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UPD meets 9 candidates for the Senate

(January 25)— Nine of the 84 candidates for the 12 Senate posts kickstarted their campaigns at Ang Pagsusuri: Pagkilatis sa Susunod na mga Lingkod-Bayan, a series of convocations organized by the University Student Council (USC) and UP Padayon to allow students to be informed of the candidates’ stand on various issues.

The convocation held January 17 at Malcolm Hall is part of the USC’s campaign to educate the voting public, particularly the youth for the 2013 midterm election on May 13. This is also one of the activities of the TATAK BOTANTE project of the USC-UPD with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and ABS-CBN’s Bayan Mo, iPatrol Mo.

James Jimenez, spokesperson of the COMELEC and director of its Education and Information Department, said the election convocation is significant because it is an opportunity for the youth voters to interact with the senate candidates and personally ask them questions.

The nine candidates who participated in the convocation were Greco Antonio Beda Belgica, Teodoro “Teddy” Casiño of Makabayan Party; Baldomero Falcone and Christian Señeres of the Democratic Party of the Philippines; Rizalito David, John Carlos “JC” De Los Reyes and Marwil Llasos of Ang Kapatiran; independent candidate Ricardo Penson, and Anna Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros-Baraquel of Akbayan.

Penson, 60, is president and chief executive officer of Ausphil Tollways Corporation, a Manila-based infrastructure development company. He is a graduate of Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration major in Marketing Management at the San Beda College. He earned his master’s degree in Management Development Programs at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

David, 51, is a socio-political analyst. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology and master’s degree in Environmental Studies from UPLB. He previously worked as director for Political Affairs under the office of former senators Robert S. Jaworski (1998-2004) and Francisco S. Tatad (1993-1995).

Casiño, 44, is a 3-term party-list representative of Bayan Muna and the lone candidate for the Senate of the Makabayan party. He graduated at UP Los Baños (UPLB) with a degree in sociology. He was a student leader and newspaper columnist before he was elected as congressman in the May 2004 elections. He was re-elected in 2007.


De Los Reyes, 42, is president of Ang Kapatiran Party. He was a presidential candidate in 2010 and previously served as councilor of Olongapo City. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, USA.

Falcone, 66, is a business consultant. He holds a master’s degree in Philosophy from the University of San Carlos in Cebu and a Master in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management.


Llasos, 37, is a lawyer by profession. He is also a lecturer at the UP Law Center’s Institute of Government and Law Reform and an instructor at The Manila Times Institute for Paralegal Studies. He studied law in UP and graduated in 2003.

Señeres, 36, is a non-governmental organization worker who served as representative of the party-list group Buhay from 2003 to 2007. He studied financial management at the Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and law at the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois.


Belgica, 34, is an international trade and commerce graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. He previously served as councilor of Manila. He is a businessman and an anti-drug advocate.

Hontiveros, 46, served as representative of the Akbayan Party from 2004 to 2010. She earned her BS Social Science at the Ateneo de Manila University. In 2001, she received the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for Peace Advocacy from the Philippine Jaycees.

Candidates were asked by panelists their stand on electoral reforms including the issues on political dynasties, campaign finance and the party list system; foreign affairs, in particular, the issues on disputed territories, Visiting Forces Agreement and overseas Filipino workers; and economic issues such as relaxing the 60-40 ownership of businesses and oil deregulation law.

Among the panelists were Dr. Jorge V. Tinio, a political science professor from the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy; Miriam Grace Go of and Benedict G. Nisperos of the UP Law Student Government.  Lawrence Angelo B. Katigbak of the UP Debate Society served as moderator and facilitator of the forum.

USC Councilor Julliano “Jules” Guiang delivered the opening and closing remarks. The panelists and the candidates were introduced by USC’s Mikey Bernardino.

Ang Pagsusuri was organized by USC-UPD through its Education and Research Committee, together with the UP System Administration through its UP Padayon: Eleksyon 2013, National College of Public Administration and Governance’s Student Government, UP Los Baños College of Development Student Council, the UP Freshmen Council, the UP Haring Ibon, the Alliance of Concerned Dormitories, the UP Debate Society, the Solidaridad and other various student councils and organizations. TATAK BOTANTE’s media partners are UPD’s official radio station DZUP 1602, the Philippine Collegian and the social news network

The event was live streamed and blogged by DZUP and, respectively.—H.C.P.