MANILA, Philippines – Senator Franklin Drilon has accused the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of allegedly trying to make President Benigno Aquino III a “lame duck” ever since he assumed office in 2010.
And the President himself, Drilon said, was “conscious” of that effort by UNA, headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay and former President Joseph Estrada.
“I am sure Toby won’t admit it. But the objective, in any not only in UNA, in general on opposition, for the last three years of this administration, (they) are trying to make this administration a lame duck,” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) Tuesday night.
Toby is Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco, secretary –general of UNA, who was also being interviewed on the same network. Drilon, meanwhile is the campaign manager of the Liberal Party-led coalition ticket.
“There is nothing wrong with that, by the way, because you compete for political power and therefore, part of that, you try to make the incumbent sitting President a lame duck. We are conscious of that. The President is conscious of that. And we draw the line. We will not be lame duck. We will have the majority of the people with us because we still have reforms to do,” Drilon said.
“Yes. Let us call a spade a spade. Maybe not in your show they will never admit that they are trying to make the President a lame duck. But in their internal meetings, natural iyon. Huwag na tayong maglokohan. Let’s call a spade a spade,” he said.
“But that’s a challenge for us. We will show that for the next three years, we will do things correctly; we will do things in a manner that a decent right-thinking will do regardless of a politics,” he added.
Tiangco, responding to Drilon’s statements, said he would not concede that they would like to make the President a lame duck.
“I agreed that we are competing with the LP, but we equally support the good programs of the administration. Yung LP lang ang katunggali namin sa pulitika,” Tiangco said.
“And the President happens to be our chairman,” Drilon said.
“But he also happens to be the President of the Philippines,” said the UNA spokesman.
Drilon then reiterated his call for UNA to draw the lines and admit that they are the opposition.
“I have always told Toby: let’s define the lines. We are the administration, you are the opposition. There is nothing wrong with that. In democracy, opposition is necessary,” said the senator.