MANILA, Philippines - The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Thursday criticized the Liberal Party of President Benigno Aquino III for wanting a "puppet" Senate that will not fiscalize the Aquino administration.
In a statement, UNA Spokesman JV Bautista said a "puppet Senate" under the LP will definitely lead to negotiated compromises between the executive and legislative branches of government.
"Senator Franklin Drilon and Sec. Edwin Lacierda want a puppet Senate. 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. What LP and Lacierda want is a Senate composed of ‘yes-’ men and women," he said.
UNA Secretary General Toby Tiangco said UNA has always been clear that it is a constructive opposition ready to support the President’s policies and programs that benefit the people.
He criticized the President’s spokesman for trying to pit Vice President Jejomar Binay against President Aquino.
UNA senatorial candidate Mitos Magsaysay denied the statement of Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda that UNA is an obstructive opposition group.
She said the opposition is necessary to provide the necessary checks and balances in government.
She said: “If the policy and programs of the administration are effective and beneficial to the people, we will support them 100%. But if we see that there are issues, policies and programs that need to be corrected, addressed and done away with because they don’t serve the interests of the people, we will definitely speak out.”
Another senatorial candidate, Nancy Binay, said UNA is a “true friend” that will point our mistakes and not sugarcoat the truth. Binay is the daughter of Vice-President Jejomar Binay.
For his part, San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito said UNA candidates should be seen as presenting themselves as alternatives to the administration ticket.
“The Senate is the people’s fiscalizer and pulse, and as such is better to remain independent than a rubber stamp. Nobody has a monopoly on who can say has the right, who is capable, or who loves the country,” Ejercito said.
LP allies make PNoy a lame duck
Ejercito also noted that the LP could not even field a complete slate, which is why they had to import bets from other rival parties.
He said some of the LP's candidates have a strong bond and solid affinity with UNA.
Re-electionist Sen. Gregorio Honasan and Magsaysay also chastised Drilon for saying that UNA wants to make Aquino a lame-duck President in his last 3 years in office.
Magsaysay said it is Aquino’s own allies in the LP that are making the President a lame duck. She claimed Aquino earlier promised funds to provinces and municipalities like Negros Oriental because they were devastated last year by an earthquake.
"The necessary papers needed to facilitate the release of 990 million pesos passed through the NDRRMC and Malacanang through the Executive Secretary and the DBM,” she said
She said that due to the intervention of the LP through Secretary Butch Abad, the amount was issued a negative SARO because the incumbent governor was not their party mate.