Press Release
May 7, 2020

Reaction of Senator Cynthia Villar Regarding Senator Tolentino's privilege speech

Senator Villar Thanks Senator Tolentino for Highlighting Efforts of Senators During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Including her promotion of home gardening to ensure food self-sufficiency and for government to allow the return to work of daily wage earners

Senator Cynthia Villar expressed gratitude to Senator Francis Tolentino for calling out people who accuse senators of doing nothing in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic gripping the country. In his privilege speech on Wednesday (May 5), the senator from Cavite highlighted his colleagues' relief efforts as well as legislative measures to help Filipinos and the country cope with the ongoing health emergency.

Among those cited by the senator were some of Senator Villar's efforts, actions and recommendations. These include Senator Villar's promotion of home gardening or backyard farming to help families have a source of food amidst the prolonged community quarantine and lockdown in the country. Senator Tolentino also cited Villar's call for workers in labor-intensive sectors such as agriculture, construction and manufacturing to be allowed to return to work to ensure food security and avoid social unrest or crimes since people are experiencing hunger and getting agitated over the lack of income.

"I thank Senator Tolentino for letting people know about our efforts to counter false accusations hurled at the Philippine Senate. We have all done the best we can to alleviate the situation of our countrymen without going out of our way to boast about our efforts. The people need to see what we are doing to help, they do not have to see us doing so in front of the camera," said Villar.

Villar and her family are also maligned and attacked by purveyors of fake news despite the various help that they have extended from food to medical supplies such as face mask and ventilators as well as temporary shelter to frontliners and quarantine facilities. "Our role as a public servant is truly difficult most of the time. People are looking for us and want to see us out there, but when they see us on television or in photos, they accuse us of posturing or being "epal". We are handed a double-edged sword, so to speak," cited Villar.

But as Senator Tolentino emphasized in his speech, throughout the history of the country, the Senate of the Philippines has been at the forefront when it comes to coming to the aid of our country and in upholding the welfare of our countrymen. To say otherwise, according to Villar, is unfair and unfounded.

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