New Senate minority bloc: Only constructive criticisms to P-Noy administration

August 3, 2010 11:03 am 

By Jelly F. Musico

MANILA, Aug. 2 –- Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday assured President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III that the new minority bloc in the Senate would be constructive in giving criticisms.

”We in the minority commit to be constructive when we criticize; be cooperative in our watchfulness; harmonious even when we at times need to raise issues that could be perceived as being disruptive,” Cayetano said in his traditional counter-state of the nation address (SONA) he delivered during the Senate session.

While supporting the President’s advocacy for clean and honest government, Cayetano said they would be vocal when the Aquino administration’s actions are no longer following what the President has promised to the Filipino people.

”We will watch that the administration of President Aquino would remain on the right way. We know what the Filipino people expect of us: to be supportive of the Administration, when it is doing right, and to challenge it to do even more or make the reforms faster and more meaningful,” Cayetano said.

He likened the President to a basketball coach giving instruction in a crucial last two minutes of the game, Cayetano urged the President to field the best and the brightest to get the work done based on what the people expect from him.

”When the challenges are so high and the public’s expectations even higher, we cannot gamble with not having the best of the best at the helm. Basketball may not be the President’s favorite sport, but the basketball-loving Filipino people know that during crunch time, during the last two minutes, a coach must have his first five on the floor,” Cayetano said.

”As The President has shown that he is willing in certain instances to go out of his circle of supporters to find the best and the brightest, We in the Opposition will do our best to help him make sure he has the best and the brightest to assist him with the work ahead,” he added.

The opposition leader in the Senate also challenged President Aquino to got after not only the big fish but the "crocodiles and sharks" who continue to steal the people’s money.

”We, in the Opposition believe that this Administration has a unique opportunity and mandate to not only fight graft and corruption, but even ending it. Show them that your government means business. This is the chilling effect everyone has been wanting and waiting for in dealing with the corrupt,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano said that the Senate minority bloc is “one with President Aquino in seeking to achieve all the promises of his Administration at the earliest possible time.”

The lawmaker asked the President to be on guard of the people whom he entrusted to perform and deliver the promises of change.

”We are also aware that not everyone now with the Administration was always with us in that good and noble fight! The President should look at his own backyard that not all of his men right now were not with him in his fight before,” Cayetano warned.

Cayetano urged also the President to maintain his almost 90 percent approval rating by being careful with the decisions he would make while taking the right course of his government.

”That President Aquino today enjoys almost 90% approval rating is something to cheer about. But I need not tell him how quickly that support will dissipate if he is not careful about those who seek to endear themselves to him,” Cayetano said.

”It is the role of the opposition to remind the administration to be true to its course. To maintain the right way,” he added.

Cayetano ended his speech by assuring the President of the Senate minority’s support for good governance.

”Rest assured that while we may differ as to the means, our having fought in the trenches together for the establishment of a government that is honest, that is transparent and that is legitimate guarantees that our end-goals are the same,” Cayetano said.

Aside from Cayetano, another members of the Senate minority bloc include senators Joker Arroyo, Pia Cayetano and Miriam Defensor-Santiago. (PNA) V3/jfm


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