Will change also reach the Senate?

51

THE people sent a clear message of change in the May elections, yet the same message has apparently not reached the Senate.

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We are forced to this conclusion as we behold the increasingly intense struggle for the Senate presidency?

Four senators—all holdovers from the 16th Congress—are bruited about as vying for the post even before the 17th Congress can be sworn into office.

The four are (1) the incumbent Senate president Frankln Drilon, (2) incumbent Senate majority leader Alan Peter Cayetano, ( 3) incumbent deputy minority leader Vicente Sotto,
and ( 4) Sen. and PDP-Laban President Aquilino Koko Pimentel III.

Drilon and Sotto have been proclaimed as senators-elect by the Commission on Elections in the May 9 elections. Cayetano lost his bid for the vice presidency in the same balloting, and seeks to capitalize

his being the running mate of the victorious Rodrigo Duterte. Pimentel won election to the Senate in the mid-term elections in 2013.

A promise of more of the same

Before the balloting, I openly hoped that the eletions would bring change or at least a facelift to the Senate.

With Duterte and his “change is coming” slogan sweeping through the elections like a tsunami, we now must watch whether the promised change will wash upon the Senate too.

You would think that given the Senate’s disrepute because of the Corona lynching, the pork barrel scandal, and DAP bribery, the aspirants for Senate president would anchor their ambitions on a pledge to restore the Senate’s reputation for independence and probity.

But strangely, all of them appear to be promising more of the same and the same way of doing business in the chamber. Not one has said a word about reform.

Drilon anchors his bid on the fact that he is the incumbent leader of the Senate. He lays claim to the largest chunk of votes in the chamber—seven LP senators. And he says smugly he will bow to the one who can show that he or she has the support of 12 or 13 senators.

In answer, Cayetano has come up with the bluff that he has already some 15 senators in his belt. He has been horse-trading behind the scenes on his being Duterte’s running mate in the election campaign, although Duterte has pointedly refused to endorse anyone for Senate president.

Pimentel is similarly trying to cash in on the fact that he is president of PDP-Laban, under whose banner Duterte ran for President. He is also from Mindanao like the President-elect, and the forthcoming speaker of the House, Pantaleon Alvarez. They could be a trio down the road.

Finally, Sotto hopes to cobble together an independent bloc of senators to support his bid.
He ran with Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero in the recent campaign. If they combine with the winning candidates who ran with her, and win the support of independents like Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Richard Gordon and Migz Zubiri, they could become a strong bloc in the Senate.

4 named in SC DAP decision

It is a rare distinction to be cited by name in a Supreme Court decision; but all of our four aspirants for Senate president are curiously cited in the landmark decision of the High Court on the infamous Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) of President Aquino.

On pages 113-114 of the consolidated SC Decision (which includes the majority opinion, and the concurring and separate opinions), Associate Justice Arturo Brion, in his concurring and separate opinion, reproduces as a footnote the full text of Secretary Abad’s official statement on the DAP releases to senators, as he responded to Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s disclosure that senators who voted to convict Corona at his impeachment trial were given incentives by President Aquino.

In Abad’s statement (issued on Sept. 28, 2013), he named the senators and the amounts they received and when they received them. These are the entries on the four aspirants for Senate president (in order of listing):

1. Sen. Alan Cayetano (Oct. 2012 – P50M),

2. Sen. Koko Pimentel (Oct. 2012 – P25.5M; Nov. 2012 – P5M; Dec. 2012 – P15M),

3. Sen. Tito Sotto (Oct. 2012 – Pl lM; Nov. 2012 – P39M),

4. Sen. Frank Drilon (Oct. 2012 – PIOOM).

None of them has ever denied having received the incentives. They have only quibbled with the imputation that they were bribes.

President-elect Duterte has instructed his incoming Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre to prosecute without exception all those involved in the DAP scandal. This may involve the demand that DAP money be returned by some recipients.

 A tattered image and lost glory

With all the scandals that have plagued the nation’s senators and the chamber, and with two once-ranking senators now in detention and on trial for plunder, it is not surprising that the Senate ranks in the Philippine Trust Index as a government institution with a poor trust rating.

Who will lead the Senate out of the hole it has dug for itself? Who has the best chance of repairing its tattered image and recapturing its lost glory?

These are questions that the contest for the Senate presidency must settle.

The contest between Duterte allies Cayetano and Pimentel could reprise the time when both Franklin Drilon and Kiko Pangilinan stalemated each other in a fight for the Senate presidency; they ended up losing it to Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile, who was suddenly favored as a compromise candidate.

I believe the prize will belong to the aspirant who will seriously espouse a program of reform and reputation management in the Senate.

One test is a real commitment to kill once and for all the senatorial pork barrel. A senator who can commit to this will have public support.

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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51 Comments

  1. Olrayt! “PEARL OF THE ORIENT SEAS”
    The OYSTER living in the muddy water able to transform its painful struggle into the most beautiful GEM. We can TRIUMPH over our adversities too, if we choice & will it.
    It takes a critical mass for the DIVINE to mirror back its BLESSINGS, allowing us manifestation, i.e. the Luneta march. ( Universal Law of Reflection)
    Unlike any other GEM, it came into being thru overcoming adversities.
    Diamonds & many other gems are mined on the ground, didn’t go thru transformation.
    The outside of the oyster is rough, ugly, but the prism in the inside reflects the goodness of heart & benevolent intentions.

  2. lol…..here comes the cayetano army. pati ba naman sa senate presidency kailangan pang ikampanya. if you were really a suporter of cayetano, why dont you question na ganun lang ang nakuha niyang vote sa vp. tapos senate president naman ngayon.

  3. HANNAH GARCIA on

    Walang panama yan kay Senator Cayetano. Si Senator Cayetano maraming nagawang batas para mapaganda ang buhay ng mga mahihirap at mga mag aaral. Go Senator Cayetano. Suportado ka po namin.

  4. MARBEN MAYOR on

    Si Senator Cayetano lang ang alam kong tunay na magaling at alam kong may tunay na nagawan sa senado. Go Senator Cayetano. Ikaw dapat ang Senate President.

  5. MICHELLE ANN IGNACIO on

    Mas mapapabilis ang pag gawa ng mga batas kung si Senator Alan Cayetano ang Senate President.

  6. kung gusto nyo ng tunay na pag babago dapat si sen.cayetano ang maging senate president

  7. MARIA LORAINE ROMASANTA on

    Si Senator Cayetano lang ang alam kong karapat dapat na maging Senate President. Kasi si Senator Cayetano magaling gumawa ng mga batas na para sa mga mahihirap. Go Sen Cayetano.

  8. Ellie Magsayo on

    Mas mapapadali ang pagbabagong inaasam natin kung si Sen Cayetano ang magiging Senate President. Sya lang naman ang swak na maupo bilang senate president eh.

  9. makario batobato on

    mas mapapadali isabatas ang laban sa droga at corruption pag si sen.cayetano ang naging senate president kasi parehas sila ni president duterte, ng mga plano

  10. saktong tandem parin si pres,duterte at sen.cayetano para laban sa corruption at droga kaya dapat si sen.cayetano ang maging senate president para malakas ang pundasyon laban sa corruption at droga!

  11. nardo baliktad on

    ayaw nyo maging sen.president si sen.cayetano kasi di nyo na magagawa ang mga gusto nyo about sa corruption

  12. Yellow Senate Pres. with the very able back-up of the Suprene Master Yellow Puppeteers will fight tooth and nail as they did for the Yellow VP. Wanna bet?

  13. si sen.cayetano mrami na ang nagawa sa bayan at panigurado na pag siya ang naluklok bilang senate president madami pa siyang mgagawa.

  14. madami po ang sumusuporta saiyo at naniniwala sa kakayahan niyo senator cayetano ikw ang karapt dapat na maupo bilng senate president,

  15. senator alan ang may kakayahn para ipamalas at ipakita na karapt dapt sakanya ang posisyun bilang isang senate president.

  16. senator alan is the best leader of this country he deserves to be a senate president.

  17. madami po ang naniniwala saiyo senator alan cayetano ikaw ang tunay na magtatagumpay ikaw ang karapt dapat na maging senate president nung umpisa pa lang ng halalan pinakita mo na ang pagiging humble mo,

  18. for me senator alan cayetano will be the next senate president malakas ang tiwala ko sayo senator allan.

  19. clark solomon on

    malaki ang tiwala kong magiging magaling na senate president si Sen Cayetano.

  20. wala namang ibang nararapat sa pagiging senate president kundi si Sen Alan lang.buo ang tiwala namin skanya.

  21. Joyce Ann Peñaflor, on

    totoo na magaling si sen cayetano kay ang pagigi nyang sen president ay nararapat sa kanya at mabuti at maayos ang liderato yan si sen cayetano

  22. Bigla ang daming “Nangampanya” kay Alan Ceyetano para maging Senate President ah. Very clear yung article ni Mr Yen Makabenta – sinasabing sino ang magbibigay ng bagong Bihis sa Senado ng walang BAHID take note MALINIS at walang sabit sa DAP. Eh si Kuya Alan mga Campaigners at Supporters (tapos na ang election talo na sya) medyo “BALAHURANG TISOY” …mabuti pa si ALAN K. oks na oks!

  23. The Legislative (Senate and the House) must act as a co-equal branch of government to the Executive. The House has fallen due to the turncoats joining Duterte’s part and will likely do whatever the Executive wants. Thus, the Senate must elect a leader to allow it to act independently to maintain the check and balance in our government.

  24. lacson lacson lacson lacson lacson lacson lacson for senate president!!!! for change and to address the issues on may 9 national election!!! God bless the Pilipino…

  25. Orly Abella on

    Di naman magkakaron ng Iskolar ng Bayan law kung wala si Sir Alan Cayetano. Kaya deserve nya talaga maging senate resident. May tunay na malasakit sa mga Pilipino.

    • Personally, I don’t TRUST Cayetano. His relentless effort to seek Duterte’s running mate was garapal. Meaning he approved all Duterte’s
      foul language, palpak line of thinking, bizzare behavior, ect. What does he do now, squid spewer, muddles the truth, spin to confuse further.
      Look @ what he do stupidly behind Duterte during the sorties, patangotango pangitingiti, papalapalakpak,…reduced himself parang gago…. just to please Duterte.
      Therefore, it’s to say he’s a “YES SIR” he’ll follow like a sheeple, no mind of his own. We’ve seen that already. DUTERTE: “Do as I tell you, otherwise….” He made himself a glorified FOOL.
      Oh Yes, it was said, he paid Duterte 100 mil, just to be considered.

  26. Cayetano really deserves na maging Senate President. Kelangan sya ni Duterte para mapatupad ang batas na gusto talaga ni Digong. Para sa tunay na pagbabago.

  27. sean magayanes on

    Sa magandang at maayos na liderato ang kailangan sa Senado yan ang kayang gawin ni Sen. Alan

    • AGREE. The first one to return the received DAP to the treasury will surely get the support of the other senators.

    • O mga Kamang-mangan mga Kababayans, Juan for All, All for Juan muna tayo, Pinoy Henyo-henyo lang… at kapag may time lang sa kawalan ng time, copy and paste na lang sa internet ang mga prepped articles na e-quo-quote babasahin kunoh….the types of senators elected in one particular country’s senate chamber is a real reflection of the true sad state of the nation….may isang pa’ng Boy Suntukero of renown reputation, and some got elected riding on a machinery of chicanery getting elected to these hallowed – and at the same token, -hollowed chamber of halls we could hear the echoes of nonsense reverberating across – wherein the art of grandstanding has perfectly been crafted for maximizing pa-effects in a manner that resembles a mimicking ape propping up his political standing among his peers of similar apes grandstandees – in a political circus we call elections, of which the public is a willing guinea pig subjected to all sorts of Simian acts by these Honorable Pigs. But op kors, watelzisnyu?After all, the Filipino electorate is an honorable moron taking all these as grain of salt, to be rub and sprinkled in their never ending misery of wounds….federalism is on its way, a new dog with an old collar?
      We’ll see what type of dog food this animal feeds on…we are almost 50 years behind in the region…in terms of political life years this country supposedly has achieved by the turn of this 21st century – that is almost an era lost in a gridlock of EDSA political traffic, for us humans – an entire life generation missed on so many things that should have been…like the Shinkansen, the TGV, London Underground, the Paris Metro, American Amtrak, AutoBahn, Dover-Calais English Channel Ferries, Changi Airport, with modest hopes, our dilapidated PNR could one day circumvent the entire Luzon grid, and the land of promise Mindanao is criss-crossed by steel rails, but as we speak, it is all air of Land of Promissed…

  28. the best alternative to the b o z o s who want to claim the seat of the senate president would be lacson. i have never voted for lacson but this time, i think he is the best alternative to these b o z o s who want the job. besides lacson’s has the same thoughts about corruption and drug menace as du30

    • I agree with you Mr Fuentes. Since the time Sen Lacson occupied a seat in that chamber, never he accepts a bribe este a PDAF /pork barrel.

    • Diyan nga sila takot kay LACSON. They’ll get exposed! Lacson will get them.
      Same thing ang pagitswapuera kay LENI, kasi kakaiba siya. Malinis siya. Hindi kasing swapang nila.

  29. brix millena on

    Sen. Allan Cayetano ang tanging Senador nakikita kung makapag aayos ang Senado

  30. kevin sevilla on

    Yes sa tunay na pagbabago nang Senado gagawin yan ni Sen. Cayetano kapag Sen. President na sya na sya namang bagay sa pwesto na yan.

  31. Sen.Cayetano lang ang nararapat maupo bilang isang Senate President wala nang iba pa

  32. charles magnaye on

    Dapat yong tpat na lider at marunong sa kanyang tungkulin na gagampanan hindi yong puro pag kurakot lang ang alam, kaya nga karapat dapat diyan si Sen. Cayetano bilang Senate President matalino at malinis ang kanyang liderato noon pa man

  33. Totoong mgaling na Senador si Sen. Cayetano kaya ang pagiging Sen. President nababagay sa kanya

  34. It appears that not any of the four are worth to be trusted and it’s weird that one still won during the election, worst of all, even topped the senate results. The other three scrambling to be senate pres will not give them the opportunity to garner the minimum 13 votes needed. On the contrary, it will give a big chance for the one to retain presidency in the senate

    We now can expect a big new change for the better under the Du30 administration. Two of the subject senators may possibly be able to help Du30 but would still go for same old ways – so no change. The other two, I doubt much as they go to protect the interest of the LP.

    Why not get Grace Poe as Senate Pres for a change. She seems neutral. She may not have the party to back her up but this is a plea to all the other senators, it’s time for a champne and forget your being tra-pos.

    • Please READ more on GP & husband, para matauhan ka. Know who the husband is. Mangilabot ka. At this circumstances, Digong became the Savior.

  35. Me naiwan pang basura sa Senate, ang baboy na buwaya na si Frank Drilon an nakianabang sa boto ng mga kandidato pr manguna (KUNO) sa senatorial elections, pr palabasain na me dialw pa rin manguna.. ang kakapal talaga.. tama si Robin Padilla na P100 Million ang nilamon ng buo ng Pambansang Buwaya. Infat lang at bk atakahin ka sa katabaan ng bulsa mo at di mo pakinabangan.. KARMA..

  36. ernie del rosario on

    “THE people sent a clear message of change in the May elections, yet the same message has apparently not reached the Senate.”

    Why not probe the recent elections deeper and find out if Drilon and Sotto really won. If proven that they cheated, they must go. Were they spared by the people who delivered the uncheatable tsunami of votes for Duterte because they want real change ? Unlikely ! Now because of their being listed in the SC decision that they too received millions in DAP amidst the Corona lynching travesty the two other Senate Presidency aspirants must go too. But let us not stop there. There are more sitting senators who also are similar recipients of the largesse. I count many more. They also have to go !

    After said cleansing of the dirty Senate stable as Hercules did for the Aegean stables, we can begin real change in the Senate.

  37. Juan T. Delacruz on

    “Prosecute without exception” and this is the way it should be! I am beginning to like Duterte’s style–“an equal opportunity employer”. This also apply to all agencies such as PNP, AFP,NBI, BOC, BIR, and all the agency that have known to have corrupt practices. Duterte will clean the house and at the same time cleaning the streets.

    Duterte claimed that he is a “FRIEND” of Senator Marcos, that is also the reason why he will allow the late DICTATOR to be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani, not as a president but as a soldier, minus his fake awards and decorations, I hope.

    Duterte should encourage his friend as well, to go ahead and expedite the adjudication of their cases at the Supreme Court, not to fight against it but willingly return all those assets, property, and money that was once belonged to the Filipino people. This would be the right thing for Duterte to do, if his father served faithfully under the late Dictator’s regime.

    I will only hope that Sen. Trillanes will not dig deeper into the family’s hidden treasure that can be connected to the Marcos’ plundered wealth. Did Duterte benefitted from the Marcos’ plundered wealth? Trillanes is expert in connecting the dots.

  38. P.Akialamiro on

    By process of elimination, I respectfully submit that Migs Zubiri, who has ‘clean hands’, should be the next Senate President. Of the four aspirants, he respresents integrity and reform in the senate. Also, he is from Mindanao and he will complete the trio from that part of the country. Talking of building respect to that institution, he is the man; others will just be politics….as usual!

  39. Duterte should also change the name of the republic to a native name. The present name was derived from king Phillip of Spain making still like slaves or indios of Spain.