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No to being a ‘yes’ man: Bam says senators should remain independent

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POLITIKO - The bible of Philippine Politics

Senator Bam Aquino on Tuesday warned against a “rubber-stamp” Senate, stressing that an independent upper chamber will ensure that the welfare and interest of the Filipino people are protected.

He stressed the importance of an opposition in the Senate. He said the country and the Filipino people will suffer if the upper chamber will “simply give in” to every desire of the administration.

“Hindi ito kampihan sa administrasyon o oposisyon. Dapat kinakampihan natin ang mga Pilipino,” said Aquino, who is running for re-election under the Otso Diretso banner.

“Kailangan po nating tiyakin independent ang susunod na Senado para sa kapakanan ng taumbayan,” the re-electionist senator said.

He added, “Hindi po makakabuti sa bansa kung ang lahat ng nasa Senado ay susunod na lang lagi sa gusto ng administrasyon. Kailangan na may titindig para sa interes ng taumbayan.”

In the case of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, Aquino said he voted against its ratification despite the heavy pressure coming from the administration.

The senator said he is convinced that it will burden the Filipino people with high prices of food and other goods.

“Hindi po ako tumutol sa TRAIN Law dahil nasa oposisyon tayo. Tumutol po ako dahil responsibilidad ko na bantayan ang kapakanan ng taumbayan na siyang pahihirapan ng batas na ito,” he said.

However, he clarified that he’s willing to work with the administration when the welfare of the Filipino people is at the forefront.

Proof of this is the free college law, which he pushed as principal sponsor during his time as chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

“Ganyan po ang ginawa natin kaya naisabatas ang Free College Law. Dahil sa pakikipagtulungan, kahit kapos makakatapos,” he said.

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