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Palace assures Senate independence amid sweeping victory for Duterte allies: Pwedeng kumontra!

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By Prince Golez

Malacanang expects President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies who are dominating the May 2016 senatorial polls to exercise their own unique judgment.

“We expect them to be fealty to the duties imposed to them by the Constitution and the laws. They have to support the President when the agenda of the President is for the good of the people,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a media briefing on Tuesday.

“And they will have to oppose it if they feel, in their conscience, that it run counter to the interest of the nation,” added Panelo.

Based on the Commission on Election transparency server official tally as of 12:26 p.m. today, eight of Duterte’s senatorial bets made it to the winning circle.

They are Senators Cynthia Villar, Juan Edgardo Angara, and Aquilino Pimentel III; Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, former Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa, former presidential aide Christopher Go, and former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino.

Should these candidates oppose the President’s policies, Panelo assured that Duterte won’t take it against them.

“If you notice, during the campaign, he keeps on saying about Senator Angara that I like this man who keeps on criticizing me and yet he has reasons, valid reasons for that,” he said.

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