Opposition needs 9 seats to gain Senate majority control
By Raïssa Robles
Between now and February 12 when the campaign period officially starts, a lot of men and women will be huddled in rooms across the country negotiating political support and spoils.
President Rodrigo Duterte needs to make a clean sweep of the Senate race if he wants to consolidate his power and get the Senate to approve his charter change.
But the chances of him doing that, political analyst Ramon Casiple told me, are halos wala (nearly nil). Of course, those chances could improve after rigorous backroom deals with other political parties.
Here’s my South China Morning Post piece today explaining why:
PHILIPPINE SENATE ELECTION: ‘IMPERIAL MANILA’ LOOKS SAFE FROM DUTERTE … FOR NOW
Critics fear the president’s pledge to break the grip of the central government is just another move towards authoritarian rule. But analysts say they needn’t fear – to make good on his promise he will need an unlikely 12-0 victory
BY RAISSA ROBLES
18 OCT 2018
President Rodrigo Duterte needs his political allies to win all 12 seats in the 2019 Philippine Senate race if he is to make good on an election promise to break the grip of “Imperial Manila” on funding and
One of the election promises that swept Duterte to power in 2016 was his pledge to replace the country’s highly centralised, presidential form of government with a federal system in which the country’s 17 administrative regions would become autonomous states.
But to fulfil that promise Duterte will have to scrap much of the 1987 Constitution, a move the Constitution says would require the backing of 18 of the 24 senators. Critics say the provisions for Duterte’s proposed constitution (drafted by his hand-picked committee) would impose something more akin to authoritarian rule, while his plans have also come under fire for relaxing restrictions on foreign ownership of land and on joint ventures on oil exploration with foreign governments such as China.
At present, he is thought to be able to rely only on nine or 10 senators, and the terms of three of his allies – Gregorio Honasan, Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero – will expire next year, leaving him as few as six guaranteed allies.