Hontiveros on Marcos as chair of Senate electoral reforms committee: ‘A bit surreal’
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday said that it was “surreal” to see a member of the Marcos family, in particular Senator Imee Marcos, taking charge of the Senate’s electoral reforms committee.
“It was a bit surreal coming from sa isang Martial Law baby […] given our Martial Law history and our largely unresolved history about the dictatorship,” Hontiveros said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
However, she assured that she can work with Senator Marcos, daughter of late former President Ferdinand Marcos, on issues that they would agree on.
“But again, I am prepared to work with anyone where we have common advocacies. For example with Senator Imee on the issue against lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility,” Hontiveros explained.
“Let me put it this way, alam naman ng lahat kung ano ‘yong posisyon ko on what still needs to be resolved on the issues of human rights violations and plunder during the Marcos (regime), Martial Law dictatorship. Hindi naman nagbabago ‘yon,” she added.
Various issues have plagued the more than two-decades rule of the late President Marcos. One of these was alleged electoral fraud during the 1978 parliamentary elections and the 1986 “snap” elections.
Since Imee Marcos’ name was floated as chair of the said committee, people warned against a possible conflict of interest as her brother, former Senator Bongbong Marcos, had filed an electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo in connection with the 2016 Vice Presidential race.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III has assured that there would not be such issues as the bills to be tackled by the committee would not affect the electoral protest.
On not voting for Sotto
Hontiveros during the same interview also clarified that the Minority bloc has nothing against Sotto, after they refused to vote during the elections for the Senate presidency on Monday.
“Ministerial ‘yon on the part of the Minority, we constitute the minority because we didn’t support, through our vote at least on the floor, the winning Senate president,” Hontiveros said.
“But I had said in the run-up to the organization of the 18th Congress na sa karanasan namin sa minority, SP Tito had dealt with us fairly, at kahit nagde-debate kami sa pulitika, in large part we could see his effort to uphold the independence of the Senate,” she added.
Sotto was re-elected on Monday, after no other candidates were nominated. The voting process was through viva voce, although Hontiveros, along with opposition Senators Franklin Drilon and Francis Pangilinan abstained. /muf
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