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Roque to voters: Rid Senate of ‘silent members’

UniTeam senatorial aspirant Harry Roque has appealed to voters not to waste public funds by electing candidates who might become non-performing senators or members of the Senate “committee on silence.”

Roque urged the public to be intelligent and vote only for lawmakers who can craft and amend laws, appropriate budgets, and resources and preside over legislative inquiries to effect inclusive social change.

“When choosing legislators, please consider their capacity to deliver solutions to pressing national issues,” Roque said.

“How can they resolve problems like hunger and injustice if they don’t understand how domestic laws and international treaties work?” he asked.

The former party-list congressman explained that policies and norms are in place to achieve the common good.

He said that lawmakers must push for laws that uplift and preserve the lives of Filipinos, particularly the oppressed, powerless, and marginalized.

In a recent interview with televangelist Apollo Quiboloy aired on SMNI News Channel, Roque said the electorate should “choose the real thing instead of wallflowers or decorations in the Senate.”

“The voters should look at the candidates’ track record. Please look beyond popularity or name recall. As lawmakers, they might just end up as the committee on silence members,” Roque said.

The former presidential spokesman also added that such a scenario would waste the billions in public money that support the Senate’s operations.

Roque, a health and human rights advocate, clarified that he is not belittling popular candidates who want to serve as legislators. However, he believes they are more suited to the executive branch, which implements the country’s laws.

“When it comes to policymaking, the lawmaker must expertly know what the Philippines need in new or amended legislation,” Roque said. “So, why would we waste taxpayer’s money? Let’s not waste our votes for the Senate.”

As a lawmaker in the House of Representatives for 18 months, Roque was the primary sponsor of 10 measures signed into law by President Duterte.

Specifically, Roque authored the Universal Health Care Law, which enabled the government to inoculate 67 million Filipinos against Covid 19. The law also provides Covid benefit packages up to P780,000 and free PCR tests to medical frontliners.

He also authored the nationwide school feeding program for elementary pupils, free irrigation services for farmers, free tuition for public college and university students, and the national HIV and AIDS policy.

If elected to the Senate, Roque would sponsor measures on a ‘three-day court hearing’ rule, Victims Compensation Fund for murder victims, zero hunger and potable water for all Filipinos by 2028, and job creation for pandemic-affected workers.

Roque would also seek to abolish the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and replace it with a corrupt-free National Health Service.

He would also file a supplemental budget to the 2022 national appropriations to rehabilitate typhoon Odette victims further.


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