Palace: Nothing wrong with pro-Aquino Chamber
Malacanang on Friday said it saw nothing wrong with the possibility of a “yellow” Senate after the May 13 polls if only to continue the reform agenda of President Benigno Aquino III.
Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte downplayed the fears raised by the opposition United Nationalist Alliance that the Senate would be Mr. Aquino’s lapdog if the administration candidates scored a majority during the midterm elections.
“That is up for the voters to decide: if they want to vote for particular candidates because they support the reform agenda,” Valte said.
“As for fears of a yellow Senate, the people will vote for whoever they want to vote for. Nobody can dictate on the voters whether they want it to be purely red or yellow or white or black. It really is up to the voters.
But the UNA on Friday said Malacañang was putting the country’s democracy in peril by pushing for a “yellow Senate.”
“The Palace does not understand the principle and benefits of checks and balances. Without an independent Senate and with a yellow Senate that is beholden to the President, the country’s democracy is imperiled,” UNA spokesman JV Bautista said.
“With a beholden, yellow and puppet Senate, the senators would be vulnerable to dictates of Malacañang. This is very dangerous and alarming.”
Valte said there was “nothing wrong” in the call of the President to vote straight for the senatorial candidates under the ruling coalition, collectively known as Team PNoy.
But Bautista said a “puppet Senate” would lead to negotiated compromises between the executive and legislative branches of government.
“This is dangerous and alarming. The Senate has always been a bastion of independence. Legislative independence is needed to check possible abuses of the Executive branch and to point out what needs to be corrected,” Bautista said.
“What the Liberal Party wants is a Senate composed of yes-men and women. Without independence, the Senate would succumb to the dictates of the Palace at the expense of the public.”
Bautista slammed LP coalition campaign manager Franklin Drilon who had said that UNA wanted President Aquino to be a lame-duck President.
“Senator Drilon misunderstood what we meant. We did not want to make the President a lame duck President. We are doing everything to make the ruling Liberal Party a lame duck party, not the President,” Bautista said.
He said the LP officials in government were abusing and misusing their powers by harassing their opponents.
He cited the case of suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia for alleged abuse of authority.
UNA believed the suspension was politically motivated so that the Liberals would gain effective control over the operations of the vote-rich province, he said. With Christine F. Herrera