MANILA – Re-elected Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV believes the new Senate minority will bide their time in the next 2 years before making any noise against President Aquino ahead of the 2016 election.
Speaking to ANC, Trillanes said he expects a real minority to emerge in the 16th Congress as the winners of the 2013 midterm election join the upper chamber. He said the senators from the opposition will hold off attacks due to the high popularity of President Aquino and will likely focus on their legislative agenda in the next 2 years.
“I think now as I said earlier, we would have a real minority this time around because there will be 2016 to consider. Everybody will try to position themselves for that derby and make themselves relevant so I think the majority will face some opposition this time around,” he said.
“Some senators will try to position themselves as opposition may be reluctant to come out early because they know they might be swimming against the current because you have a very, very popular president. It may not be prudent for them to come out early. I think they will try to hit or strike once in a while just for media purposes but no real opposition until the end of the second year,” he added.
Trillanes said the so-called Senate macho bloc could try to position themselves as the opposition ahead of the 2016 polls when Vice-President Jejomar Binay runs for president. Among the members of the macho bloc are resigned Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senators Tito Sotto, Gringo Honasan, and Jinggoy Estrada and incoming Senators Nancy Binay and JV Ejercito.
Trillanes reiterated that Enrile’s resignation was meant to preempt his removal as Senate president in the next Congress. He said he stands by his description of Enrile’s speech as “theatrics” and “rantings.”
He also noted that Sen. Franklin Drilon, who served as campaign manager of Team PNoy in the recently concluded election, stands a good chance of being elected Senate President.
Trillanes said one piece of legislation that administration allies should push for is the freedom of information bill.
“I think it is still the freedom of information bill. If the President is really an anticorruption president, then this bill is it and it should be a legacy bill for him. He can leave behind a mechanism that would promote transparency in governance. Once we pass that, we wouldn’t have to search for or request for SALNs of justices or senators because it will be mandated, because SALNs will be posted and you can search it through the Internet,” he said.
Why he won
In the interview, Trillanes said he is also thankful that he won a fresh mandate in the recently concluded election.
Asked what accounted for his victory, the re-elected senator said he won his re-election bid because the people saw that he is consistent in his reform advocacy.
He said that even during his incarceration, he pushed for bills that reflected his advocacy.
Trillanes said his ongoing word war against Enrile also showed that he is not afraid to speak out against leaders who are doing wrong even if they are popular.
“When we had this encounter late last year, I was very much aware of the fact that [Enrile] had a very high approval rating but it never mattered to me and to us ever since. Remember when I stood up against GMA in 2003, she was also a media favorite back then. But we had to say what we needed to say,” he said.
By David Dizon, ABS-CBNnews.com