With the campaign period for senatorial candidates and party-list groups kicking off today (February 12), Senator Richard J. Gordon called on voters to be discerning in choosing the candidates they will elect in the May 13 mid-term elections.
Gordon underscored the importance of vetting candidates properly based on ability, qualifications, and proven track record, among others, instead of just basing their choice on candidates' campaign gimmicks.
"Campaign period has started and voters will be treated once again to all kinds of gimmickry and political advertisements aimed to solicit their votes. Voters should go beyond the gimmickry and political ads when they choose the leaders they will vote for in May. Huwag tayong padadala sa mga gimmick ng mga kandidato sa telebisyon, sa radio, at iba pa. We should examine and analyze their credentials," the senator said.
"Piliin natin ang iluluklok natin sa Senado. Dapat kaya nilang makipagdebate, this is a debating chamber. They should have the ability to engage in debates and discourses, particularly those on proposed measures to ensure that they are well crafted. When you are elected to the Senate, you are supposed to possess the qualifications to speak, to propose, to contravene, to defend and to oppose. Kapag hindi ka humarap diyan, then there is something wrong,'" he added.
Gordon, who has long been an advocate for leveling the political playing field by reducing overspending and consequently, reducing the influence of financial resources on the outcome of elections, filed Senate Bill No. 1995 or the "Campaign Reforms Act of 2018" which seeks to limit candidates' campaign expenses and mandates the Commission on Elections to organize televised town-hall style debates that would be covered by the different media entities.
"Campaign has become very expensive because of the prohibitive prices of TV and radio ads which discourages candidates who are well-qualified but do not have sufficient financial resources. Kaya ang gusto ko magsagawa ng televised debates ang Comelec na dapat salihan ng lahat ng mga kandidato at kung saan tatanungin sila ng mga tao tungkol sa mga pananaw at stand nila sa mga mahahalagang kaganapan sa ating bansa. Mas makikilatis at makikilala pa sila ng mga botante kaysa sa mga scripted na TV or radio ads," he said.
Source: Senate of the Philippines