Press Release
February 6, 2007


Senate President Manny Villar, while elated over the fact that during his leadership, the Senate passed a record number of bills, said that there is still a lot of work to be done at the Senate.

According to Villar, The 13th Congress is almost over and its been a productive and challenging one for the legislators. We faced a lot of issues and attacks. There were a lot of threats also that could have easily undermined our independence as an institution had we not stood our ground.

Villar is referring to, among others, to the hullabaloo caused by the Senate investigations and inquiriesfrom jueteng to the irregularities at the Philcomsat that triggered the Supreme Court (SC) to intervene in the dispute between the Senate and the officers of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) led by Camilo Sabio. The SC decision however favored the Senate.

In performing our sworn duties, we were hit by members of the agencies that were subjected to our inquiries. But since we had no malice in what we were doing and its just a case of trabaho lang, walang personalan, justice has been on our side, cites Villar.

In fact, even in a poll by the Social Weather Station (SWS), it was revealed that many agree with the Senate in forcing government officials to attend (public) hearing. Likewise, in another SWS poll, many disapprove of abolishing the Senate.

What made the 13th Congress extra challenging and controversial was the clamor from other sector to abolish the Senate. But there are still a lot of people who believe in the role of the Senate in the scheme of things especially in ensuring there is check and balance in the government, adds Villar.

Villar further cites, For me, the biggest accomplishment of the Senate is in our unity. We may have different points of view or opinions about issues and concerns, but when the Senate as an institution is being attacked, we have always been united in our stand.

In terms of numbers, under Villars presidency, the Senate was able to legislate into law 90 bills (as of February 5) of national and local application. It is expected that the 13th Congress will get the distinction of having the most number of bills passed. Villar himself consistently holds the distinction of having filed the most number of bills.

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