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Rocker, kisser seek Philippine senate seats

Melito Lagata claims to be a former Marine and proposes to a TV reporter.

Publication Date : 02-10-2012


One was an “heir” to the supposed rightful owner of the Philippine archipelago. Another claimed to be a rock ‘n’ roll musician. A third said he was a hot kisser.

They were among the first senatorial aspirants to file their certificates of candidacy (COCs) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday.

Coming in pressed suits and bow ties, the early birds took turns filing their certificates as soon as the Comelec offices in Intramuros, Manila opened their doors at 8am, the start of a five-day period for filing COCs for the May 2013 elections.

They also used different tacks in an apparent attempt to be unforgettable. One gave away free shirts and showered onlookers with coins before he left, another proposed marriage to a television reporter. Others distributed press releases enumerating their platforms of government.

They gave their names as Daniel Magtira, Aeric Bernardino, Anicio Escosura, Mel Chavez and Melito Lagata. Most of them, it turned out, were “regulars” at the Comelec around this time of the election season.

A first-time applicant, Salam Lacan Luisong Tagean, from Camarines Sur, said with conviction that he decided to run for senator to give land to the landless. He came wearing a vest and a cap.

Class of nobles

Claiming to be the “heir” to King Luisong Tagean, a descendant of Raja Soliman and supposedly the rightful owner of the entire Philippine archipelago, this particular senatorial aspirant said the disputed Spratly Islands and Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal were part of the archipelago owned by the Tagean clan.

But he said he was not going to talk with rival claimant China to settle the territorial dispute.

“Let the government do something for me…I belong to the Maharlikans,” he said, referring to the class of nobles during pre-Hispanic times.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body was expecting, as in previous election seasons, applicants like them  in the next four days.

Parasites not needed

In a black suit and bow tie, with a name plate that read “Sen. Magtira” pinned to his left chest, one 52-year-old aspirant claimed to be a rock musician. He said he would run on a platform that would push for a constituent assembly “through economics, arts and culture.”In his COC, “Sen. Magtira” indicated that Kris Aquino—the president’s sister—was his spouse and that he was officially nominated by former first lady Imelda Marcos and Manila Rep. Carlo Lopez.

Magtira, who also filed his candidacy in past senatorial and presidential elections, left a piece of advice for voters: “The Filipinos must elect officials in the Senate who are honest to the nation, especially to the poor. Those who must be elected to the Senate should be sensible, not a parasite who wears clothes amassed by ill-gotten wealth.”

He gave away T-shirts and showered a group of Comelec employees and reporters with 1 peso coins on his way out of the building.

Changing the lotto

Bernardino, a 47-year-old civil engineer from Caloocan City, said he was running as an independent candidate but quickly admitted that, as in the past election, he would most likely be disqualified by the Comelec.

“This is anticlimactic…I just wish to share with you my advocacy,” he said.

Bernardino’s “advocacy” included the “refashioning or reorientation” of the popular numbers game lotto, the construction of housing projects for the poor, libraries in all city and provincial halls, elevated Light Rail Transits in the cities of Davao and Cebu and railroad tracks from Laguna province to Bulacan province, and the publication of a Filipino encyclopedia.

Born to soon

In an all-white suit, Chavez—who identified himself as a broadcast journalist and a friend of Marcos loyalist lawyer Oliver Lozano—declared he was running under the Kilusang Bagong Liwanag (formerly Kilusang Bagong Lipunan) party.

It was his fourth attempt to run for a national post, Chavez said.

Claiming to be a former Marine, Lagata came in a barong and sported  red curly hair. He publicly proposed to GMA TV reporter Tina Panganiban-Perez.

“If only I hadn’t been born too soon, I would have been ready to marry you in all the churches,” the 68-year-old Lagata told her in Filipino, adding in a half-whisper: “I also kiss sweetly."


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