Friday, January 16, 2009

Where Do Philippine Senators Come From?

I liked this recent post at FiveThirtyEight.com and wondered what a Phlippine version would be like, so I baked up this delicious pie chart. It may not be as informative or useful due to the much smaller number of members in the Philippine Senate (and the messy nature of Philippine politics), but it's something:



This shows the most recent prior elected office that the 23 current Philippine senators held at the time of their first election to the Senate. Take note that it only accounts for elected offices-- appointed government positions (like Mar Roxas as Secretary of Trade and Industry, or Ping Lacson as PNP Chief) are not reflected.

Seven of the current senators (Roxas, Aquino, Arroyo, A.P. Cayetano, Escudero, Villar, Zubiri) came from the House of Representatives. Two of them (Pimentel and Enrile) are even ancient enough to have been assemblymen in the Batasang Pambansa, the parliament that replaced Congress during Marcos' administration.

Two senators came from governorships (Lapid and Revilla), and two came from city mayors (Estrada and Gordon). Remarkably, Kiko Pangilinan's most recent elected office before becoming senator was councilor of Quezon City from 1988 to 1992.

Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly?), the largest chunk of the pie consists of senators who had never before held any elected office whatsoever before winning their election to the Senate. Don't hold it against all of them though... Many of them held prominent positions (Pia Cayetano was a lawyer, Legarda was a broadcast journalist, and Angara was president of UP). Others had appointed government positions (Biazon was AFP Chief of Staff, Santiago was Agrarian Reform Secretary, Madrigal was Presidential Adviser for Children's Affairs, Lacson was PNP Chief, Honasan was Chief of Security). Only one has no record of positive accomplishment to speak of (Antonio Trillanes, terrorist).

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