Press Release
October 12, 2015

Senate has come a long way in promoting
people's welfare, Drilon says on centennial launch

The Senate has come a long way as a democratic institution responsible for laws "that oil the wheels of government, strengthen the fabric of society, and promote the welfare of our people and nation," Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said on the start of the institution's centennial anniversary.

During his keynote address at the flag rites and launch of the "Centennial Year of the Senate" on Monday morning, Drilon recalled the rich legacy of legislators and national leaders and the priceless lessons they teach on public policy-making and nation building.

"We honor their sterling qualities, monumental work, matchless courage and integrity. Their life and work inspire past and present Senators to pass effective, relevant and timely laws," he said.

"The men and women who passed through the Senate's portals kept the institution's long tradition of fierce independence and remarkable courage to defend the national interest and uphold the countrymen's civil, political and human rights." the Senate chief said.

Drilon said the Senate produced generations of lawmakers who held the nation in awe because of their intellectual brilliance and boundless love for the motherland: "Until now, the Filipino people have not forgotten the wit, eloquence, intellect and nationalism of Claro M. Recto, Jovito Salonga, Lorenzo Tañada, to name a few."

"The Senate has always been a cradle of national leaders, having nurtured in its bosom 10 out of 15 Philippine Presidents - a record which cannot be equaled by any other institution," he also pointed out.

He noted how Proclamation 1091 signed by President Aquino last August cited the Senate's "defense and promotion of democratic values, as well as its immense contribution to the nation's economic development, social justice and political maturity."

He said that while the Senate is no stranger to controversy or spirit-breaking challenges, these attacks had not diminished the institution's zeal to serve the country and the people: "We, who belong to this institution, view each crisis as an opportunity for introspection, and reform, that would lead us to a higher level of public service."

He cited a Pulse-Asia survey conducted last month, which showed that 63 percent of the public expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Senate. "The Senate has shown, and will continue to show, to our people that it listens and responds to their pressing concerns, and constantly feels their pulse," Drilon said.

During his speech, Drilon praised the life and achievements of former Senator Joker Arroyo who had passed away recently: "In his lifetime, he dazzled the nation not only with his brilliance but also with his high sense of duty and strong commitment to defend the underprivileged."

"Joker led a life of integrity, good character, diligence and with profound love for the masses that are dearest to his heart. His passing is the nation's collective loss. But his life will always be an inspiration to every Filipino."

The "Centennial Year of the Senate" is a yearlong event to be observed from October 2015 to October 2016. It commemorates the 100th year of the Senate, which was established in October 16, 1916, during the American colonial period.

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