Noynoy Aquino and some of the challenges ahead

>> Sunday, May 16, 2010

Noynoy Aquino and mom Cory Aquino - like mother like son. But learning from mom’s experiences gives Noynoy the advantage which makes him a more equipped president than Cory.

Aquino may face an opposition Congress, with defeated presidential candidate and Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, incoming Pampanga representative, working to gain the Senate presidency and the House Speakership respectively.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago raised a potentially challenging situation for the would-be Aquino government, as she stressed that Villar had the "numbers" to regain the Senate presidency. She added that Ms Arroyo, being a shrewd leader and having made preparations for her new life in Congress, could just clinch the House leadership.
But Santiago said Ms Arroyo could only be the next Speaker if her alliances would hold after Aquino’s proclamation by Congress.
"You know politics. Even if they (President Arroyo's allies in the House) belong to parties against Aquino, the minute he is proclaimed as president, they would change parties because you get so many benefits under a sitting President,'' Santiago said over dzBB radio.
"So it's really difficult to make a forecast if they would stay faithful to what they agreed with the President," she added.
President Arroyo last week retook the chairmanship of the Lakas-Kampi CMD party and her advisers said the party was determined on fielding her for the speakership.
In so far as Villar was concerned, Santiago was more certain he had the numbers to regain the Senate presidency and would continue to have them until the convening of Congress in July.
Santiago said she recently spoke with him and that he "seemed interested" in taking back the Senate leadership, currently occupied by reelected Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.
And by her own count, "over 10" senators would likely vote for Villar. She said this was made up of senators and candidates who ran under Villar's Nacionalista party (including her, Senators Pia Cayetano, Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.), and senators who supported him in the Senate (Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Joker Arroyo, Gregorio "Gringo"" Honasan and Lito Lapid).
"That's why if he wants to become Senate president, he already has it," she said.
Only 21 senators will sit in the next Congress. Aquino, whose senatorial term ends in 2013, is now set to be proclaimed president, while Sen. Panfilo Lacson is still at large, evading his arrest for murder charges filed against him. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV remains detained for coup d'etat charges; he cannot attend sessions and therefore, cannot cast his votes on proposed laws and resolutions.
Santiago said she knew that so far, Aquino's Liberal party has obtained the support of six senators for their own bet for Senate president.
Meanwhile, Enrile said he was not moving to become Senate president under the new Congress, and would just go with the majority.
Enrile said he would rather be Senate minority leader so he could debate with fellow senators.
And with Villar likely regaining the Senate leadership, Santiago foresaw the Senate under an Aquino presidency "playing a role of a loyal opposition" but she said the chamber should also support Aquino to help the country.
She said it would be "very important" for the Senate and the House to be allied with Malacañang otherwise Aquino would have a difficult time if the two Houses were opposition.
Aquino would have a hard time pushing ahead with his legislative agenda if he failed to get allies in the leaderships of both houses of Congress, she said.
Santiago said with Congress dominated by the opposition to the Aquino government, those close to Aquino would have a hard time committing graft and corruption.
"I myself am not raising any doubt on his honesty and integrity, but I do entertain very serious doubts about the honesty of some people," she said, adding those around Aquino may be eyeing lucrative positions.
"Congress would be watching them," she said.
Apparently speaking about former government officials who left President Arroyo during the height of the "Hello Garci" scandal of 2005, Santiago said they sought the President's resignation because they could not get what they wanted from her.
"Ngayon, kung iniwanan nila si President Arroyo, malamang iiwanan din nila si President Aquino kapag napansin nila na hindi rin nila makukuha ang gusto nila (If they left President Arroyo, they could also leave President Aquino if they failed to get what they want)," she warned.
"I’m very sorry to give them the bad news: Guys, you are not going to get rich this time," Santiago said.


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