Senator-elect Rafael “Raffy” Tulfo said that he is joining the majority bloc and would honor the independence of the 24-member Senate.
“I ran as an independent during the campaign, won as an independent, and will serve as a senator while honoring the traditional and constitutional independence of the Senate in the 19th Congress,” Tulfo said in a statement issued after he was proclaimed last night (May 18) by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) as one of the 12 winning senators in the May 9, 2022 national and local elections.
“While I will cast my lot with the Senate majority, I will also honor the independent mandate of the millions who sent me to the Senate because of my independent platform of government,’’ he stressed.
“The issues I have staked my public service on know no political boundaries and are, in fact, cross-cutting priorities of the wide cross-section of our society,” he added.
Tulfo stressed that his independent stance is consistent with the enduring character of the Senate as a democratic institution separate and distinct from the House of Representatives, the Presidency, the Judiciary, and the other constitutional bodies.
As a senator, he said that he would continue to respect that independent tradition and constitutional mandate of the Senate because that is the sovereign will of the people.
About legislative work, Tulfo sees several worthy bills which have gone through hundreds, thousands of man-hours of work, saying that it would be a pity if those worthy bills would just go straight to the archives of Congress just because the 18th Congress adjourns on June 3.
The 18th Congress still two weeks of regular session left starting May 23. Aside from the official canvassing of votes for President and Vice President, the House and Senate still have time to approve pending bills in their advanced stages.
Most of these worthy bills would not be approved for lack of material time, Tulfo pointed out.
“I will therefore ask the current Senate leadership and my colleagues in the incoming 19th Congress to find ways to preserve the bills by keeping them alive, returning them to the committees they came from so that the members of the 19th Congress can build upon those bills with inputs from the new Members of Congress. Perhaps a few changes to the Rules of both chambers can make this happen,” he said.