Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa said on March 3 that he is not yet a statesman and he is still learning as senator. This is after the senate voted in favor of the resolution asking the Supreme Court to rule on senate’s role, whether its concurrence is needed or not, in abrogation of treaties.
On March 2, after the adoption of Senate Resolution No. 337, Senator Bato said that he was saddened and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon should be thankful because the minority bloc got a majority vote for the said resolution. Several administration senators believe that the President of the Republic is the chief architect of the country’s foreign policy.
However, some senators said that the resolution called for a conscience vote.
“There are certain bills, actions, issues that need a conscience vote. On these issues, you want to be a statesman, you want to protect the institution you represent. And, there are issues that we need to protect these institutions; to assert our right as a co-equal branch of government,” Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri said.
“This is what separates us from local politics. We are voted by 20 million Filipinos. And those who voted for us are from both sides of the camp, opposition or administration, they voted for us…When I got to the Senate, your priority, for me, is the Republic, and, all those who had voted for us,” Zubiri added.
Senator Ping Lacson said in a statement that “when we cast our vote on any matter under deliberation, we should be dictated only by our own conscience and what we honestly think is good for our country, and the institution where we belong – and not because of blind loyalty to any person or party. While loyalty is a virtue, blind loyalty is simply just that – blind.”
“Otherwise, we can no longer be the Senate of the people that we are supposed to be, but an expensive “rubber stamp” that our taxpayers have to sustain out of their hard-earned tax money,” Senator Lacson added. “Having said that, there is no reason to be saddened either way by the voting on Senate Resolution 337. That is democracy at work in the Senate.”
Senator dela Rosa said he is still learning. “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.
“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,” dela Rosa added.