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Recto: Minority solons, not PDP-Laban stalwarts, behind Duterte’s signed laws

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By Xave Gregorio

Lawmakers in the minority should be given credit for authoring bills which were eventually signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.

In a radio interview Saturday (August 18), Recto said Duterte’s key measures, including free college education and public WiFi, and extending the validity of driver’s licenses and passports, came from solons in the minority.

“Look at the history of all these bills. ‘Yan ba ay galing sa executive? Galing sa PDP? Sa partido nila? Karamihan galing sa atin, na sinuportahan lang nila, which we value,” said Recto, a member of the formerly ruling Liberal Party (LP).

In the Senate, Recto, along with opposition Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and administration allies Senators Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian (Nationalist People’s Coalition), Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino) and Loren Legarda (NPC), filed bills which eventually became the Universal Access to Quality Education Act, signed by Duterte in August 2017.

Recto and Pangilinan were also the first to file bills in the Senate seeking free WiFi access in public places, which were eventually consolidated into a committee report authored by the two, along with Senators Manny Pacquiao (PDP-Laban), Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino (LP), Joel Villanueva (Cibac) and Cynthia Villar (Nacionalista Party).

Extending the validity of driver’s licenses was spearheaded by Recto and administration ally Senator Richard Gordon. The two of them also led efforts in the Senate to extend the validity of passports, along with Senators Villar, Angara, Villanueva and Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino).

Recto, the only LP member remaining in the Senate majority bloc, stressed the importance of collaboration in legislation.

“It’s really about collaboration. ‘Yun naman, dapat naman tayo magtulungan tayo to build our country eh. Iisa lang ‘yung bahay natin, iisa lang ‘yung bansa natin, magtulungan tayo as much as possible ‘di ba,” he said.