Dela Rosa draws flak over ‘majority vote’ remark on Senate reso OK
MANILA, Philippines — Neophyte Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa got schooled by more seasoned colleagues after he remarked that Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon should be thankful that a resolution the latter co-sponsored got the majority vote.
Dela Rosa made the remark after Drilon, who has served in the upper chamber for 21 years, expressed sadness because the Senate “could not even get a unanimous vote…even on just a simple resolution.”
Drilon was referring to Senate Resolution No. 337 which seeks to ask for the Supreme Court to clarify the chamber’s role in treaty abrogation.
The Senate leadership’s planned petition before the Supreme Court follows the unilateral withdrawal of the Philippines from the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States.
The resolution got 12 yes votes, seven abstentions and no negative votes.
“All that we’re asking the Supreme Court is to define our constitutional boundaries. Nothing else, nothing more,” Drilon said after the resolution was adopted on Monday.
“We are in fact asking the Supreme Court to rule on this issue. And for all you know, the Supreme Court may rule that the Senate’s concurrence is not necessary, and that settles the issue or the Senate may rule hat the Senate’s concurrence is necessary, again that settles the issue,” he added.
Drilon said this as he expressed his disappointment over the narrow majority vote the resolution was able to receive from the chamber.
“That is why it saddens me that we cannot even get a unanimous vote to go the Supreme Court to answer that question,” he added.
Dela Rosa expressed his own sadness on how the majority bloc was not able to get the majority vote.
“So pasalamat sana si minority leader…he is from the minority group but he got the majority vote. So dapat nagpasalamat siya don,” Dela Rosa said.
Some senior members of the Senate, however, disagreed with Dela Rosa.
Sen. Migz Zubiri said that “there are certain bills, actions, issues that need a conscience vote.”
“I’ve been In the Senate for over six years and Congress since 1998. On these issues you want to be a statesman, you want to protect the institution you represent. There are issues that we need to protect these institutions; to assert our right as a co-equal branch of government and where we could stand above the fray, ika nga,” he said.
“When you enter the Senate, it is altogether a different story. I’ve been in the House, my priority was my constituents. When I got to the Senate, your priority, for me, Mr. President, is the Republic, and, all those who had voted for us,” he said.
“Sana huwag tayo magka samaan ng loob, dahil ito po, para sa amin, ay para sa institusyon. My vote is not against the President but to protect our institution on future questions that may arise on future administrations,” Zubiri further said.
Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who was also a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief like Dela Rosa, echoed the majority leader.
“I just would like to disabuse the mind of my former comrade-in-arms in the PNP. I voted not against the President. I voted for the institution where I belong called the Senate of the Philippines. So that’s also my explanation of my vote,” Lacson said.
The cancelation of Dela Rosa’s 10-year multiple-entry tourist US visa led President Duterte to move for abolition of the two-decades-old military accord.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.