The coming of the 2016 National and Local Elections (NLE) brings various questions into mind, such as who the Filipinos should vote for, and why they should vote for them. Among the voters, the youth have an important role of electing into office who they think are the most credible and who they think can finally address the many issues plaguing the country.
In this news feature by The LaSallian, a total of 130 DLSU students were asked through a survey on who they are most likely to vote for in the 2016 NLE, as well as their opinions on their chosen candidates.
In the survey, DLSU students were asked who among the following they will most likely vote for as president in the 2016 NLE: Jejomar Binay, Grace Poe, Mar Roxas, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Gibo Teodoro, Rodrigo Duterte, or Manny Villar. Only Roxas, Poe, Binay, and Santiago have filed their Certificates of Candidacy (COC) as of press time. Duterte has insisted he will not run for presidency and has filed his COC for mayor of Davao City.
Even then, Duterte was among the students’ top preference for the presidency, gaining the vote of 74 students, only second to Santiago who received 75 votes.
Mark* (II, OCM-MKT) shares that he will most likely vote for either Santiago or Duterte because “they share uptight personalities when it comes to their work.” He believes that if the country’s leaders come out strong, the Filipinos will follow not out of fear, but out of stronger self-discipline.
Hanna* (II, AB-POM) believes that Santiago is the best candidate for presidency. “I highly respect and commend her strong-mindedness and her ability to be straightforward about certain issues, without fear of criticism,” she explains. Fernan* (IV, MEE) also agrees and says that Santiago is capable of running a country, as she is well-versed in the country’s government system.
For Kristy* (V, BSMSECO), while Duterte may be able to steer the country towards the right direction, his human rights violations cannot be overlooked. The mayor is known for publicly supporting extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals in Davao. This move, however, helped make Davao the ninth safest city in the world. Paolo* (II, BS-MGT) agrees that Duterte can significantly lessen the crime rate in the country, but posits that Filipinos will not be ready to accept Duterte’s kind of leadership.
The other two candidates who topped the survey were Teodoro and Roxas, with scores of 34 and 29, respectively. Respondents of the survey commonly reason that Roxas is less likely to commit any acts of corruption, and that he is the “lesser evil” among all the other candidates. Despite Roxas’ lack of charisma, the students believe that he is the most qualified candidate given his experience in the government.
On the other hand, although Teodoro’s candidacy is mostly a thing of speculation, he is preferred by the students mostly because of his platform in the previous NLE. According to Fernan*, Teodoro could have been a better president than Benigno Aquino Jr., had the former won the previous NLE. Since Teodoro was the former Secretary of Defense, the respondents posited that he can also bring serious and needed military upgrades to the country.
Respondents were also asked who they were most likely to vote for as vice president, and were given the following choices: Alan Peter Cayetano, Chiz Escudero, Bongbong Marcos, Gringo Honasan, Ping Lacson, Leni Robredo, Bong Revilla, Antonio Trillanes IV, JV Ejercito, or Joseph Estrada. As of press time, Robredo, Escudero, Trillanes, Marcos, and Honasan have already filed their COCs. Cayetano has announced his intent to run but has not yet filed for candidacy. Meanwhile, Lacson has filed COC for senator.
Escudero is the students’ top pick for vice president, having received 53 votes from the survey. Cayetano, Lacson and Robredo followed suit with 17 votes each. Escudero was picked by many mainly because of his clean record in the government—no records of corruption or scandals have so far been linked to his name.
According to Diane* (II, BS-MKT), she would vote for either Escudero or Lacson because they both have a smart judgment regarding the operation of the Philippine government and would not be afraid of pointing out its flaws.
Mark* says that Escudero is efficient in his performance as a politician and would most likely be the least corrupt among the others on the list. Fernan* thinks that Escudero could be a great leader and has potential in becoming a good vice president. Meanwhile, students who chose Robredo mainly drew similarities between the neophyte lawmaker and the late Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Olive* (III, AB-ISE), however, really has no plans on voting for any vice president; she picked Escudero because “he is the only candidate [in the tentative list]
that seems capable.”
Members of the youth comprise 37 percent of voters
Noticeably, majority of the candidates preferred by the students are those who are running for different positions, as in the cases of Duterte and Lacson. There was also a strong preference for Santiago, who confirmed her intent on October 13 and filed her COC three days later. The students commonly reason that these candidates are more qualified than the others, and that they have more political experience.
Ina* (III, BS-IT) shares, “They are the only smart and logical choices as of now. They are people who walk the talk.”
When asked about key issues the next set of government officials should focus on, the survey respondents mention several areas for improvement, such as traffic, pollution, mass public transport system, internet speed, infrastructure, poverty, corruption, lowering taxes, education, medicine, health care, housing, urban planning, law enforcement, agriculture, environment, disaster risk management, technology, military upgrade, and the passage of various bills in congress. They also said that the economic growth of the country should be felt by the local government units and provinces, not just in Metro Manila.
With the 2016 NLE drawing near, the preferences of voters may still change throughout time given the continuously changing political landscape during election season. The youth, more than ever, have the power to choose which leaders they want to govern the country.
According to the Commission on Elections, of the estimated 56 million voters for the 2016 NLE, at least 20 million are from the youth.
*Names were changed.