Senate bets asked: How can you work with your future president?
MANILA, Philippines – How will aspirants for the Senate push for their promises and advocacies if the next president is not an ally of their political parties?
Four senatorial candidates were asked this question during the first leg of the Rappler senatorial debates on Friday, April 8, at the AMA University in Quezon City.
Two candidates – lawyer Levi Baligod and former Manila councilor Greco Belgica – are independent senatorial aspirants. Former energy secretary Jericho Petilla is running under the ruling Liberal Party, which has former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II as its standard bearer.
Lawyer Lorna Kapunan, meanwhile, is running under the Partido Galing at Puso of presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe.
During the debate, the 4 candidates were asked how they will be able to work with a president who is not allied with them, if they win a Senate seat in next month's polls.
Baligod said that he would be able to "constructively work" with any president "as long as we agree on certain platforms."
He added that he would like to push for legislation on a 50-year development program that will tie the resources of government to the fulfillment of particular programs, regardless of who is elected president.
This would ensure sustainability in the delivery of government services, he said.
Belgica, meanwhile, maintained that he would "stand for what is right."
He cited his decision to file petitions against forms of discretionary funds, such as lawmakers' pork barrel, the President's Social Fund, and the Malampaya Fund.
For Kapunan, an able senator would be able to perform his or her duties regardless of who becomes the next president, pointing out the separation of powers among the different branches of government.
"So if the senator makes a policy, regardless of who the executive is, it must be followed. And the Supreme Court is there to ensure that there is rule of law," she said.
Petilla, meanwhile, said that his advocacy – energy – "goes beyond politics."
"Whoever sits as president will make energy a priority. Hindi puwedeng hindi niya tuunan ng pansin (He or she cannot ignore energy)," he said. – Rappler.com
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