Palace: Ordinary people planning to run for senator should not stop dreaming

Published September 24, 2018, 3:38 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Genalyn Kabiling

Ordinary people planning to run for senator should “not stop dreaming” even though a recent survey has been dominated by reelectionists and scions of political families, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (RESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said there is still hope for other senatorial aspirants since the surveys usually measure a person’s popularity, not qualifications.

“No one should be daunted. We are not talking about qualifications here. We’re talking of family names and how long they have been in the highest echelon of power in this country,” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

Roque pointed out that President Duterte was elected in office even though he started at the bottom of the presidential surveys.

“I think he’s a phenomena by himself because he rejected the notion of who may be elected into high office in the Philippines. He proved that it’s not always the case,” he said.

“So may pag-asa pa naman sa mga hulihan sa listahan. Dahil laylayan si Digong noong nagsimula only to win with an overwhelming margin [So there is hope for those in the bottom of the list. Digong was also at the bottom when he started only to win with an overwhelming margin],” he added.

He maintained that the latest senatorial survey was “no reason why ordinary people should stop dreaming of being elected in high office.”

Reelectionist Sen. Grace Poe recently kept the lead in the Pulse Asia surge on potential senatorial candidates for 2019. Among the politicians who topped the survey were Sen. Cynthia Villar, Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano, Sen. Nancy Binay, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, and Sen. Edgardo Angara.

Roque said he was no longer surprised by the survey results showing popular politicians making the top 12.

“In this country, it’s the children of the senators, those who have been in politics who stand a very good chance of being re-elected so nothing has changed,” he said.

“Democracy in the Philippines can be very expensive and it depends who your parents are,” he said.

He proposed in jest that ordinary people should launch “revolution” against the dominance of personalities based on their family names, not on qualifications.

He further claimed that some politicians in the Senate survey were not qualified to run for the post, questioning their track record. He said some focused on investigation to gain public attention but failed to pass vital legislation during their term.

“’Yan ay sukatan ng kasikatan. Hindi po yan sukatan ng qualifications,” he said about the survey.

Roque excluded the President’s daughter from his remark, saying she was qualified to become senator.

On his low survey ranking, Roque said: “It doesn’t surprise me. I’m just an ordinary human being. I don’t belong to any political family. I’m not rich.”

Roque added that he has yet to make up his mind about his senatorial bid next year.