Wednesday, June 05, 2013

UP Alumni Among New Senators

Someone posted in Taga UP Diliman Ka Kung (TUPDKK) facebook group that there will be a mini UP alumni reunion at the CCP, aka induction of the new Senators of the Philippines. I got curious, how many of the 12 new senators are from the University of the Philippines (UP)?

I checked Wikipedia, went through the brief bio of all the new Senators, especially their university education, and here’s what I got, arranged alphabetically among UP alumni first, then the non-UP alumni.

2013 Elections (9/12 from UP)

1. Sonny Angara, UPD, Law
2. Nancy Binay, UPD, tourism
3. Alan Cayetano, UPD, Pol Sci
4. Chiz Escudero, UPD, elementary, HS, Pol Sci, Law
5. Loren Legarda, UPD, Mass comm
6. Koko Pimentel, UPD, Law
7. Grace Poe, UP Manila, Development Studies
8. Antonio Trillanes, UPD, MA Public Administration
9. Cynthia Villar, UPD, Business Ad
10. Bam Aquino, Ateneo
11. JV Ejercito, La Salle
12. Gringo Honasan, PMA

So in the recent elections, nine out of the 12 new Senators are UP alumni, studied undergrad course or Law or a master’s degree. That’s a lot. UP remains the main breeding ground of political leaders in this country until now.

Then I went back to the previous two other elections, here’s what I got:

2010 Elections (6/12 from UP)

1. Pia Cayetano, UPD, Economics, Law?
2. Miriam D. Santiago, UPD, Pol Sci, Law
3. Frankliin Drilon, UPD, AB, Law
4. Jinggoy Estrada, UPD, Economics
5. Juan Ponce Enrile, UPD, Law
6. Ralph Recto, UPD, MA Public Administration
7. TG Guingona, Ateneo
8. Bongbong Marcos, Oxford
9. Serge Osmena, did not finish college, HS in Ateneo and Beaumont, UK
10. Lito Lapid, did not go to college, HS at St. Catherine, Porac, Pampanga
11. Bong Revilla, did not go to college; HS in Fairfax, California
12. Tito Sotto, Letran, English

2007 Elections (9/12 from UP)

1. Edgardo Angara, UPD, AB, Law
2. Joker Arroyo, UPD, AB, Law
3. Chiz Escudero, UPD, elementary, HS, Pol Sci, Law
4. Alan Cayetano, UPD, Pol Sci
5. Loren Legarda, UPD, mass comm?
6. Kiko Pangilinan, UPD, English, Law
7. Koko Pimentel, UPD, Law
8. Antonio Trillanes, UPD, MA Public Administration
9. Manny Villar, UPD, Business Ad
10. Noynoy Aquino, Ateneo
11. Gringo Honasan, PMA
12. Ping Lacson, Lyceum, PMA
* Migs Zubiri, UPLB, Agribusiness (resigned due to election fraud, Koko Pimentel came in)

I posted the results of the 2010 and 2013 elections in one UP Diliman facebook group, someone noticed that Bongbong Marcos did not go to UP even if his father, former President Ferdinand Marcos, and his two sisters, Imee and Irene, went to UP. Perhaps Bongbong wanted the glamour of UK education.

And another friend commented that UP alumni dominating the top political leadership, no wonder why the country remains poor. Well, to a certain extent that’s true. When one is studying in UP, one is somehow bombarded by that slogan of “iskolar ng bayan” or “taxpayers’ scholar” and hence, one must “give back” or work for the people, work in government or do related actions later. The implicit training is to be in government – local, national, multilateral, or consultant -- as much as possible.

Well, being in government means learning the arts and science of regulation, taxation and intervention in the lives of ordinary people. And more regulations and restrictions are unhealthy for us, culturally and economically.

Anyway, it’s not what university that legislators came from that matters most. Rather, it’s the political ideology or philosophy that they hold. So far, some liberty- or business-friendly candidates lost in the last elections, like former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr. He could have been a good Senator once more.

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