MAR ROXAS has just served notice that he is indeed running for President of the Philippines in 2010. The Liberal Party's leader-emeritus, former Senator Jovito Salonga introduced him recently as the next President of the country. In what ABSCBN News billed as "a rare political outburst" Senator Roxas last week decried the ironic fate of the Opposition in the Senate, which does not control it, despite having clearly won the people's mandate in the midterm elections last May.
Here is how Senate President Manny Villar, in his acceptance speech to Senate colleagues last week, interpreted the May election results:
Over the years, the Senate has been the subject of much criticism and doubt, leading many to conclude that it is best to abolish it. However, the recently concluded senatorial elections only emphasized the Senate's crucial role in the balance of power among its co-equal branches of government. The overwhelming consensus was that the Philippine Senate must maintain its institutional independence, beholden to no political power but to the sovereignty of the Filipino people. No less than the will of the people validated this.He also throws in as an after-thought later in the speech that,
And yes, we will continue to carry out our investigative duties as part of our power of oversight. Shenanigans in government should never be condoned.Shenanigans? Is that what he thinks oversight is all about? Shenanigans? And to think he was the flag bearer of the Genuine Opposition.
Oh well, some say it looks like an old-style pre-Marcos Liberal Party versus Nacionalista party election shaping up in 2010. But I think Mar's gonna have problems with Loren and Ping in the Minority, just as Manny will have problems with Kiko and Chiz in the Majority, while still pleasing Gloria and JPE. Maybe Chiz will get Ways and Means and Alan Peter Cayetano the Blue Ribbon. Or maybe not, but I don't think the Senate configuration is fixed in stone by any means. It could change at any time depending on what promises are kept and what events transpire.