Senate needs opposition, says UNA

  • US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow

    US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow

    AFP News
    US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers on Monday will kick off expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening defence alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China's increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial

    Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial

    AFP News
    Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said Saturday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipina he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will on Monday kick off 10-day annual military excercises, according to Captain Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

  • Philippine Airlines parent says back in black

    Philippine Airlines parent says back in black

    AFP News
    Philippine Airlines parent says back in black

    Philippine Airlines' parent firm said it had returned to profitability, the first time in three years either entity reported being in the black for an entire year. In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange Thursday, PAL Holdings reported an after-tax net profit of 129.74 million pesos ($2.93 million) in its fiscal year to December 31. …

  • Survivor: Smugglers locked hundreds in hold of capsized boat

    Survivor: Smugglers locked hundreds in hold of capsized boat

    Associated Press
    Survivor: Smugglers locked hundreds in hold of capsized boat

    ROME (AP) — A smuggler's boat crammed with hundreds of people overturned off Libya's coast as rescuers approached, causing what could be the Mediterranean's deadliest known migrant tragedy and intensifying pressure on the European Union Sunday to finally meet demands for decisive action. …

  • Utility: No leaks found in California gas line that exploded

    Associated Press

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A gas pipeline that exploded at a sheriff's gun range in Central California had been inspected twice in April for gas leaks, and no leaks were found, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said Sunday. …

Vice President Jejomar Binay calls for a strong opposition in the Senate during the UNA rally in Tondo on May 10. …By MELISSA LUZ LOPEZ, VERA Files

There must always be a political opposition in a true democracy.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, along with candidates and key government leaders from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), stressed the importance of a dissenting voice in the Senate at the party’s miting de avance at Plaza Morga on Friday.

“There must be an opposition who will always be guiding whether this government will be fighting for the cause of the poor,” said Binay, who won the vice presidential race in 2010 under the UNA slate.

The vice president expressed alarm over the claims of the administration party that the latter would claim all 12 senatorial seats on May 13, and asked the people watch the elections closely.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile added, “Kaya sinasabi nilang (LP) 12-0 dahil gusto nilang makontrol ang Senado. Dapat ang Senado ay malaya, walang kinikilalang amo kundi kayo (The LP says it will be 12-0 because it wants to manipulate the Senate. The Senate should be free and should not cater to any master but the people).”

Enrile stressed the need for a genuine, responsible and critical voice of the opposition to achieve an independent “Senate of the people.”

Binay, Enrile and former President Joseph Estrada, who was also at the miting de avance, make up the troika that has been leading UNA, a coalition between the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.

Reacting to claims that UNA senatorial bets lacked the competence to be in Congress, Binay introduced the party’s candidates as skilled and experienced political leaders.

Subok na po ang record namin (Our record has been tried and tested),” said incumbent Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, who is seeking reelection.

Jack Enrile, the son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and incumbent representative of the first district of Cagayan, said he would strengthen the country’s agriculture industry to ensure lower food prices if elected senator.

Empowering provinces to locally generate their food source would create more jobs for Filipinos, the younger Enrile said.

Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri pledged an expanded version of the universal healthcare law, which he said is already being implemented in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

He said such healthcare provision is in place in Makati, where residents are given free access to medical services and given free medicines.  The Binays have reigned over Makati for more than decades.

Zubiri resigned as senator in August 2011, a week before the Senate Electoral Tribunal ruled in favor of Aquilino Pimentel III’s petition alleging that fraud had attended Zubiri’s election in 2007.  The resignation followed an admission by provincial election supervisor Lintang Bedol of massive fraud in Maguindanao where Zubiri had won heavily.

Pimentel is running for reelection under the administration Liberal Party.

Three-term Zambales Rep. Maria Milagros Esperanza “Mitos” Magsaysay, dubbed “Senator Libre” also for her local measures on free healthcare, added that she would focus on education which, she said, would help Filipinos secure stable jobs.

UNA boasts of a slate of skilled and experienced politicians. Photo by VINCENT GO

In his campaign, Joseph Victor “JV” Estrada explained how he as mayor was able to generate livelihood in San Juan City, and threw his support for his father, former President Estrada, who is running as mayor in Manila.

Former Sen. Ernesto Maceda said he would initiate the creation of three million jobs a year and guaranteed to push for free tuition in all state universities and colleges.

Maceda, 78, also pledged to raise the discount currently enjoyed by senior citizens from 20 to 30 percent for food and basic goods and services, and added that students should be accorded the same benefits, which he called the “junior citizens’ discount.”

Political newbie Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay, who has fashioned herself as a “nanay de pamilya,” vowed to allot more funds for education and healthcare.

The eldest daughter and personal assistant of Vice President Binay said she believes she can carry on the family’s legacy in public service.

Former senator Loi Estrada, her son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and local UNA candidates like incumbent Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno joined the miting de avance.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”)

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Phl aviation has met int’l safety standards – CAAP
    Phl aviation has met int’l safety standards – CAAP

    The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said that the country’s aviation has met international safety standards and is currently being reviewed by the European Union. Members of the EU delegation recently made a courtesy call on CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss III. Beda Badiola, CAAP’s Flight Standards and Inspectorate Service chief, said all air carriers in the country have followed regulations that the agency was able to oversee properly according to standards. “They …

  • Absence of full-time PNP chief affecting police services
    Absence of full-time PNP chief affecting police services

    Despite the pronouncement of the leadership of the Philippine National Police that it’s business as usual, some basic services are undeniably affected by the absence of a full-time PNP chief, particularly the issuance of gun permits. The PNP had deferred the issuance of permits to carry firearms outside residence (PTCFOR) since Dec. 3, a day before the Office of the Ombudsman slapped a six-month suspension on former PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, who is facing plunder charges. …

  • Expanded Phl-US war games start today
    Expanded Phl-US war games start today

    The Philippines and the United States will kick off today this year’s Balikatan military exercises amid concerns over China’s reclamation activities in disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea. More than 11,000 Filipino and American troops will join the drills to be held simultaneously in different locations until April 30. …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options