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Detained Enrile wants 'Kontra-SONA' - Ejercito

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — He may be detained, but Senate Minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile still wants his bloc to answer the upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III.

Senator JV Ejercito revealed that during his visit to Enrile yesterday, he was advised by the 90-year-old politician to continue the Senate Minority leader's tradition of delivering a "kontra-SONA" after the yearly presidential address.

"In this case I asked him if we need to have a kontra-SONA, sabi niya mas maganda meron because in a democracy, the rule of the Minority or the opposition is very essential in democratic governance," Ejercito said during the regular Kapihan sa Senado press briefing.

Ejercito believes that the Senate, especially the minority, must have a "kontra-SONA" but not for merely attacking the administration.

He said the minority's traditional rebuttal this year would include the partially unconstitutional Disbursement Acceleration Program of the Aquino administration, though the focus would be on economic issues.

"The President would report on his accomplishments that we have to verify if the economic numbers would reflect what is really happening," Ejercito said.

"Siguro yung jobs created, meron ba? Yung sinasabi nilang inclusive growth, that is what we want to look into. If it's really happening," he added.

Ejercito said he would still consult Senator Tito Sotto on the matter since he is the deputy Minority leader and the most senior member of the bloc.

He said he will be willing to deliver the "Kontra-SONA" if asked by  Sotto.

Ejercito is hoping that the President will take their criticisms constructively.

"We would just want to play our role as a responsible and constructive opposition so that in the remaining two years of his administration, he could even better improve his governance and accomplishments with the help of the Minority," the senator said.

Enrile has been detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame in Quezon City over the plunder charges filed against him in connection with the pork barrel scam.

He is joined by Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, a half-brother of Ejercito. - Louis Bacani

CAMP CRAME

DISBURSEMENT ACCELERATION PROGRAM OF THE AQUINO

EJERCITO

ENRILE

JUAN PONCE ENRILE

LOUIS BACANI

MINORITY

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE CUSTODIAL CENTER

PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO

SENATE MINORITY

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