AS part of our elections coverage, we are posting the profiles of the 36 senatorial candidates, along with their party platforms, on i-site.ph/blog, the PCIJ’s official site on the 2007 May elections.
Twelve candidates are running under the administration’s Team Unity, 11 are under the Genuine Opposition, six from the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, three from the Ang Kapatiran party, and four are independent candidates.
Their profiles show that the average age of the candidates is 54. The youngest is Magdalo leader Lt. Antonio Trillanes at 35, while senator Joker Arroyo, who turned 80 last January, is the oldest.
Most of those in the below-50 age bracket are from the Genuine Opposition (GO). Most of the 36 candidates are married.
A look into their educational qualification shows that at least 10 are law graduates, four have degrees in commerce and business administration, while the rest have training in various fields such as public administration, communication, and liberal arts. At least two are undergraduates.
Majority of the senatoriables are graduates of the University of the Philippines. Three are graduates of the Philippine Military Academy, and the others are from top universities like De La Salle and Ateneo de Manila.
About 42 percent of the candidates, most from the GO, also pursued higher education. Sorsogon Rep. Francis Escudero, for example, has a Master of Laws from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. All three Ang Kapatiran senatoriables also have higher degrees, two of them attended universities overseas.
Majority, or 58 percent, have made careers of public office. Of which, 71 percent are either incumbent or former Lower House representatives, and 48 percent at one time occupied seats in the Senate. Senator Edgardo Angara is among the earliest who served in Senate, when democracy was restored in 1986.
Thirty-three percent of the candidates also held local elective positions, with five of them starting out as councilors before climbing up to higher office. Governor Chavit Singson, for instance, began his political career as councilor in his hometown Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
Different paths to congress
Many of them also occupied executive positions in government, among them Team Unity’s Michael Defensor and Ang Kapatiran’s Zosimo Paredes II, who was once undersecretary of the Office of Muslim Affairs and Cultural Communities.
One in three candidates have career backgrounds in business and law.
Also, 33 percent of the candidates are in media and entertainment, with five print and broadcast journalists, three actors, and a singer.
Moreover, 27 percent of the candidates are currently or had at one time been with the academe; 16 percent are from the police and military; and at least 25 percent have affiliations with foundations and other organizations.