The “muse” of the Senate’s so-called macho bloc has been advised to conquer her fear of debating with her would-be colleagues when the new Congress convenes on July 22.
Senator-elect Nancy Binay, who in jest referred to herself as the muse or the only female in the minority bloc in the 16th Congress, said she finds calm in the thought that she’d be under the tutelage of veteran lawmakers like former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
“As Senator Jinggoy [Estrada] and the other members of the minority bloc said … in the end I have to conquer the fear,” Binay told reporters when asked about having to debate with her fellow senators.
Estrada said the four veterans in the macho bloc—himself, Enrile, Vicente Sotto III and reelected Gregorio Honasan—will be on hand to assist the newcomers in their group, like Binay and the other new senator-elect, JV Ejercito Estrada. They will constitute the minority or opposition bloc in the new Senate.
During the campaign, Binay became the subject of harsh criticisms in the social media after she dismissed administration candidate Risa Hontiveros’ challenge to a debate.
The daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, a political newbie compared to the two-term party-list representative, said she’d rather meet the electorate rather than engage in a debate during the campaign.
Binay said there would be plenty of time to debate in the Senate.
Binay won but Hontiveros lost in the election.
Binay paid a courtesy call on acting Senate President Estrada, an ally in the United Nationalist Alliance, Wednesday afternoon.
Estrada told her: “The first time I sat [in the Senate] in 2004, the veteran senators were the ones who tested our mettle.”
Estrada gave Binay a tour of the Senate building and introduced her to the upper chamber’s officers and employees, as well as the media representatives covering the chamber.
Asked if she was relieved that she was an ally of longtime lawmakers like Enrile and Estrada, Binay answered in the affirmative.
“[From] the beginning, when I filed my candidacy, they took care of me, especially Senate President Enrile,” Binay said.
“They will receive all sorts of advice and support from me. That’s what we agreed during our caucus,” Estrada said.
Binay said she’s already in the process of drafting bills that she intends to file.
“Children will be the focus,” Binay said of the bills she and her staff would be crafting.