Thursday, June 07, 2007

No regrets from Senator Recto

Senator Recto was probably being cheeky when he began his valedictory speech with a biblical quotation from the Ecclesiastes about how there's a season for everything and a time for every reason; after all, is he not supposed to to be a senator for ALL seasons?

Alex Magno and Tony Lopez mourn today the defeat of Senator Recto at the polls, with the former branding the senator's critics as philistines. Senator Recto believes that it was the VAT law that did him in, but he's adamant that pushing for it was the right, albeit immensely unpopular, thing to do. He said he takes full responsibility for the law and he feels no regret for his championing it at the Senate.

Nobody likes taxes, especially new ones, but Senator Recto championed the VAT law with such utter disregard for the popular opinion, as if he didn't need to get elected at all and his life's happiness depended on cutting back the national deficit. Senators Angara and Villar also voted yes to the VAT law but somehow the odium didn't stick on them as it did on Recto. Senator Pangilinan, of course, had the good sense to be abroad when the voting took place.

Senator Recto was never a strong candidate, the Vilma Santos connection notwithstanding; during the last 2004 elections, he was also hanging in the balance. You may not like his opinion on taxes and the deficit, but he was a hardworking legislator who took his job seriously, rose intellectually to meet the challenge of his office and overshadowed the other senators more credentialed than he was. My personal feeling is that if the new Senate can accomodate two coup plotters and an environmentalist with an almost imaginary track record, there should have been another season for Senator Recto.

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