My Choice: 2013 Philippine Senators and Party List



Edward Hagedorn ( #18 )

Environment has done to man what man has done to society and what society has done to him. There is a cosmic connectedness which all of us partake, a oneness with the galaxies, with the forests and the oceans. We cannot live in isolation from nature and from our fellow human beings. Just as we are governed by laws made by man, nature likewise promulgates her own laws for us.” – EH


Ernesto Maceda  (# 23 )

 “The Local Government Code needs to be revisited, reviewed and revised. In order to further empower the local government units, it is imperative to add provisions in order to capacitate the LGUs in performing vital functions and services.” – Manong Ernie



Chiz Escudero ( #3 Elected)

Ang Kabataan ay hindi lang dapat pag-asa ng bayan. Dapat, maasahan na ng bayan” – CE



Richard Gordon (# 13 )

I support for Charter change, but any such move must be guided by a clear agenda.” – RG



Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. (#16)

HERO ( honest, effective, responsive and open )  and JOBS (  justice, opportunities, business and security ) are my twin formula to continue what I have started as a senator for 12 years. I have considered as guidepost the credo of the late president Magsaysay, ‘Those who have less in life should have  more in law.” – RMJ  “The Father of Cable Television”



Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel  (#17 )

It is high time that we talk about divorce [measures, considering] the cases of wife beatings, child beatings, marital rape, and incest.” – RHB



 John de los Reyes (#25)

We are introducing prophetic politics, something that is radical and controversial and requires self-sacrifice, and for that to happen, we must do the opposite of what traditional politicians are doing.” – JC



Coco Pimentel (#8 Elected)

My commitment (is) to make the electoral process more resistent to corruption and prosecute those who corrupted the electoral expression of the sovereignty of the people” – Koko P.



Teddy Casino (#22)

We advocate empowering the people as key in changing governance and society. We will fight foreign and elite control until we can establish a government that is truly representative of the people.” – TC



Bam Aquino (#7 Elected)

The primary issue today was finding jobs for young people. We will address this by looking at education and employment as a process, a continuum, which should be closely coordinated by schools, industries and concerned agencies” – Bam Aquino


# 4


 PARTY LIST: OFW FAMILY ( # 8 Elected )

About the OFW Family Party List 1st Nominee:

Ambassador: Roy Villareal Seneres


Ambassador Roy Villareal Seneres became internationally renowned in 1994 when as envoy to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he led Philippine government efforts to save domestic helper Sarah Balabagan from the death penalty by hanging in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Sarah, a fourteen year old minor from Maguindanao Province in Mindanao was convicted for murder by a lower court in Abu Dhabi for killing her employer.

 The Ambassador who personally visited Sarah in jail, was convinced it was a case of self-defence because her employer attempted to rape her. He hired an Arab lawyer to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of the UAE. He was aware it was a difficult case because the employer belonged to a huge clan in Abu Dhabi.


Roy V. Señeres has had a checkered life as diplomat, lawyer, political analyst, rebel (at least according to the previous administration), devout Catholic, economic nationalist, friend of Overseas Filipino Workers.

He is also an entrepreneur. He heads Our Father’s Coffee Corporation. And its main product is Kape ni Amba, a premium herbal coffee which includes Stevia plant powder, mangosteen, malunggay, grape seed, the aphrodisiac Tongkat Ali, and Gotu Kola (said to improve the memory).

From 1983 to 1989, Señeres served as Labor Attache of the Philippine Embassy in the United Arab Emirates. And he and his family (“four boys, two girls and of course only one wife”) provided comfort and shelter to housemaids exploited and abused by their employers.

Later he was transferred to Washington DC and by 1994 became an ambassador. Then President Fidel V. Ramos appointed him to serve—again in the UAE.

The Macapagal-Arroyo Administration found him still Chair of the National Labor Relations Commission (previously appointed there by President Joseph Estrada). But in 2005 he resigned “because I did not want to be part of the illegitimate and overly corrupt Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Administration.”

Señeres joined organizations demanding that Arroyo resign, and for his activities was slapped with twin charges of inciting to sedition and rebellion. He will not seek or accept amnesty because for him the charges are “badges of honor.”

His years abroad and his experience with OFWs underscored the fact that “the causes of the Filipino diaspora—ten million abroad—are lack of livelihood, lack of jobs in the country. “So by selling coffee I can contribute in my own small way to the generation of employment, especially in the farms.”

As he points out: “If you sell Philippine coffee you provide employment and livelihood to coffee farmers. And if you sell coffee in sachet form you provide employment in the production of instant coffee.”

His firm markets only coffee produced in the country, in places like Bukidnon, Mendez, Cavite and Batangas.

For the ambassador-turned-entrepreneur, “If you buy imported coffee, you help the farmers in those countries earn a living. So why not help our own (farmers) by selling their coffee? Every time you buy Philippine coffee, or Philippine items for that matter, money circulates in our economy.”

As for Kape ni Amba, “the demand has gone up and we now sell on a case-to-case basis to friends; it’s direct selling.”

These friends or dealers are returning OFWs and members of the family-run OFWFamily Club (tel. 5267522) in Pasay City. Its President is Roy Señeres Jr.

Everything was going fine. There were even orders from abroad. The corporation returned a margin of profit, and then a monkey wrench was thrown into the marketing operations. And things came to a halt.

Señeres learned that syndicates (“con artists, crooked racketeers”) were engaging in multilevel pyramiding, buying in bulk and promising the dealers exorbitant profits. An investigation was made, and warrants of arrest are expected to be issued. One alleged racketeer is based in Hong Kong.

The marketing operations are expected to normalize soon (“a matter of weeks”), but the boxes will carry this warning label: “These boxes should not be sold on a multilevel system but only by direct selling.”

Señeres concludes: “Our motivation is not just to generate profits, but to help our economy and be an example of entrepreneurship that patronizes Philippine products.”

taken from:  Roy V. Señeres: The envoy is a ‘coffee magnate’



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