To borrow Kennedy, Senator Miriam's mastery of the Constitution was awesome that when constitutional experts will be summoned to the Senate in the future, it can only be regarded as the greatest gathering of legal minds in one room, second only to the times when Senator Miriam read alone in her office. She was such an intellectual giant that those who will come after her will be reduced as
Press Statement of Minority Leader Ralph G. Recto 29 September 2016
To borrow Kennedy, Senator Miriam's mastery of the Constitution was awesome that when constitutional experts will be summoned to the Senate in the future, it can only be regarded as the greatest gathering of legal minds in one room, second only to the times when Senator Miriam read alone in her office.
She was such an intellectual giant that those who will come after her will be reduced as students forever parsing what she had said as beacons that will light their way and illuminate their minds.
Senator Miriam not only set the benchmark in clarity of thought and convincing discourse, but also in courage which she showed whether in pursuit of her advocacies for the people or the latter's enemies.
She was brains, beauty and balls.
She rarely cursed, never had invectives in her debating arsenal, but she was able to demolish her opponents using language that was devastating yet most elegant.
On her worst day when cancer had already invaded her brain, she was still sharper than any of us, displaying an acumen that was hard to defeat.
Senator Miriam was one of a kind. And we are lucky that like a comet that streaks across our skies once every century, we were able to witness her dazzling brilliance during our lifetime. ... See MoreSee Less
The Budget secretary serves the national interest when he dispenses candor instead of pandering to our whims. And Dr. Diokno performed that role when he was outside of government, when he was the first to call the nation’s attention to the unconventional ways that fund releases were being accelerated. In the DAP cases, the Supreme Court heard him, and heeded his views. ... See MoreSee Less
Senate Minority Leader Ralph G. Recto On the confirmation of DBM Secretary Benjamin Diokno 28 September 2016
Mr. President, I am endorsing the nomination of Dr. Ben Diokno as Budget secretary for reasons as thick as the national budget, but not the least of which is that he is a fellow Batangueño.
Because history books often mention our forebears in tandem, then it is inconceivable for a Recto of Lipa not to support a Diokno of Taal, and I am not, as I have not one reason, to break tradition.
But I am not nominating him because he comes from the best province. I do so because he’s good for the country.
This is his third tour of duty in DBM, serving three Presidents, in three challenging epochs of our history.
The first was during the Cory Aquino period, when the order of the day was to redeem the promise of democratic restoration using the resources of a pillaged treasury.
The second was in Erap’s time, when the country sailed onto the headwinds of the Asian crisis.
And the third is with President Digong, when the people’s expectations of more jobs, less poverty, and real inclusive growth – problems which cannot be Tokhanged into oblivion – have never been so high.
Fortunately, the nominee has got what it takes, and has all the guts, to perform what I think is one of the hardest jobs in the Cabinet.
The DBM is the Kilometer Zero for all government projects. It is the starting line. No project can proceed without being flagged off by the agency.
But that great role also attracts the greatest pressure, so much so that the job of the Budget secretary has been likened to the modern-day version of multiplying bread out of a single loaf, and wine from a solitary jug of water.
And all presidents have expected their DBM men to perform budget miracles, like in a recent case when funds must be found in a jiffy so that the base pay of the uniformed personnel, and soon teachers, will be doubled.
The good thing, however, is that the nominee has the reputation of speaking truth to power.
For that, I think, is the number one role of the guardian of the nation’s purse – to remind us of the limits of spending, that resources are not infinite, that we have to live within our means and operate with what we have.
The Budget secretary serves the national interest when he dispenses candor instead of pandering to our whims.
And Dr. Diokno performed that role when he was outside of government, when he was the first to call the nation’s attention to the unconventional ways that fund releases were being accelerated.
In the DAP cases, the Supreme Court heard him, and heeded his views.
Which brings me to his other trait – that he is not only an academic, but also an activist.
He had lectured generations of economists in his 42 years of teaching in that public school in Diliman.
And, being the basketball fanatic that he is, he had promised to soldier on teaching until his beloved Maroons win a pennant.
And prior to his latest conscription as DBM’s highest paid casual employee, his columns in Malaya, Tribune and BusinessWorld were weekly tutorials on public finance.
And I hope that just by sitting beside him, even by osmosis, the EQ – the economic quotient – of the sitting president would rise to the minimum level required of the CEO of the world’s 29th biggest economy.
If any of us here still has doubts that he can do it, then all one has to do is peruse his already abridged resume which is so densely packed with his achievements, that it is written in fonts smaller than those in the national budget.
And speaking of annual general appropriations, let me cite it to cap my speech by pointing out this fact: He has been involved in preparing or executing 12 national budgets – from the time of typewriters to the age of Twitter – and that alone speaks volumes of his competence for the job.
Mr. President: This Recto seconds the nomination of this Diokno. ... See MoreSee Less
Kung maisasabatas ang inihain nating comprehensive health and nutrition program (Senate BIll 831), posible na ang mga sumusunod:
• Libreng check-up at suporta sa nutrisyon para sa mga buntis at nagpapasusong ina sa lahat ng barangay; • Libreng gatas at masustansyang pagkain para sa mga bagong silang na sanggol hanggang sa umabot sila sa tatlong taong gulang; • Libreng pagkain sa mga batang may edad tatlo hanggang lima na nag-aaral sa mga Day Care Center; • Libreng pagkain at suporta sa nutrisyon para sa mga batang may edad anim hanggang 12 na nag-aaral sa lahat ng public school.
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph G. Recto is a competent, dedicated and diplomatic public servant. His devotion to family and community, unrelenting desire to make a better life for others, consummate passion for his work, and interactive leadership style serve as the firm foundation upon which he built a reputation as a young and committed leader whether as a legislator or a national executive.