Ralph concedes defeat in Senate

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — SENATOR Ralph Recto yesterday conceded defeat in his re-election bid and said goodbye to his fellow senators and Senate employees, saying he would continue to serve as a citizen while being a good father to his adolescent son.

“It’s time to accept the will of the people,” Recto said in an emotional privilege speech at the Senate, adding he was grateful to the 10 million Filipinos who believed in him enough to vote for him—though the votes had not been enough.

“Fate has not smiled kindly on us this time,” he said.

“It is a verdict that I accept without rancor or bitterness. I will go gently out of this institution—comforted in the thought that in every waking day that I served out my mandate, I did it to the best of my ability, and always with the best interest of the country in mind,” he said.

In an interview later, Recto refused to confirm if he really had conceded as fellow Team Unity senatorial candidate Michael Defensor did in a statement earlier.

“All I am saying is that I am prepared to lose,” he said, adding the math had convinced him that winning was unlikely despite the certificates of canvass still to be counted.

He said he would leave the Senate content to be remembered as one who chose principles over popularity, and what was right over what was expedient.

Recto was vilified during the campaign for sponsoring the Value Added Tax Law, which the opposition portrayed as a heavy burden.

The administration touted the law as a key factor in the country’s economic recovery.

“The duty of a member of this Chamber is not to pander to what is popular but to uphold what is right,” Recto said quoting his grandfather, the late nationalist Claro M. Recto.