Senate to remain independent amid expected victory of PRRD bets

MANILA � Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Wednesday said the Senate will remain independent even if the upper chamber will be dominated by administration allies.

Zubiri allayed fears that the chamber would become Malacanang's rubber-stamp, saying that they will carefully scrutinize and not railroad the passage of the administration's pet bills.

The Senate as an institution will always continue to remain independent as proven by our track record in passing legislation, Zubiri told reporters in a text message.

When we see an administration-led measure that is good for the people then we support it, but if we see it needs further study and debate then we don't force it or rush into it, Zubiri added.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon echoed Zubiri's sentiment, assuring that his bloc would do everything to keep the independence of the chamber.

But if the Senate becomes a 'rubber stamp', we assure our people that we will not be a part of it... that will be the decision of the majority, Drilon said.

Having said that, I have no doubt that any reorganization in the Senate will need the President's blessing, he added.

Majority of the administration's senatorial candidates are dominating the top 12 of the senatorial race in the just-concluded mid-term elections on Monday.

The figure is based on the partial official tally of the votes from 34 Certificates of Canvass (COCs) by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC).

Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) Senate bets included in the Top 12 are reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar, who topped the list with 4,092,454 votes, former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Bong Go, 3,293,341 (3rd); former Senator Pia Cayetano, 3,251,819 (4th); and former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Bato dela Rosa, 3,128,061 (5th).

Also included are reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara, 3,022,955 (6th); former Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, 2,850,643 (7th); former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, 2,584,833 (8th); and reelectionist Koko Pimentel, 2,439,571 (10th).

Completing the partial official list are reelectionist Senator Grace Poe (2nd), 3,650,288; former Senator Lito Lapid, 2,520,316 (9th); reelectionist Nancy Binay, 2,366,035 (11th) and opposition bet and reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino, 2,335,724 (12). (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency