Drilon says opposition ‘not remiss’ in helping gov’t

Published June 30, 2020, 5:00 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday clarified that the opposition has never been remiss in helping President Duterte govern the country for the benefit of the Filipino people.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Drilon made the statement after Senate President Vicente Sotto III, in a virtual interview with reporters, suggested that members of the opposition would reach out to the President first, reconcile and work with his administration and help him govern for the benefit of the people, considering he only has two years left to lead the country.

“I believe that we have not been remiss in our sworn duty to serve our countrymen,” Drilon said in a text message to reporters.

“My recent proposed solutions to urgent matters of concern on the COVID-19 pandemic should be an indication of our readiness to help this government,” the minority leader pointed out.

Drilon pointed out that if working together with the administration is equivalent to a “wholesale submission” to its policies, “then we will be doing a great disservice to the country.”

“More than anyone else, the Senate President should know that I stand ready to help this government when needed and I stand prepared to call out this government when its policies are contrary to our avowed principles,” he explained.

Sotto, during the interview, lamented how the opposition has criticized the Duterte government without providing any counter proposals or real solutions to any problem, even after the President opened up the Executive department to members of the opposition.

But Drilon said that more than politics, he believes the COVID-19 crisis, has underscored the need for, and the importance of an “all hands on deck approach.”

“Unity and cooperation between the government and the people and among all groups and sectors of the society have never been so important as now,” he said.

“Not one person, not one group can solve this. Since 2016, despite serious disagreements on certain policy issues, I have always given my cooperation in the crafting of legislation that serves need of our people,” Drilon further stressed.