Change in Senate leadership

ROSES & THORNS - Pia Roces Morato - The Philippine Star


I agree with senator Drilon when he says that there is nothing new and nothing wrong with this – with a political leader who will try to influence – as this is done everywhere. Having said all of this, I think it is but fair for the rest of us to understand that, as the former Senate president explained, campaigning for the Senate president post, if one may call it that, one must be able to present him or herself with the capacity to lead. We are in a democracy after all. Yet, because we are in a democracy, it must also be remembered that a political leader may intervene; however, it must also be said that the Senate is made up of 24 independent members who can both steer and pursue matters in a democratic system when it comes to influencing their choice. 

As seasoned as Franklin Drilon is, he also explained that it must be taken into account that the most recent events at the Senate is a rare occurrence and while a group of senators did not sign up for the removal of Zubiri, the present conditions are so fluid that, in the event they decide to join the minority, a very significant number would now form this group and the Senate president would have to work very hard in this situation. It hasn’t happened.

To date, these seven senators (including Senator Zubiri) have expressed that they are not joining the minority. For now, we know them as the Magic 7, an independent bloc. Since we have 24 independent republics at the Senate, at this moment in time it is clearly important for the new leadership to maintain continuous dialogue and support, considering that the remaining term in the Senate must be used to push for the work that is needed before the filing of election candidacies. Time is therefore of the essence and it seems like it is clear that political forces are indeed starting to align and my biggest take away from all of this is that, regardless of what has happened, and hearing it from a knowledgeable, long-serving and perhaps even battle-scarred political figure such as Franklin Drilon, the image of the independence of the Senate is not affected.

Considering that the good senator was actually replaced thrice as he narrated in his recent interview, again and I must say it was a real education for me to know that despite this, the Senate remained to be an independent institution not easily dictated upon by any power that be. Perhaps an even bigger take away from all this is on the cognitive level where, in terms of our political maturity, we must be able to understand that the recent events are showing us that there is no stable political party system in our country. It turns out that a few of those who actually stayed with Senator Zubiri belong to the same party as Senate President Escudero, which shows that there are no clear party lines. 

I fully agree with former Senate president Franklin Drilon when he says that there are practically a hundred and one political parties being a matter of convenience today, which is why reforms must finally be instituted in order to have a more stable political system in place. Needless to say, we have a lot of work to do.

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