‘Sorry I am not a statesman, I’m just an ordinary senator’ – Dela Rosa
MANILA, Philippines — Sorry to disappoint those who expect Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to be a statesman, but he is not just ready yet.
Dela Rosa himself admitted this on Tuesday and he feels sorry for it.
“So di naman ibig sabihin na porke I voted in abstention ay parochial mentality na ako, naging local politician na ako? Eh gusto daw nila para maging statesman ang dating mo, iba ‘yung paningin mo,” he said in an interview at the Senate on Tuesday.
(So it does not mean that just because I voted in abstention I already have a parochial mentality; that I have already become a local politician? They say they want me to act like a statesman so I’d have a different perspective.)
“Sorry, I am not a statesman, sorry hindi ako statesman. Ordinaryong senador lang ako; hindi pa ako statesman. ‘Yun lang ang makaya ko muna ngayon, ‘di pa ako statesman pa,” he added.
(Sorry I am not a statesman. I’m just an ordinary senator; I’ m not yet a statesman. That’s the only thing I can do now, I’m not a statesman yet.)
The issue of being a statesman was mentioned by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri after the upper chamber, voting 12-0 with 7 abstentions, adopted Monday night a resolution urging the Supreme Court to rule if Senate concurrence is necessary when terminating a treaty.
After the voting, several senators stood up on the floor, including Senate Minority Franklin Drilon, who expressed dismay over their failure to get a unanimous vote on the resolution.
Drilon explained that those who voted for the resolution, including him, only want the high court to define the constitutional boundaries, “nothing else, nothing more.”
But Dela Rosa said Drilon should be thankful since the latter still got the majority support on the issue despite his being part of the minority bloc.
Zubiri joined the discussion on the Senate floor and said, “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.”
Dela Rosa stood by his decision to abstain from voting on the resolution.
“I am learning from them but while learning, they cannot dictate me whatever they want to…,” he said during Tuesday’s interview.
“Hindi naman sila nagdidikta sa amin pero I have to stand my ground because that is my firm belief na walang ambiguity, wala akong kailangang itanong sa Supreme Court.”
(They are not dictating on us but I have to stand my ground because that is my firm belief that there’s no ambiguity, I do not need to ask anything to the Supreme Court)
The senator reiterated there was nothing in the Constitution that clearly requires Senate concurrence when abrogating a treaty.
“Wala namang sinabi doon eh bakit ko pa tanungin ang (There’s no mention there so why still ask the) Supreme Court?” he said.
“Maybe there is ambiguity if you want to overreach dun sa power ng executive. Ano, gusto mong gamitin ‘yung rason ng ambiguity para lang manghimasok ka sa powers ng ibang branch? “ Dela Rosa further asked.
(Maybe there is ambiguity if you want to overreach the power of the executive. What, you want to use ambiguity as a reason to encroach in another branch’s powers?)
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