I’ll be my own man in Senate — Gringo

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — ON the eve of his proclamation as a senator, independent candidate Gregorio Honasan is finally giving himself time to relax.

“I am now taking a rest after closely monitoring the canvassing to guard my votes. But I cannot fully relax until my proclamation Wednesday,” Honasan said in a radio interview.

Honasan, who rose to prominence in the first People Power uprising in 1986 and for being the leader of several coup attempts against President Corazon Aquino, has remained in the spotlight despite being arrested for coup charges in November 2006.

At the time of his arrest, Honasan, who once described himself as the country’s “resident adviser on failed coup attempts,” was reportedly sending surrender feelers to the military after eluding authorities for nine months.

Honasan spent five months in jail but left detention after the Makati City Regional Trial Court granted his petition for bail in April. He also joined the Senate race earlier this year as an independent candidate.

On Monday, the Commission on Elections identified Honasan as one of 10 senatorial candidates who would be proclaimed today. Honasan placed 10th in the Senate race with 11,286,424 votes credited to him so far.

Honasan credits his successful senatorial bid to his family and supporters, who campaigned for him until his release on bail on April 20.

He said he also believes that the voting public chooses candidates who work quietly in the background but produce results.

“I think that’s a big thing for voters — [candidates] who only want to work and be productive. That is something that isn’t necessarily seen in the surveys,” Honasan said.

He also refused to see his win as a “vindication,” after he got only half of a six-year term when he placed 13th in the 2001 senatorial election.

Sen. Ralph Recto, who placed 12th in the 2001 race, has conceded defeat in this year’s senatorial election after he placed 14th in the Comelec’s latest tally.

“I don’t see it as [vindication] . I don’t have any grudges,” he said, noting that he filed his own electoral protest in 2001.

Honasan said he is ready to buckle down to work in the post he last held in 2004. First on his agenda is a way to speed up the process of drafting and passing new laws.

“Less talk, more action. We spend so much time and money on debates, mudslinging, inquiries, committee hearings… it’s too slow. The cycle of creating
new laws is too slow for me,” he said.

He added that he will remain an independent in the Senate and will vote only for what he believes would be most beneficial to the public.