ON WHAT TOOK LP SENATORS, ALLIES SO LONG TO LEAVE SUPERMAJORITY

I was asked by a CNN Philippines reporter what took us so long to leave the supermajority and join the opposition. Here is more or less my reply:

It has not even been 7 months since this administration took over the leadership of the nation. Every incoming President deserves chance to prove himself and also deserves to be supported at the beginning of his term because if he succeeds in fulfilling what is required of him in his oath of office then his success will be our success as a nation. Even the media traditionally gives a new President a honeymoon period. That is what we in the LP set out to do 7 months ago. We set aside our differences, sought unity with our adversaries and offered a helping hand for the sake of the nation’s interest. In modern democracies bi partisan or multi-partisan coalitions are cobbled together as a means of helping lead governments and nations.

After less than 7 months, we have come to a point wherein a number of events have made in untenable and unacceptable for us to stay with the supermajority in the Senate. The writing was on the wall. It was just a matter of time and the time did come. Hence when we are asked to leave the Supermajority, we did not resist and did so willingly and without debate.

In the 7 months that we were in the majority coalition we shepherded bills in the respective committees we chaired to the best of our abilities. In fact the record will show that of the 29 bills/committee reports being tackled on 2nd reading on the floor at the time of the reorganization, 20 or over 2/3 were bills being defended by the LP, Senator Trillanes and Senator Hontiveros.

Finally, while we were part of the majority coalition and supported a number of initiatives of the government, we did not shirk from what we believed to be our constitutional duty and responsibility to oppose policies and pronouncements that we believed to be inimical to the national interest. These included our opposition to the excesses of the war on drugs and extra judicial killings, the Marcos burial, corruption in the Bureau of Immigrations, the death penalty and the lowering of the game of criminal liability of minors among others.

Consumatum est.

Now we are in the minority.