‘I am not alone,’ Hontiveros says of win
MANILA, Philippines — As the lone opposition voice left in the 24-member Senate, Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday said she did not believe she would be alone among her colleagues in asserting the chamber’s independence from the administration of president-apparent Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“I will not stop speaking, and I will not be alone, and I am not alone. For one, I will never forget the people’s campaign we embarked on and I believe that the energy it ignited would not just end on the day of the election,” she said in Filipino.
Based on partial and unofficial results of the senatorial election, Hontiveros emerged as the only opposition senator to make it to the winning circle of 12.
Of the three other minority senators, one, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, is retiring; another, detained Sen. Leila de Lima, has lost her reelection bid; and Sen. Francis Pangilinan ran for vice president and lost. Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV also lost his comeback bid.
But Hontiveros said she believed that once the new Senate organized itself in July, she would be able to find colleagues willing to join her in the minority bloc.
Interviewed on ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, the senator vowed to push for a minority bloc that “will continue to advance meaningful legislation for our people.”
The Senate, according to Hontiveros, “can and should” retain its independence from the executive branch.
“I believe I will not be alone. And no matter how difficult that scenario might seem, I will work hard for a true and strong minority in the Senate that will not shame the Senate’s tradition of independence from the incoming administration,” she said.
Hontiveros noted that even the current composition of the Senate, under Senate President Vicente Sotto III, had been able to stand up to the administration “in various degrees” and perform checks and balances on executive policy.
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