New Senate won't be Duterte's rubberstamp, says Angara

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2019 05:35 PM | Updated as of May 15 2019 08:50 PM

MANILA - Senator Sonny Angara on Wednesday said that it would be difficult to say if the new Senate would give automatic approval to President Rodrigo Duterte's agenda even if majority of pro-administration bets are poised to win in the elections.

Partial and unofficial results of Monday's poll show Hugpong ng Pagbabago bets in the Top 12, except for Sen. Jinggoy Estrada.

"It's difficult to say that. Don't forget the president already has a supermajority of 17 senators," he said on ANC's Headstart.

Angara said that even with that, bills like the death penalty has not been passed in the Senate.

"It hasn't been smooth sailing for all these bills which were initially pushed by the president because they're tackled on their own merits and senators tend to have their own positions," he said.

DUTERTE AVALANCHE

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Angara described the campaign season as a "Duterte Avalanche" based on partial and unofficial poll results.

"I think that would summarize it because if you look at the winners, the opposition did not produce a single candidate and the three non-members of the administration coalition whether HNP or PDP will also probably be members of the majority," he said.

Angara ranks 6 with 17,777,766    votes, based on 96.38% of election returns from clustered precincts as of 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Angara said he liked what the administration did in the first three years and would like to constructively work with them.

"The free college, they pushed for universal healthcare, free irrigation, free Wi-Fi---all of these laws which are quite impressive legislative achievements. Of course you want another three years of that," he said.

Meanwhile, the reelectionist senator said he does not regret pushing for the tax reform package but admits the measure may need "some tweaking."

"We should study the impact of excise tax vis-a-vis the social mitigating measures of the unconditional cash transfer," he said

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He added that the new Congress should also study the government's second tax reform package which lowers corporate tax and rationalizes fiscal incentives.

"When you rationalize fiscal incentives, it's the details that matter kasi you promised that to the investor. The reputation of the Philippines is on the line with the trabaho bill," he said.