Students hold presidential mock election

The Sociology Guild, an academic organization in MMSU, sponsored a series of activities on political education and election volunteerism during the Sociology Week, Sept. 7-10.

With the theme, “Agtutubo: Preparing the thumb for the stains of politics”, the weeklong affair engaged the students on issues surrounding political education and election volunteerism in light of the national struggle for emancipation from traditional politics, transactional leadership, and morally-bereft governance.

The activities kicked off on Sept. 8 with the opening of an art-exhibit-cum-election-precinct at the CAS Lobby. In the exhibit area, a presidential mock election was also held to feel the pulse of MMSU students on their preferred presidential candidates for the 2010 elections.

Immediately after the precincts closed on Sept. 9, 3 p.m., the ballots were appreciated by student volunteers, and the results were analyzed by Social Sciences faculty members.

A total of 1,524 students, representing 23.7 percent of the tertiary-level populace in the Batac campus, participated in the poll.

Sen. Francis Escudero, the youngest among the presidentiables, garnered 33.72 percent of the votes, and emerged on top, ranking first in all colleges. Sen. Manny Villar took the second spot with 21.12 percent while Sen. Noynoy Aquino got 17.25 percent and landed third.

With 11.74 percent of the votes, Vice President Noli de Castro was in fourth place with Sen. Loren Legarda and former President Joseph Estrada settling for fifth (7.74 percent) and sixth (4.79 percent) places, respectively.

Other possible presidential candidates voted by students are Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando (1.24 percent), Sen. Jamby Madrigal (1.24 percent), evangelist Eddie Villanueva (1.11 percent), Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro (0.59 percent), Sen. Richard Gordon (0.39 percent), Carlos delos Reyes of Ang Kapatiran Party (0.32 percent), and Gunless Society bet Nicanor Perlas (0.26 percent).

Dr. Violeta B. Alonzo, chair of the Social Sciences Department, hopes to have the mock polls periodically, with the next one eyed after Nov. 30, the deadline for filing of certificate of candidacy for the presidency. Dr. Joselito L. Lolinco, CAS dean, has thrown his full support for the undertaking.

Other activities include “The 2009 Sociology Forum” held Sept. 10 at the University Training Center, and a roundtable discussion at the CAS Lobby. Speakers, led by Trinity University of Asia professors Ruel F. Pepa and Glenn Agbing, and Ilocos Times columnist Steve Barreiro, tackled the national and local political climates, and how the youth can help institute reforms.

A film show featuring “Batas Militar,” a documentary on the imposition of martial law during the Marcos era was held Sept. 11, the birthday of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

ABS-CBN featured the activities in their regional news program TV Patrol Ilocos, and might air it in their nationwide broadcast as well. The media giant took interest in the MMSU mock election because it appears to be the first school-based poll conducted in view of the 2010 national and local elections.

Representative of other schools have called up the MMSU organizers so they can replicate the mock polls in their own constituencies.

MMSU students have been invited by ABS-CBN to participate in the Boto Mo, iPatrol Mo registration to be held at the Laoag City Ampitheatre, Sept. 21. An online voter registration will also be administered by the Commission on Election in the venue.

Boto mo, iPatrol Mo aims to empower the youth to help ensure clean and honest elections.