March 5, 2007 Monday
On May 14, 2007, legislative and local elections are to be held in the Philippines. Positions being contested include half the seats in the Senate. The 2007 Elections are known as the Philippine midterm election as the election date falls half-way through President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's current six-year term. All the seats in the Philippine House of Representatives are up for grabs. Representatives are elected for three year terms. The duly elected legislators of the 2007 elections will join the elected senators of the 2004 elections and will constitute the 14th Congress of the Philippines.
Most representatives win seats by being elected directly, the constituency being a geographical district comprising of about 250,000 voters. There are 212 seats in total for all the legislative districts. There are also seats for organized representation of special minorities. Such representatives gain one seat for every 2% of the total number of votes in the national electorate, but are limited to three seats. Local elections for governor, vice governor, mayoral posts (provinces only) and mayoral posts in Metro Manila are up for grabs as well.
TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Unity is a coalition composed mostly of supporters and former critics of current Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Team Unity seeks to take several Senate seats in oder to make sure the passage of President Arroyo's legislative programs and also to protect her from any impeachment attempts by the political opposition after the midterm elections.
Team Unity is composed by different major political parties in the country such as Lakas-Christian-Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi), Liberal Party (Atienza Wing), Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), and the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP).
The campaign team of TEAM UNITY is headed by veteran political strategist Reli German(campaign manager), Tourism Secretary Ace Durano (spokesperson) and Ike Rodriguez (campaign director).
Team Unity has recently held its proclamation rally at the Cebu Colisem last February 17.
• Michael Defensor- (Liberal Party "Atienza wing") former Presidential Chief of Staff (2006-2007), former Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (2001-2006), former Head of National Housing Authority (2001), former Quezon City Representative (1995-1998; 1998-2001)
• Juan Miguel Zubiri - (Lakas-CMD), incumbent Representative (1998-2001; 2001-2004; 2004-2007) from the province of Bukidnon and author of the recently-approved Biofuels Act of 2006.
• Edgardo Angara - (LDP), incumbent Senator (1987-1992; 1992-1998; 2001-2007), former Executive Secretary, former Secretary of Agriculture, former President of University of the Philippines, current Chairman of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino
• Ralph Recto - (Lakas-CMD) incumbent Senator and author of the E-VAT Law (2001-2007), former Representative of Batangas (1992-1995; 1995-1998; 1998-2001), husband of Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos-Recto
• Joker Arroyo - (KAMPI), incumbent Senator (2001-2007), former Representative (1992-1995; 1995-1998; 1998-2001) of Makati City, former Executive Secretary (1986-1987), former prosecutor of the impeachment trial of Pres. Joseph Estrada.
• Luis "Chavit" Singson - (Lakas-CMD) incumbent Governor of Ilocos Sur, Chairman of League of Provinces, lead witness of the impeachment trial of Pres. Joseph Estrada.
• Vicente Sotto III - (NPC), former Senator (1992-1998;1998-2004), actor, TV host and Campaign Manager of the former presidential candidate the late Fernando Poe Jr.
• Tessie Aquino-Oreta - (NPC), former Senator (1998-2004), former Representative (1987-1992; 1992-1995; 1995-1998) and sister of Benigno Aquino Jr.
• Prospero Pichay Jr. - (Lakas-CMD) incumbent Representative of Surigao del Sur (1998-2001; 2001-2004; 2004-2007), Co-Chairman of Congressional Committee of Appointments.
• Vicente Magsaysay - (Lakas-CMD/KBL) incumbent Governor of Zambales and former 1992 vice-presidential candidate
• Jamalul Kiram III - (PDSP) Sultanate of Sulu (1986-Present)
• Cesar Montano- (Lakas-CMD) industrial engineering graduate from Lyceum, award-winning movie actor and director, and UNESCO commissioner
Leyte governor Jericho Petilla filed his candidacy on February 12, 2007 but signified interest in withdrawing in the Senate race after his mother, Remedios decided not to run as governor of Leyte. Cesar Montano was chosen to replace Petilla according to spokesperson Ace Durano.
The United Opposition Coalition was created by Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay on June 2005 to unite all politicians who wish to impeach Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The UNO started scouting candidates for the Senate as early as October 2006 to claim a large share in the Senate seats. On January 2007, UNO started short listing its nominees after a large number interested personalities wanted to join the opposition. The UNO has changed its name on February 12, 2007 at the Club Filipino in San Juan, Metro Manila to "Grand and Broad Coalition" (GBC). On February 15, 2007 the group changed its named again to "Genuine Opposition" after a meeting with Senate President Manny Villar in his office in Las Piñas. Though the Senate President Manny Villar and Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan are running under the Opposition, they remain Independent Candidates like in the Philippine general election, 2001. Then on February 28, 2007, the Genuine Opposition dropped Francis Pangilinan as its Adopted Candidate.
• Loren Legarda - (NPC) former Vice Presidential candidate (2004) and former Senator (1998-2004)
• Panfilo Lacson - (Independent) incumbent Senator (2001-2007), former Philippine National Police Chief (1998-2001) and former Presidential Candidate (2004)
• John Henry Osmeña - (NPC) Former Senator (1971-1972; 1987-1992; 1992-1995; 1998-2004)
• Francis Escudero - (NPC) Sorsogon incumbent Representative (1998-2001; 2001-2004; 2004-2007)
• Alan Peter Cayetano - (Nacionalista) Taguig City-Pateros incumbent Representative (1998-2001; 2001-2004; 2004-2007) and brother of incumbent Senator Pia Cayetano (2004-2010)
• Benigno Aquino III - (Liberal Party "Drilon Wing") Tarlac incumbent Representative (1998-2001; 2001-2004; 2004-2007) and son of former President Corazon Aquino and the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.
• Aquilino Pimentel III - (PDP-LABAN) lawyer and son of incumbent Senator and former Minister/Secretary of Interior and Local Government Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. (2004-2010)
• Sonia Roco - (Aksyon Demokratiko) widow of the late Senator and former Presidential candidate Raul Roco (1992-1995; 1995-2001)
• Antonio Trillanes IV - (Independent) detained Military Officer (Lieutenant Senior Grade), Magdalo Leader
• Anna Dominique Coseteng - (NPC) former Senator (1992-1995; 1995-2001) and former Representative (1987-1992)
• Manuel "Manny" Villar - Nacionalista, incumbent Senator (2001-2007), Senate President (2006-present), former Representative of Las Pinas City (1987-1992; 1995-1998; 1998-2001), former Speaker of the House (1998-2000)
Liberal Party (Independent)
• Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan (Ind/Liberal Party "Drilon Wing"), incumbent Senator (2001-2007), Senate Majority Floor Leader (2001-present) (dropped as Adopted Candidate by the Genuine Opposition)
Nationalist's People Coalition (Independent)
• Richard Gomez - (Ind/NPC) TV host, actor
• Gringo Honasan - (Ind/Philippine Guardians Brotherhood or PGB) Senator (1995-2001; 2001-2004), cashiered military officer (with the rank of Colonel)
• Elly Velez Pamatong - (Ind) failed 2004 presidential candidate noted for planting metal tire spikes on Metro Manila thoroughfares and his plans of having the United States annex the Philippines anew as its 51st state
• Theodore Aquino - (Ind) - a self-proclaimed nephew of the late Senator Ninoy Aquino and his sister Tessie Aquino-Oreta, former civil engineer in the United States.
• Rommel Pinera - (Ind) described himself as a "small businessman" who wants to espouse "moral and global democracy" as his platform of government.
Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL)
• Oliver Lozano - (KBL) Marcos Loyalist, Lawyer, Author of the First Impeachment Complaint against Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also known as the Lozano Complaint.
• Melchor Chavez - (KBL) radio announcer.
• Gen. Eduardo Orpilla (ret) - (KBL) retired PNP officer/businessman.
• Ruben Enciso - (KBL) journalist
• Joselito Cayetano - (KBL) a self-declared marine engineer and namesake of Alan Peter Cayetano.
• Victor Wood - (KBL) singer and entertainer best known during the 70's.
• Antonio "Tony" Estrella - (KBL) international lawyer
• Mujahab Hashim - (KBL) businessman
• Danton Remoto - (Independent) Ateneo de Manila University professor, book author, academician, and gay rights advocate.
• Zosimo Jesus Paredes - (Ang Kapatiran) Former executive director of the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement who resigned at the height of the Philippine government's perceived protection of convicted American rapist Daniel Smith after the latter's transfer of detention from the Makati City jail to the US Embassy compound. He is also the brother of Ducky and Jim Paredes.
• Dr. Martin Bautista - (Ang Kapatiran) gastroenterologist who had spent the last 17 years working in the United States. Last year, he went home for good with his wife and four daughters and was later convinced to run under the Kapatiran ticket.
• Adrian Sison - (Ang Kapatiran) seasoned lawyer specializing in taxation and family law.
• Mario Ongkiko - (Independent/Ang Kapatiran) lawyer
• Jericho Petilla filed his candidacy on February 12, 2007 but signified interest in withdrawing in the Senate race after his mother, Remedios decided not to run as governor of Leyte. Cesar Montano was chosen to replace Petilla according to spokesperson Ace Durano.
Among the issues are the on-going efforts by the Administration and others to amend the Philippine Constitution to shift the country from an bicameral and presidential system to a unicameral and parliamentary system, and by the opposition to oust President Arroyo through various means. The opposition is this case includes the UNO as well as other groups and individuals not in the UNO.
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