Press Release
July 24, 2006

Nomination Speech for Sen. Manny Villar
by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I believe the public is entitled to know why I supported the incoming chief of the Senate, Sen. Manuel Villar, in spite of the fact that I belong to the Minority or the Opposition of the Philippine Senate.

Mr. President, the media has reported that there are speculations that Senator Villar, or even Malacañang has struck a deal with my father President Joseph Estrada. For the record, I hereby state that there is no truth to these malicious and unfair imputations.

On behalf of President Estrada, I deny these allegations. My father will never strike a deal with anyone because he is confident that he will be acquitted and vindicated.

I signed the said resolution in support of the gentleman's agreement, forged between him and Senate President Drilon. But this does not mean that I am abandoning the Opposition and my fight for truth and justice against the illegitimate government of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Mr. President, for the past few months, I have been very much concerned about the calls for the abolition of the Senate. I believe, even before I became a Senator, there have been movements calling for the Senate's abolition due to its alleged dismal and lackluster performance. There were allegations that the Senate's existence is a sheer waste of taxpayer's money.

This attack against the integrity of the Senate is further aggravated with the issuance of Proclamation No. 464 which I consider an affront to the leadership and integrity of this institution.

With his business acumen, managerial expertise, excellent understanding of human nature and with our support and cooperation, it is believed that Senator Villar could harness the Senate back to its former glory, thereby restoring the trust and confidence of the people to this institution as a bulwark of democracy.

This representation has complete trust and confidence that Senator Villar would maintain the independence of the Senate from Malacañang . However, Mr. President, once this representation has seen that the independence of the Senate from Malacañang is being compromised, then I will not hesitate to immediately withdraw my support from Senator Villar.

Thank you very much.

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