poor governance, corruption in high places and notorious incompetence in the legislative, executive, local governments, and even in the judiciary.

Let us then take a look at the senatorial derby in 2025. First of all, the following incumbents are term-limited and cannot run next year: PDP's Koko Pimentel, LDP's Sonny Angara, UNA's Nancy Binay, NP's Cynthia Villar, and independent Grace Poe. Most likely, Binay may run for Makati mayor and his sister Abigail will be the one to run for senator. Villar may run for representative and Camille may run for the Senate. That is the ultimate illustration of political dynasties, which the Constitution orders to be abolished but the legislators refused to implement through operative legislation. Incumbents who are running for reelection are the PDP's Three Musketeers of former president Duterte, Bong Go, and Bato de la Rosa, and Tol Tolentino, as well as NP's Imee Marcos and Pia Cayetano.

They will be joined by NPC's Lito Lapid (the senator we never heard of nor seen in committee hearings and plenary debates), and Lakas' Bong Revilla. I wonder what measures these characters have passed in Congress. But believe me, they are going to win. The voters choose those who can entertain them. Similar characters are running for senator again like Manny Pacquiao, Philip Salvador (he wants to join Robin Padilla, Jinggoy, Lapid, and Bong Revilla). Tito Sen is running again as being overage is not a disqualification. I am afraid 101-year-old Enrile may decide to go back to the Senate for sentimental reasons. Isko Moreno is not far behind. Even Vice Ganda and Willy Revillame may run and win.

Those who have the competence and the credentials, the integrity and the track record, but who may not win, due to lack of funds and organization, are Leni Robredo, Leila de Lima, Chel Diokno, Bam Aquino, Kiko Pangilinan, and Dr Willy Ong. There are other hopefuls like Benhur Abalos, Gringo Honasan, Ace Barbers, and others. On the other hand, based on surveys, the top choice is Erwin Tulfo, followed by Tito Sotto, Rodrigo Duterte (my God), Bong Go, Pia Cayetano, Manny Pacquiao, Bato, Imee, Isko, Bong Revilla, and Abby Binay.

All of the above are bound to be beaten by Vice Ganda and Willy Revillame. Our Senate will metamorphose into a live show like Showtime and Eat Bulaga and our House will continue to be the house like the "Bahay ni Kuya". We have a bunch of voters who have lost their common sense. We are becoming a nation without a conscience and a soul. Please fly me to the moon and let me be among the stars. Ayaw ko na po dito.

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