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ART. VI - Section 4. No person shall be a Senator unless he be a natural born

citizen of the Philippines and, at the time of his election, is at least thirty-five years
of age, a qualified elector, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than two
years immediately prior to his election.
ART. VII - Section 4. No person shall be a Member of the National Assembly unless
he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at
least twenty-five years of age, able to read and write, a registered voter in the
district in which he shall be elected, and a resident thereon for a period of not less
than one year immediately preceding the day of the election.
ART. VI - Section 3. No person shall be a Senator unless he is a natural-born
citizen of the Philippines and, on the day of the election, is at least thirty-five years
of age, able to read and write, a registered voter, and a resident of the Philippines
for not less than two years immediately preceding the day of the election

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been
nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of
that State for which he shall be chosen. [U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 3, clause 3].
The Philippine Senate
I WAS laughing hard while reading the story of former senator Ernesto Maceda making comments about the present
Philippine Senate. He said of the 23 senators at present, only about six are working, debating, talking and everything
while the rest are just silent and doing nothing. He talked about the senators of yesterday who are really tough,
professionals and qualified like senators Tolentino, Osmea, Taada, Salonga, etc. He blamed the quality of the
senate to the advent of the celebrities and others.
I admire Maceda for his frank and honest observations, unmindful of the hatred and disgust of the present senators
specially those who lack the qualifications and know-how of the legislative works. The country really needs people
who can tell the truth and unafraid. And to think that Maceda used to be one of the senators of the yesteryears, we

are doubly convinced of his honest knowledge of the past. He knows so much of the caliber and capacity of the
senators during his time especially on the matter of educational qualifications.
Of course, we know very few people have the insight of the present senate as well as the qualifications of the
senators. Many taxpayers do not know so much about the matter. They came out victorious during elections; it means
they are the best.

Someone has to tell us the difference or the birds eye view of the senate and the quality of the senators.
What I really mean is that of all the elective positions in our government, congress and the senate should or must
have the best people to handle because it involves the laws of our country. We need the best and just.
I had an article before which suggested that the government should establish a standard qualifications for people who
run for the upper and lower house. At present, any man who walks in the streets can come forward and run for
congress. Some of these candidates do not have enough education thus putting people in the legislative bodies who
barely understand matters around them. This is terrible and really bad. The result is we produce laws that are halfbaked or unnecessary. We must give this branch of government qualified persons who can produce better laws.
Congress enacts laws of the land. We need in this area highly qualified people like lawyers or people who have
college degrees. With them we are assured to have good laws and other maters emanating from this source.
We need high quality legislations. We must elevate qualifications and standard of the congress.
Indeed, we used to have less educated congressmen and senators because agencies are open for anybody who can
win in the elections. While I agree with these qualifications, I cannot admire some of their drafted laws for lack of
I wish to reiterate my previous suggestions that a standard of qualifications should be established for the upper and
lower house so that during elections, we can produce real qualified people who will handle the drafting of our laws.
Another thing, from these bodies we can get people for the cabinet as well as for the position of the chief executive.
Let us make the legislative bodies the best place in the government where everyone is highly educated and qualified.

Manny Pacquiao Is a
Terrible Congressman.
Good Thing He Never
Shows Up for Work.
By Joshua Keating

Last month on Deadspin, Diana Moskowitz argued against viewing Saturday nights super-fight between
Manny Pacquiao and unrepentant serial abuser of women Floyd Mayweather as a good-versus-evil
contest. Pacquiao is a Philippine congressman and, as Moskowitz noted, his political views on
contraception, gay rights, and other topics actually have the power to affect the laws of an entire country
and hurt people in ways that Mayweather hasnt. The good news is, Pacquiao doesnt appear all that
interested in exercising that influence.


Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international aff airs.

The reigning WBO welterweight championand part-time professionalmusician and basketball player
is currently serving his second term in the Philippine House of Representatives for the southern
province of Sarangani. His wife is also the regions vice governor. But according to the Philippine Daily
Inquirer newspaper, while hes the countrys richest and best-known politician, Pacquiao showed up for
work only four days last year, the worst attendance record in the House.
When asked by reporters about his record in February, Pacquiao pointed out that he was training for two
fights last year. I dont want to boast about what I have done in my district, but you can see my
accomplishments in my district. Its important that you help your constituents and not just sit in Congress,
he said. [In Congress] all you do is file bills, but the bills have no benefits to the people.
Its true that he and his wife have been generous in sharing their personal wealth with their home district,
but the comments suggest that perhaps legislative work isnt for him, and that he may not understand
exactly what it is. This attitude also reinforces the entrenched system of personal patronage that has
long plagued the countrys politics.
Pacquiaos truancy has prompted some of his political opponents to call for his resignation, but the
fact that his political career is more of a hobby than a job doesnt appear to bother the majority of people
in the Philippines, where hes a revered national hero and his fights are unofficial national holidays. And
given the Philippine legislatures reputation for corruption, the bar is set pretty low for elected officials.
So what are Pacquiaos actual politics like? As with many Philippine politicians, hes switched parties
several timesthe countrys parties often serve more as patronage networks for individual politicians
rather than ideological coalitions. Hes filed about a dozen bills, though none has ever passed through
committee. His most notable accomplishment as a legislator may have been a much-praised 2010
speech on human trafficking. But that same year, he was criticized for appearing unprepared and illinformed in a debate over a controversial reproductive health bill. The conservative Catholic-turnedevangelical Protestant opposed the bill on the grounds that it used government funds to make
contraception more widely available.
Considering the difficulties many poor Filipinos faced obtaining safe birth controlbefore the bill was
passed, Pacquiao should probably continue to take off as many days as he needs.

Santiago wants college degree enshrined in Constitution for elected

MANILA, Philippines Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago believes that a college
degree should be a requirement enshrined in the Constitution for elected officials.
We should professionalize important local and national offices by imposing academic
qualifications, Santiago, a constitutional law expert, said in her speech at the Centro
Escolar University Friday.
If we require members of local and national bureaucracies to be degree holders, there
is no reason why we should not do the same for mayors, governors, congress people,
senators, and presidents, Santiago said.
The current 1987 constitutions requirements for a person to be elected president is
that he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and
write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the
Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.
Santiago said that requiring leaders to have college degrees would help the country
compete on the international level.
If we want global competitiveness, we should require our leaders to be, at the very
least, formally educated. This is because education is a powerful constraint against
narrow parochialism and a gateway to ideas that can change communities, Santiago
The best place to impose this requirement is in the Constitution, she said.
President Benigno Aquino III, however, had previously stated that changing the
Constitution was not a priority of his administration despite calls that it was the proper
time for Charter change.
President Aquino has good reasons not to prioritize charter change, because some
estimate place the cost of a constitutional convention at some P8 billion, Santiago
Aside from adding the college degree requirement, Santiago said that a working
mechanism for initiative and referendum should be included in the Constitution.

Laws that are difficult to pass such as the Political Dynasty Law and the Freedom Of
Information Law can become realities with the proper use of initiative and
referendum, she said.
The Anti-Political Dynasty Bill aims to limit related politicians being elected into
government and is still pending in Congress while a freedom of information bill in the
Senate known as Peoples Ownership of Government Information (Pogi) Bill has
already been passed by the Upper House.
These twin mechanisms also allow the citizens to directly participate in legislation,
which is good because it makes our democracy more participatory, Santiago added.
She also said she wanted to remove the power of the president to appoint members of
the judiciary in the Constitution so as to ensure the independence of judges.
Santiago further told the students that we should limit the corrupting power of pork
barrel in the Constitution.
In my view, the pork barrel system has had the effect of inflating the cost of public
office, distracting legislators from their real work, and unduly empowering the
executive department, to the detriment of the public and the principle of separation of
powers, she said.
We should place mechanisms in the Constitution to ensure pork barrel (1) does not
line the pockets of politicians, and (2) does not become a discretionary fund that can
be dangled by the President to promote transactional politics, she added.


(Speech at the Far Eastern University Central Student Organization lecture series
on 22 November 2012)
It is always my pleasure to return to this campus, recipient of the UNESCO Asia Pacific Award for
Cultural Heritage for "the outstanding preservation of its Art Deco structure." I take particular pleasure
that this university was established by my fellow UP alumnus, Mr. Nicanor Reyes, Sr., who was head of
the UP department of economics. I also take additional pleasure in returning to the campus that
produced President Corazon Aquino, Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, and leaders of business such as
Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, and Ramon Ang. I refer to this campus which has been granted by the CHED with
autonomous status - the great Far Eastern University.
The title of my speech is "The Problem with Elections." At the outset, let me summarize the problem
with Philippine elections: Of the 50 million voters who will troop to the polls in May next year, the
greater majority are not intelligent, they are not educated for voting, and the candidates they choose
are not educated for serving. This problem is the result of the fact that our Constitution provides that
no literacy requirement shall be imposed on voters. Furthermore, although the Constitution provides
that a senator should be literate in that he should be able to read and write, the same Constitution
does not require any educational attainment on the part of any candidate.
As I shall show a few minutes later, this is all very strange. Under the Police Act, no person can be
appointed a policeman, unless he has a college degree. But any person can become president, vicepresident, senator, or congressman of the country even without a college degree!
The Concept of Representation
Most of what I have to say is based on the classic book, Modern Politics and Government, by Ball and
Peters, 7th edition, published in 2005.
The Philippines is called a representative democracy. But what does each candidate really represent?
Our political system observes two basic concepts of representation:
1. That sovereignty resides with the people and therefore the government is responsible to the people;
2. That the will of the majority is more important than that of a minority.
In fact, our Constitution provides as a basic principle that "sovereignty resides in the people and all
government authority emanates from them." But who are "the people?" They are some 50 million
voters in our country who comply with the requirement that they are at least 18 years old, and have

resided in the Philippines for at least one year. But I believe emphatically that the criteria of age and
residence are no longer enough in the 21st century.
Our Constitution provides for a system for free public education up to high school level. Thus, at the
outset there is no reason why the criteria for suffrage should not include at least a high school
education. If a person is a borderline moron, why should his vote equal the vote of a college graduate?
The Constitution further provides for a system of scholarship grants, student loan programs, subsidies
and other incentives. If this is the case, then a truly intelligent and hardworking person will be able to
find a way to finish college. But again, as I noted earlier, the Constitution does not require candidates
for public office to possess any educational attainment. If a policeman needs to have a college degree,
why shouldn't we impose the same requirement on senators and congressmen?
The Liberal Democratic Theory of Representation
The essential principles of a liberal democratic theory of representation which the Philippines claims to
observe, are the following:
First Principle: The importance of the individual's rights, specially his property, and the necessity of
limiting the powers of government to protect those rights.
Second Principle: The principle of rationalism, under which it is argued that humans are creatures of
reason. It is argued that humans are able to identify their own interests and their own opinions, and
are aware of the wider claims of the community. Therefore, according to this argument, the individual
will use his vote in an intelligent fashion, and is consequently entitled to share in the selection of
Really? This argument would be correct, if the voter and the voted are educated. But in our country,
the masses tend to vote for the people whom they most often see either in movies or on TV. They
apply only a visual test to candidates. If the candidate often plays the role of champion of the poor,
then the uneducated poor will vote him to office for this reason only. Thus, they are voting for actors.
Accordingly, when some of these TV and film personalities win in the elections, they continue their
acting in the legislature.
Some of them are acting as senators or congressmen, merely relying on their legislative staff to feed
them with the proper things to say during the sessions of Congress. In effect therefore, they are little
better than talking dummies. And in addition, I worry that they might be more susceptible to the
pressures exerted by lobby groups and other interest groups funded by the rich.
I agree with Thomas Jefferson that there should be a clear emphasis on the importance of an educated
majority, as a prerequisite for Philippine representative government.
Third Principle: Sovereignty of the people, which is expressed through universal suffrage. The implicit
goal of our electoral system is: "One person, one vote, one value." Again, I emphasize that this
principle is observed in an educated society. But if, as in the case of our country, the majority of the
voters are not educated, then there is no reason why one vote should be equal to another vote. Not all
votes are equal.
As a politician for the past 15 years, I have grown increasingly anxious about what I perceive to be
mob democracy. I support the suggestion of the great writer John Stuart Mill that we should limit the
vote to the literate; and that we should increase the vote of the people with certain superior qualities. I
am very anxious about the uneducated majority in the Philippines.

The Function of Elections

All over the world, elections are a means of choosing representatives. In the 1980s and the 1990s,
there was a general increase in electoral choice. But while elections allow voter participation, this
participation is distorted by lack of education among the voter and the voted. Elections are also
distorted because under our system, the successful candidate might be the choice of only a minority.
This was what happened when the people and I were robbed of the presidency in 1992. The person
who claimed that he won the presidential election was admittedly only a plurality president.
Another distortion is the control of political parties over the procedure by which candidates should be
officially presented to the electorate. As you know, I challenged this system by running under my own
independent People's Reform Party in 1992, and I succeeded.
The most notorious distortion of the people's choice is electoral corruption. There are still scientific
doubts on the accuracy of the voting machines that we started to use in the last elections. But the
most important problem is vote-buying. Rich candidates buy, and the uneducated masses are willing
to sell, their votes. Rich candidates can afford to start campaigning earlier than poor candidates,
particularly through the medium of television, where one thirty-second spot alone can cost over
If you really think about it, election is an opportunity for TV companies to make money at the expense
of our democracy. For, our Constitution provides as a state policy that: "The State shall guarantee
equal access to opportunity for public service." Is there equal access to public service for the rich and
the poor? Don't make me laugh.
To be able to institutionalize an open democratic system, the Philippines needs to establish norms of
fairness and equal access in elections. Hence, the present problem of electoral corruption is crucial to
our democracy.
What Does a Voter Vote For?
In countries with an educated majority, normally a two-party system will develop. One party, called the
left, advocates that government should be very active by interfering in almost every aspect of society,
including the regulation of the private sector. The other party, called the right, advocates that as much
as possible, government should merely provide social services, but should not interfere with the
private sector. In our country, there is no ideological distinction between parties. In our country,
political parties are merely groups of self-interested individuals pooling their resources so that they can
attract political contributors and thus win in the elections. They are not committed to any particular
national policy.
As part of the educated community, you should be aware of the theory of rational choice, which was
first developed in the extremely influential 1957 book, An Economic Theory of Democracy, by Anthony
Downs. He said that in the political marketplace, a voter will cast his or her vote for the party that is
most likely - given the information available - to serve the ends of the voter. Social position or party
loyalty are less important factors than the rational search for the party or candidate that will serve the
individual interest - often defined in economic terms - of each voter.
I agree with rational choice theory. In the Philippines, the voter chooses the candidate who will serve
the voter's ends. But, unfortunately, the ends sought by the uneducated voter are usually: money in
exchange for his vote; and an appointment in the civil service, so that he can have a job. The
uneducated majority are merely seeking their selfish individual interest, particularly in economic

Role of Mass Media

In our democracy, the principal source of political information is the mass media, specially TV.
Newspapers used to be the chief source of political information, and some newspaper columnists grew
arrogant, abusive, and corrupt. But now with the growth of TV and internet, the importance of
newspapers has declined.
Today, in political advertising, TV takes the major share. This means that a candidate with little money
will most likely lose to a candidate with big political contributors that will allow him to buy as many TV
ads as possible. One bad effect of this development is that TV provides less political information than
newspapers. According to Ball and Peters: "TV emphasizes personalities and images to the detriment
of informed political analysis." Thus, on TV we see candidates singing, dancing, and looking comical in
their desperate attempt to appeal to the TV audience. The voter who watches TV obtains no clue about
the candidate's character and qualifications.
TV has become preeminent in the dissemination of public information. But it has also become more
open to political interference on the part of the government. What is the effect of the media on political
attitude and voting behavior? Ball and Peters give this answer: "The media may reinforce pre-existing
opinion when they exist, but can shape opinion when there are not already firmly held values."
I now come to my favorite topic - the internet. In Philippine elections, consumption of political
information from the internet is now increasing rapidly. But the internet presents several problems to
the political system, as follows:
1. The internet represents "narrowcasting" rather than broadcasting. I refer to the phenomenon that
each political group accepts only information that supports its own views.
2. The information contained on the internet is unmediated and not reviewed by professionals. Thus, it
happens that internet sources lack objectivity or accuracy.
The problem with elections is that Filipino voters, if they are uneducated, are often swayed by the
personal appeal of a candidate. Public opinion is often shaped by conscious efforts of political elites
and the media. It is a myth that Philippine voters make rational choices of candidates. Often, the
uneducated voter is merely expressing support for the system, or merely expressing emotional
attachments to certain symbols.
For this reason, I invite the FEU Central Student Organization to start a social media campaign to
encourage smart voting among the uneducated. You could call this campaign "smart vote" and give a
score of Yes or No to each candidate as political issues develop. You could insist that candidates should
have a record of academic and professional excellence, as well as a record of moral positions on
national policy issues. For example, you should campaign so that voters will say Yes to candidates who
favor the bills that I have filed, such as the RH bill, sin tax bill, Magna Carta for internet freedom bill,
and freedom of information bill. Conversely, you should campaign so that voters will say No to epal
candidates, political dynasties, and premature campaigning.
Unfortunately, there is no scientific test for the most important criterion of all: honesty. What we really
need in a corrupt country are honest leaders - with character borne out of higher education - will not
steal the people's money; will personally study national policy issues; if necessary, refuse to
compromise; and will remain stubbornly noble and idealistic. In short, we need a person with the
courage of his convictions. I am depending on you to provide this kind of leadership in the future,
characterized by honesty, competence, and efficiency.

Able to read and write

THE large number of also-rans and nuisance candidates for President coming out from nowhere
is, to me, the biggest argument for the amendment of the 1987 Constitution, specifically on the
qualifications for senator, vice president and president.
Among other qualifications like being natural-born citizen, being of age, and being a registered voter
for a necessary period, the requirement of being able to read and write should be stricken out. In its
place should be the need for formal education, which means at least a college degree.
Santa Banana, at the rate our kind of elections are going, we may soon have a non-high school
graduate, or even worse, a fourth-grader ruling this country. That would be the biggest
embarrassment for the country among the community of nations!
If theres a requirement in many of the government offices for a formal education, much more should
there be for candidates aspiring for the Senate, vice presidency and presidency.
We already had the misfortune of having movie actor Lito Lapid, who had no formal education, as
senator. Lapid himself confessed that during interpellations at the Senate, he was so embarrassed
that he could not participate. Now, hes running for mayor of Angeles City.
We also have boxing icon Manny Pacquiao as representative of Sarangani. He was absent from
Congress most of the time because of his career as boxer. Now, he is running for the Senate, and
my gulay, he can make it! In 2022, when he is of age, he may even run for the presidency with his
money and popularity. God forbid!
Pray, tell me, what can a president who only reached fourth grade know about governance and
policy making?

The entry of Senator Miriam Santiago into the presidential fray no doubt makes the 2016 presidential
race more exciting. The problem, however, is her health. Miriam claims she is already well and has
beaten cancer. But has she, really?
Doctors specializing in cancer say that one who has been diagnosed with cancer does not really
completely get rid of it.
In the case of Miriam, how can she undertake a nationwide presidential campaign in her condition?
Thats the reason why she has been absent from the Senate for sometime now. She also has
chronic fatigue syndrome which could be the side effect of cancer.
Santa Banana, perhaps, Miriam should reconsider her aspiration, for her own good and the
countrys. We cannot afford to have an ailing president, with so many challenges confronting the
Thats granting Miriam would even make it, which I doubt. She has no political party. She does not
have funding and grassroots political machinery.
Frankly, I believe that Miriam lost her chance at the presidency when President Fidel Ramos beat
her in 1992.
In yesterdays column, I said that the senatorial race is tight for newcomers considering the fact that
there are reelectionists and former senators aspiring for a comeback. I said that only about three, at
most five, slots remain for newbies.
Among the newcomers who have a chance of winning are boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, Leyte Rep.
Martin Romualdez, Tesda head Joel Villanueva, Bayan Party-List Rep. Neri Colmenares,and of
course former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Name recall is very important in this race.
There is a clear attempt on the part of the Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, who has become
an attack dog of Malacaang, some members of the Liberal Party coalition and among the Aquino

administration officials to demolish the chances of Vice President Jojo Binay to be president in 2016.
In fact, they are after all Binays.
The continuing demolition job by the Senate Yellow Ribbon sub-committee is just one aspect of it.
The joke is now on the Office of the Ombudsman, which has charged the vice president and Makati
Mayor Junjun Binay with plunder and graft and corruption. Perfect timing as they file their certificates
of candidacy.
The vice president can only say hes hurt and everything is politically motivated. No doubt, the
Binays are hurting. The vice presidents poll survey ratings have declined.
Can the vice president ever recover from all the attacks on him and his family?
To my mind, yes. Theres still eight months to go before the elections.
All the things that have been said of the Binays can only make Jojo work harder.
Read this and weep for your country:
In a recent study by the International Chamber of Commerce, the Philippines ranked low in
international trade openness because of its protectionist policies regime, falling below the average
foreign direct investments; and infrastructure for trade. The country placed 60th with a score of 2.9
out of six.
To make matters worse, even Vietnam, which used to be a laggard in foreign direct investments, is
beating us with more than $9 billion. Thailand has $13 billion, Malaysia $12 billion and Indonesia
with its $10 billion.
We seem to be content with $6.2 billion getting only the crumbs while our neighbors are already
In tourism, we had a comparatively low influx at 4.8 million in 2014 compared to Malaysia with 27.4
million; Singapore at 11.8 million; Indonesia at 9.4 million and even Vietnam at 7.9 million.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez claims that the country can reach over five million this year and
perhaps close to 10 million in 2016. He must be dreaming, of course. Not with the kind of
infrastructure we have.
Our protectionist policies and lack of infrastructure have always been the biggest complaints of
investors. Even worse than corruption.
Is President Aquino listening? I dont think so.

Now, who are the four without college degrees (or whose degree is in question)?

Wearing the special toga during the Corona trial
Lito Lapid He is very vocal about it. Although, he makes up through long
political experience in Pampanga. We all know that.

GMA 7 Tv series Indio program title card

Bong Revilla He finished his high school in a posh public school in Los
Angeles, California.

Bongbong played Bongbong in Iginuhit ng Tadhana, 1965

Bongbong Marcos In an interview with Winnie Monsod (Bawal ang Pasaway),
Imelda Marcos said Bongbong is still studying although she did not categorically

answer Winnie Monsods question about the Wharton Master degree. According
to his resume posted in the Philippine Senate website, he finished his Bachelor of
Arts degree in Oxford and his Masters Degree at Wharton School at University of
Pennsylvania. However, in an investigative report by Rappler, it shows otherwise.
In a reply statement, Bongbong said he earned his diploma from Oxford in 1978
but a diploma is not necessarily a college degree.

Nagtuturo ka pala
Serge Osmea (Oh, yes, he is still a senator. And, yes, he has no college
degree.) In a presscon, Miriam Santiago said Di nga iyan (Osmea) nakatapos
ng college, eh, when asked to react on Osmeas comment that Santiagos
presence is a circus. True enough, the grandson of the sole Cebuano Philippine
president has not earned a college degree amid attending several big league
universities here and abroad- and we have him as a senator for more than a
decade now. Can you even remember voting for him? Aside from being in EDSA1
(who isnt?), what is it that he actually did, actually? He doesnt lie about it.
Personal Postscript:
{This is not necessarily my way of celebrating EDSA Day. But this could serve as a reminder of our
status as a country reborn. Oh, Yellow. And speaking of yellow, I remember one of my professors
saying that there should be more politicians from our school University of Santo Tomas. Bring
back the likes of Rizal, Mabini, Osmea senior, Quezon, Recto, Laurel, Mapa, Diokno, Macapagal,
and so many other Filipino revolutionaries and historical figures. Although these icons are not perfect

and have gotten their own setbacks, at least we know that they are capable of academically fighting
for what they stand for. Thomasians, sort of, built this republic (Oh, yes, we did. [and that would be in
a different blog]).}

The removal of the rights and privileges inherent in an association with a group; the taking away of the rights of a free citizen
, especially theright to vote. Sometimes called disenfranchisement