Press Release
August 19, 2012


1. On LDP-LP Coalition...

Senator Angara (SEJA): Most likely, I think the chances are very high that the LDP will coalesce with the ruling coalition of President Aquino. Actually, the President has already selected one of our members, Cong. Sonny Angara, in its slate. So, I think the probability is very high that we will join that coalition. Pero informal pa lang.

The decision point ngayon in this particular election has been accelerated. Normally, we don't decide until about December or January kung yung old filing of certificate schedule was followed. Kasi sa national, ang last day ng filing ng certificate in the old system is February 15 and local is March 15. So normally, we don't decide on the coalition until about late December or early January. But ngayon, they advanced the filing of certificate so you've got to make up your mind before October 1 so na-accelerate ang decision point on alliances, on who will be your candidate, on who will be your torchbearer in 81 provinces. Ganun ang nangyari dito eh.

We don't lay down the rules on how they will and who they will align with in the local levels. Medyo kumplikado ang alliances sa local level. In the national, ever since I joined a political party in 1992, the rule of thumb is don't level with the conflicts on the local level kasi napakahirap i-resolve yan. Otherwise, the national leadership would be in mess in many countless local disputes. So the settlement of local disputes on who will be the candidate you will align with will leave to the local chapters.

LP is the leader of the coalition. So when we align with LP, meaning, we are going to align with the LP-led coalition. So automatic yan, we will be aligned with NP, LP and LDP. Whatever are the conditions and terms acceptable to the other alliances and partners, we will also accept. In effect, parang formality na lang ang hinihintay para sa coalition ng LP at LDP. Maybe this month. Binibigyan lang namin ng thinking time. Maaaring hinihintay na lang natin na yung three other political parties will close any gaps. But in our part, wala ng gap.

2. On political party system...

SEJA: I'm one of the advocates of a clear-cut party system. Sapagkat kung hindi clear-cut ang party system at walang platform at ideology, madali nang lumipat at hindi lalakas ang ating demokrasya. We act and exercise our democratic rights and privileges through our representatives. Eh kung yung representative mo, ngayon member mo, kinabukasan hindi mo na member, anong klaseng representative democracy iyon? Show lang iyon. I don't want that. I think part of the problem of our nation and our development is our weak party system.

Tingnan mo, kung we have a definite party system, predictable na. Kung yang si Juan, congressman pa lang or senador magiging lider na ng partidong iyan, sapagkat si Juan hindi palipat-lipat. So it's predictable na in one generation, si Juan can become the leader of the party and also the leader of the nation. Kung iakw ay magaling sa LP or NP, for sure, you can predict that itong si Mr. X can become the next president. Pero ngayon sa panahon natin, the leader can come from nowhere which I think is also not good because the main pillar of a representative government is the party system. That's why I believe in a very strong party system and that's why I filed the Political Party Development Act. And I hope the new generation of national leaders and even the local leaders will now begin to realize that part of our boom-and-bust development is our lack of or the weakness of our party system.

3. Reaction on reports that Pres. Aquino was dissatisfied with JBC's shortlist of nominees to chief justice...

SEJA: Hindi na nga shortlist yun eh. There are eight names di ba? Big list na nga iyon. Ano pa ba ang kulang? Yun ang constitutional mechanism for screening candidates eh. Constitutional requirement yun. I don't see any compelling reason why the president would return the list to the JBC. Because the way I see it, those 22 who pre-qualified represented the cream of the legal and judicial sector. Kung ibabalik mo pa iyan, more or less the same list would go back to you. In the past, before the 1987 Constitution, the nominee to Chief Justice is chosen solely by the president, and then it goes to the Commission on Appointments. There was no JBC. Mabuti nga ngayon, the president has a wider leeway to choose from. Kasi kung siya lamang ang mamimili, sinong papakinggan niya? But this one, naging professional and representative ang small body ng JBC who recommends the nominees to him. Therefore, I think it is a more rational selection process than in the past. Kanya-kanyang perception ng merit and qualification iyan. The nominees may not have met the great high standards that he's expecting but that's natural. That's no reason to return the list.

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