An open race.
This is how former Buhay party-list Rep. Christian Señeres sees the 2013 senatorial battle, which has primarily focused on administration and opposition bets since the campaign period began.
Señeres, an independent candidate running under the Democratic Party of the Philippines (DPP), believes the growing sentiment against anti-political dynasties will help make him a senator.
“I believe it’s an open race. We’ve seen that the people are upset about performance of this previous Congress. They already cannot tolerate dynasties and what they call epal (politicians),” Señeres said.
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Señeres, a member of the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2007, hopes Filipino voters will dwell on candidates’ accomplishments and potentials instead of looking at their last names.
In his two terms in the Lower Congress, the lawyer contributed to the repeal of death penalty in the country as well as pushed for the legislation of University of the Philippines (UP) Charter in 2008.
The non-government organization (NGO) volunteer said he used his priority development assistance fund or pork barrel to construct school buildings, sport centers, and public libraries for the youth.
“The programs I focused on were those that would benefit the youth. That’s why with my budget I decided to distribute school computers and we built a drug rehabilitation center in Batangas,” he said.
“And that’s what I intend to do. If given the chance to become a senator, I shall continue to serve the youth,” Señeres told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.
He also vowed to work for the passage of the Anti-Dynasty, Anti-Epal and Freedom of Information bills.
After his two terms in Congress, Señeres left Buhay, a party-list group created by El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde, after witnessing how the group lacked commitment in actually supporting pro-life legislations in the Congress.
While UNA candidates held a big proclamation rally in Cebu City, Señeres quietly launched his Senate bid in the same city on February 12.
Unlike more popular politicians, Señeres depends his campaign solely on the use of free instruments of campaign allowed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) given his party’s scant funds.
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He also refuses to resort to seek endorsement from religious groups, saying he has to content himself using the social media to spread his advocacy to the voting public.
“We have seen religious groups do not really have a command vote. We’ve seen that in the previous election,” he said.
He received Saint Pedro Calungsod Medal from Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo J. Cardinal for his “fidelity to the public trust and the demands of Christian citizenship.”