Bishop to voters: Fight for an independent senate

Bishop to voters: Fight for an independent senate

By CBCP News

May 6, 2019

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic bishop called on voters to fight for an independent senate by voting candidates who will not be subservient to the Duterte administration.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that the system of checks and balances in government is important and must be preserved.

“In this election then let us vote for candidates who can assure an independent senate,” Pabillo said.

The bishop stressed that the country will have a fair chance of preserving democracy in the land if people are able to elect “a strong opposition”.

“We need strong opposition to preserve our democratic space. We need a strong senate who can prevent the onrush of totalitarianism,” Pabillo said.

“If not, then we fall into de facto control of the President who is bent on exercising power without any control and who is very sensitive to criticisms,” he said.

To further drive his point, he said that the Duterte administration is making a lot of deals with China “behind the backs of the Filipinos”.

According to him, it is within the competence of the Senate to question these international deals.

He also said that pork barrel insertions were done by the Lower House and it was the Senate who called the attention of the nation to the issue.

“Where would we be if the President’s people and allies fill up the senate hall?” he asked.