Press Release
September 30, 2015

"Senate 5" will not go at each other's throats

With five senators vying for higher posts, including three partymates for one position, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph G. Recto hopes that the 2016 contest among the five "will not be a take-no-prisoners bruising fight" but something that is "fierce but friendly, intense but clean."

"You've been in the same room for quite some time, seatmates even, you chair hearings together, you eat together in the lounge. So I don't think civility will be thrown out of the window once the official campaigning starts," Recto said.

"Familiarity should breed friendship, not contempt," he added.

"Sabi nila that the gloves will be off. Pero ako I always believe in the better angels of our nature. Ako naniniwala na each of the five believes that an election should not be a friendship-ending event. There is always a revolving-door in the Senate. Babalik ka rin dito. Kaya mahirap bumalik with a heavy baggage containing below-the-belt things you've said against your colleague in the heat of the campaign," Recto explained.

"You can disagree without demonizing each other. You can lock horns on policies but don't stab your opponents' backs with lies," he explained.

The five Recto referred to are Sen. Grace Poe, who has announced her candidacy for the presidency; Sen. Chiz Escudero, who is Poe's running mate; Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who announced his vice presidential run in Davao City on Tuesday; Sen. Antonio Trillanes, who is also gunning for the No. 2 post; and Sen. Bongbong Marcos, who announced Monday that he will be aspiring for a "higher position."

Cayetano, Trillanes and Marcos are all Nacionalista Party stalwarts.

Recto described the "four gentlemen and one lady" as all qualified for the posts they are aspiring for. "You can quote me on this: Lahat 'yan handa at kwalipikado."

The senator believes that "the five, having worked together in close proximity for years in a chamber as small as a volleyball court, would be a deterrent to a dirty campaign."

"And hopefully, too, surrogates and proxies--ito yung mga nambabato ng putik--will also be reined in," he said.

"The election should all be about constantly lifting up one's qualifications and not solely putting down the opponents. At bawat isa naman sa kanila ay may masasabing mabuti," he said.

Recto added that even reelectionist senators or senators whose terms are not up but will campaign for candidates won't use themselves as battering rams of their own parties.

"Ako sabi ko sa Liberal, hindi ako uupak ng below-the-belt sa mga kasamahan ko dito. Ganoon din si Senator Tito Sotto. I can't also imagine the likes of Bam Aquino and Sonny Angara allowing themselves to be used as such," he said.

"Of course, there will be differences, contrasts, debates and divergence of views. Truth hurts and can be unsettling. Natural lang 'yan. Ang pangit ay ang pag-gamit ng kasinungalingan," he said.

News Latest News Feed