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Friday, February 19, 2010

Risa Hontiveros - She Is What We Need In The Senate

"She is the voice of women, farmers, peasants, the poor and the oppressed. She is a staunch critic of graft and corruption in the government."

She has been a tireless advocate for human rights for decades, most notably with her years of stint as member of the Government Negotiating Panel for peace talks with the communist National Democratic Front, which earned her a Nobel Prize nomination. She is not your typical politician. She is senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros.

Why I am blogging about her? Well, it never occurred to me to be this passionate about one candidate who  symbolizes hope for those who have lost faith in their leaders. This extraordinary woman even before she threw her hat on the political arena has already impressed me and countless other Filipinos with her impeccable record as an activist, lawmaker and principled leader.

She was born to a well-off family, studied in a prestigious university and graduated as Cum Laude. She could have chosen a career away from the grinds and hassles of activism, but has seen the need to lead the marginalized sector in their fight for gaining their basic rights, social justice and equal opportunities from what she termed as 'elite democracy'.

As Akbayan Party-List representative, she has authored and filed more than eighty bills and resolutions of which three had been signed into law. As member of the minority in the Lower House, she pushed for the approval of three important measures by working closely with both the majority and minority in Congress. One of them was the CARP Extension with Reforms or CARPER, a law that gives more powers to the government to lower the prices of medicines, and an amendment to the Tax Code to provide greater exemptions to minimum-wage earners.

Risa Hontiveros has also been the most vocal proponent of the House Bill 5043 or more popularly known as the Reproductive Health Bill. She is only one of  few lawmakers who remain unfazed by the Roman Catholic Church's negative propaganda against those who support the RH bill. Although a Catholic, she strongly maintains that the RH bill is vital if not the answer to alleviate poverty brought about by the country's soaring population.

These are just few of Risa's achievements and advocacies that I suppose deserve our second look as voters. Her accomplishments speak of her desire to be a voice for the people, a voice for equality, good governance and transparency. With the growing frustrations and anger towards this administration  felt around every corner, I think it is time that we cease to traverse the traditional way of electing our leaders.

There are a lot of competent and well-intentioned other candidates out there whose names may not be that  popular but have little chances to win. It is a shame that the typical voter still prefers political patronage and easy name recall. Apparently, the voter lacks careful consideration as to the depth and qualities of the candidate he or she is voting. Surveys would show that the likes of Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla and Lito Lapid are consistently on  top. This only reflects how  the majority of voters lack wisdom in their choices.

And if surveys constitute the pulse of the voters, we may as well be welcoming the proud son of the former dictator to the Senate. His platform as he would advertise is to continue the legacy of his 'great' father. He is no less very proud of what his father had accomplished during his reign. And perhaps this platform strikes chord with  voters that could catapult him to the Senate. Shall this day come to pass, let us exalt ourselves for our 'unparalleled vision' and 'all-conquering wisdom'.

Let us not also forget those reelectionist honorable senators who boycotted the last day of session in Congress. They preferred not to decide on the fate of many pending bills, that had they been deliberated upon and approved, could be beneficial to people. They chose their interests over the nation's. Their loyalty to a billionaire colleague superseded that of their duty to the nation. They are your traditional arrogant politicians who do not deserve our trust.

Personally, it is very frustrating to know that these loathsome faces sit confidently in their lairs awaiting their day of ordainment yet again. But sometimes there is no one to blame but ourselves for our miseries. We are only good at ripping them on the streets when they fail to deliver. This third-world mentality of ours is rooted on our inabilities to be part of the process of change. The opportunities to start anew do not come every day, yet we always fail to seize them. So when is the time? Another six years would be eternity.

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Noldie Taroogs said...

that's true. there's probably no other senatorial aspirant today who's more deserving of support than Risa Hontiveros.

She has my vote!

The Pope said...

Right now, I only have two senators in my list, one is Susan Ople whom I believe will be the voice of the OFW in the Senate.

The second one is Risa Hontiveros, and I would like to thank you for this post for enlightening your readers of her accomplishments for she has really served as the champion of the poor.

I need to fully study the rest to fill my remaining 10 Senatorial Candidates, definitely my votes will not go to the existing candidates who tried to cover up the anomalous C5 projects and related unanswered corruption charges.

Pepe Cabrera said...

She's number 1 in my list! It would be a shame if she lose the senatorial seat to those oldies that helped Manny Villar cover up the anomalous C5 road project. Let's vote Risa Hontiveros!

Toni said...

Hi Nelson,

Thanks for writing about Rep. Risa Hontiveros. Hope you don't mind us reposting your blog entry on, the Official LP Senate Slate Website, particularly on Risa's page. We'll just link back to your blog post. Thanks and hope you could visit our site. Maraming Salamat! ^_^

Toni Alvarez

NFB said...

@ Toni- Thanks for visiting my site. I have been an ardent supporter of Miss Hontiveros and this is my own way of showing my support for her.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'm not considering her. But after reading your post I might.

In my opinion kasi, she tends to rah-rah too much like Eta Rosales.

Para sa akin kasi, the louder the can, the emptier it is.

オテモヤン said...


Anonymous said...

Absolutely. I had similar concerns dati as isladenebz but later found out that the "can is far from empty". Andami nya palang na-achieve sa congress, hindi lang RH bill. I think that's the best of both worlds. Matalino na, lumalaban pa.

#1 ko si Risa Hontiveros!

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