Recto: Senate minority won't oppose just for the sake of it
MANILA, Philippines – New Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said on Monday, July 25, that the minority bloc would not oppose the majority's plans just for the sake of opposing.
Recto, in his acceptance speech for the post, vowed that the minority would cooperate with the Duterte administration's plans if these serve "the public interest."
However, he said, they would be "duty-bound" to oppose the majority's agenda if it "hurts the nation."
"And when that happens, we in the minority will try to convince you, not by the shrillness of our voice, but by the soundness of our arguments, because reasoning should rely more on facts than on flair," added Recto.
"This is one Senate minority, I assure you, that will know when to stand its ground, and when to seek common ground."
Recto is a member of the former ruling party, the Liberal Party (LP).
Joining him in the minority bloc are senators Francis Escudero and Antonio Trillanes IV, one of President Rodrigo Duterte's staunchest critics since the campaign period. (READ: Trillanes files plunder complaint vs Duterte)
Recto, however, rejected the outright "opposition" tag.
"[In] Senate dynamics, minority should never be automatically equated as opposition, for it is a false characterization of its role. I would rather see its role as guardians of the public interest which solely guides its actions here," he said.
"I envision our role as quality control inspectors, on the lookout for weaknesses, subjecting every bill to a stress-test, so it is assured of trouble-free implementation."
Also on Monday, Duterte ally Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III was elected Senate President. Former Senate President Franklin Drilon is the new Senate President Pro-tempore while Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III is the Majority Floor Leader. – Rappler.com