Senate coup stirs debate among N. Vizcaya dads
BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya–The political heat triggered by the ouster of Sen. Manuel Villar as Senate president has reached even the halls of this province’s legislative body.
Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) belonging to Villar’s Nacionalista Party on Wednesday questioned the proposal of Board Member Santiago Dickson for the passage of a resolution congratulating newly-installed Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
“Is there really a need for such a resolution? Will there be an effect if we congratulate the new Senate president?” asked SP member Edgardo Balgos, interpellating Dickson.
Balgos said he found it unusual that the board is now extending its greetings to Enrile, when it did not previously do so when other Senate presidents assumed the post.
He raised the propriety for the board to pass a resolution, as most of the province’s elected officials, including majority of its members, belonged to NP.
Officials here led by Rep. Carlos Padilla, who previously belonged to the now-defunct Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) of Sen. Panfilo Lacson wing, took a mass oath-taking of NP members in May, with Villar as main guest.
Board member Tony Dupiano, also an NP member, asked whether it was wise to send congratulatory message to Enrile when there is no assurance that he will stay in his post before his term as senator ends in 2010.
“The problem in the Senate is that they (senators) always change presidency when they think that their party’s fate is at stake.” he said.
Besides, passing the resolution would mean that the board would have to give congratulatory resolutions every time there is a change of leadership in the Senate, Dupiano said.
But Dickson said the province should express its “support and jubilation” for the election of Enrile, whom he described as a “co-regionmate”, as the third highest-ranking official of the country.
“We should really be very happy that a legislator coming from Cagayan Valley is being installed as Senate president,” he said. The Senate President is known to hail from the coastal town of Aparri in Cagayan.
Dickson said board members should in the meantime set aside their political leanings.
“We are not talking of any political affiliation. We belong to the lower legislative body and we should also give due honor and respect to the one heading the Upper or the Lower House.
But for some in the audience, Villar’s party allies seemed to be just putting on a show because barely minutes after the debate, the board passed the resolution “on unanimous accord”.