Press Release
June 10, 2010


On the title LP Senatorial Campaign Manager

Yes, the function is new. Before, during the midterm elections wala 'yan, kasi wala pang presidential elections noon. But for this recent elections, we were apprehensive na baka masyadong ma- focus ang LP doon sa presidential and vice presidential campaign at may possibility na somehow, in one way or another, ma- left out ang mga candidates na senatorial slots. So, we felt it best to put a separate campaign manager for the senatorial slate. And I think the result naman ay maganda. We had largest number of winners in terms of the ticket. We also had practically half of the top 15. So, we were able to come up with a very good performance compared to the other tickets.

On LP's quest for the Senate top post

On why there two candidates of the Liberal Party for the top Senate post

After almost a decade in the Senate nothing surprises me anymore, but we have had a process and the process is being continuously undertaken in the party, wherein we have agreed in principle na isa lamang ang magiging kandidato ng Partido Liberal. There have been consultations, meetings and discussions on this issue. In the end you will see that there's only one candidate from the Liberal Party for the position of the Senate president.

On who will decide or choose whether it will be Drilon or KIKO as the official candidate of LP for the contest of the Senate Presidency

There are three layers of conflict resolution: 1) between me and Frank; 2) between the core members of the core party in the Senate; 3) and more important, between the 13 senators in the Senate who would like to choose their Senate President. Ito ang layers on how we are to process and resolve the issue. Kasi, kahit na magkasundo kami sa partido na ako o si Frank ang kandidato namin, kung wala naman kaming 13, di ilista lang sa tubig ang aming kasunduan sa partido. But definitely only one from the LP will secure the 13. 'Yan ang aming ultimate objective na napagkasunduan namin when we sat down with President- elect Noynoy Aquino, Sen. Ralph Recto, Sen. Roxas, Sen. TG Guingona and Sen. Frank Drilon.

On asking the support of other senators for the LP candidate as Senate president

Gusto kong bigyang diin na hind Liberal Party ang mag-decide kung sino ang maging Senate president. Labing tatlong senators 'yan. Apat lang kami. Kaya 'yung siyam, napakahalaga at kailangang mag reach- out kami at hikayatin sila na sumama na tulungan natin si President- elect Aquino na maitulak ang kanyang anti- corruption and anti- poverty agenda, at sa sinumang nakahandang tumulong bukas tayo sa pakikipag- alyansa.

On when will the LP can choose who between Frank and Kiko will be fielded for the Senate presidency.

We still have six weeks before the opening of the 15th Congress, but the sooner we can resolve it the better. Early next week we will have a meeting with the core team to discuss this matter. Sa aming pag- uusap earlier with President- elect Aquino, mas gugustuhin niya magkakaroon muna ng kasunduan na hindi na muna siya ang nakikialam.

As to who are inclined or possible supporters for LP's quest for the Senate presidency

Our natural allies would be Senators Osmeña, Escudero. I'd like to think we can work on persuading Sen. Sotto, after all he was also endorsed by Kris. Hopefully, also Senator Honasan who had publicly stated that he is willing to move on and help President- elect Aquino. Sen. Jinggoy and Senate President Enrile likewise have said that they are willing to work and help President- elect Aquino. We also talked with Senator Angara at ang lahat ng bukas para tulungan si President- elect Aquino.

On the possibility of term- sharing

Hindi ako masyadong pabor sa concept ng term- sharing dahil hindi naman ito usapin ng dalawang senators lamang. Ito ay usapin ng 13 senators.

On the possibility of Enrile to be retained as SP

Maari as a compromise candidate. Kung may stalemate. But if wala siyang 13 votes, hindi maganda. It does not speak well of the Senate if any of us cannot even get 13.

On the role of LP on the composition of Noynoy's Cabinet

We were consulted. I for one, I am being consulted on some of the Cabinet posts, particularly with respect to the justice system and the judiciary. I was part of the study group that put together the reform agenda for our justice system. That's the role I'm playing now as LP.

Merong expectations ang LP members and supporters to get Cabinet positions. But we have to look into the qualifications, and I know that there are many in the LP who are qualified.

On GMA's midnight appointments

May information ako ng natatanggap na hanggang ngayon si President Arroyo ay tinatawagan ang mga midnight appointees at hinihikayat sila na huwag mag resign. Kasama na diyan si Gen. Bangit. Dati kasi iniisip si Gen. Bangit mag resign. Tinatawagan sila ni President Arroyo at sinasabi huwag kayong mag resign. Illegal na nga 'yung appointment tapos tumatawag pa siya. Hindi na ngayon 'Hello Garci, Helo Delfin na." Yung legacy niya ay tumawag, gumawa ng illegal na utos.The information I am receiving is that the President herself, she is building a phalanx of GMA loyalists, who when she steps down she hopes will rally behind her and protect her back. Thereby creating more problems for the new administration.

On Angara's position on the senate presidency and his party's support for LP

Sen. Angara can contribute a lot in terms of being able to help provide directions and priorities in terms of legislations. Nothing definite from Sen. Angara. We have also spoken separately with Sen. Migs Zubiri. We have also spoken with Jinggoy, JPE. We continue to try and work in reaching 13 so we can build a strong majority. Sen. Angara said that publicly, and he said that to me as well. Sabi niya hindi daw siya interesado mag Senate President. Ang gusto lang niya ay palakasin ang legislative agenda na nais nilang itulak.

On the Official stand of LP on the political party reform measure being pushed by Angara Based on my own experience sa mga party discussions, we really need to strengthen the political party system in our country. If we are to raise the level of political debate in this country, we have to strengthen our political parties. We also have to provide state subsidy to political parties, political party reforms is something I'd like to see. Quite a number of bills have been filed providing for state subsidy for political parties.

On cabinet post and losing LP candidates

I for one am being consulted on some on the cabinet posts, particularly with respect with the justice system and the judiciary. I was part of the study group that put together the agenda for the justice system of the Aquino/Roxas campaign. I suppose that's the role that I am playing as LP. We have provided a number of names to President-elect Aquino for his consideration. So ultimately, that is his decision. Ang sa akin, in a model LP, let's look at qualifications. And having said that, I know there are a lot, hindi lahat LP that are qualified. More than party affiliation, I think it is whether or not you are fit for the job or not. Hindi naman lahat na sumoporta kay President Aquino ay may kakayahan. Hindi dahil sumoporta ay dahil bibiyan ng position.

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