MANILA — As the 12 newly-elected senators gathered up on stage for their proclamation Wednesday, a political analyst noted that the lineup of lawmakers- which included reelectionists, returning lawmakers and neophytes- was a vision of "continuity" rather than change.
"First comment on the images we saw on TV was it's striking because the images are that of continuity more than change. We have a batch of senators, many of them are re-electionists," UP political science professor Ranjit Rye told ANC.
Twelve winning senators were proclaimed on Wednesday, 9 of whom were endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter, in midterm elections that showed the weight of his endorsement and the emergence of the south as a voting bloc.
Five were re-electionists, four were returning senators, and the remaining three were neophytes.
RUBBER STAMP SENATE?
Greater influence over the Senate will help the 74-year-old Duterte fulfill his campaign promises in the last 3 years of his term, including shifting to a federal form of government to spread wealth to the countryside and lowering corporate taxes to lure more investors.
"All indicators point that the president will have a greater consensus now that the opposition is much weaker," said Rye.
He, however, said that while majority of senators could support some legislative measures of the administration, the issue of Charter change and federalism "is not a done deal."
"It's independence will also be a product of the individual goals of the senator... Let's not forget that quite a number of them had indicated or showing interest for 2022."
Rye added this could affect the independence of the Senate.
"We can't expect [the Senate] to be a rubber stamp. Many of the senators have different plans for 2022. Campaigning for that period is already starting now," he said.