Roselle Aquino

The so-called Senate Seatmates—Senators Joel “TESDAMAN” Villanueva, Migz Zubiri, Win Gatchalian and former Senator JV Ejercito—went around key cities of Laguna on Wednesday, securing support from several local government units who welcomed the legislators to their respective cities.

In an ambush interview with reporters here in Binan City, the lawmakers expressed gratitude to City Mayor Arman Dimaguila Jr., Vice Mayor Gel Alonte, Rep. Len Alonte-Naguiat, and the city council for their warm hospitality.

Asked about the endorsements the lawmakers received from several presidential candidates, Villanueva surmised that it was the groups “track record of lawmaking that served as their common denominator.”

“Lahat po kami, kaming apat, halos lahat po ng mga tumatakbo sa pagkapangulo at pangalawang pangulo, ineendorso po kami dahil mayroon po kaming common denominator. Yung track record namin sa Senado, hindi po matawaran. Napakaraming landmark legislations po naipasa ang grupong ito, at kaya po namin ipagpatuloy ito sa mga susunod na taon. Mabigat ang hamon na ating haharapin matapos ang pandemya,” Villanueva said.

For his part, Dimaguila expressed his support for the visiting lawmakers, crediting their track record of public service and legislation.

“Nagpapasalamat po kami kay Mayor Arman, Vice Mayor Gel, Cong. Len, at maging sa buong city council sa mainit na pagtanggap,” Villanueva continued.

Villanueva said he intended to ensure the full implementation of the law creating the Department of Migrant Workers, a bill he shepherded in the Senate. He explained that organizing the DMW only puts all government agencies into one roof to address the needs of OFWs, and it does not change or shape state policy on promoting and cultivating the domestic labor industry.

Zubiri is considered the Father of the New Cooperative Code, being the principal sponsor and author of RA 9520 or the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008. His investment in the growth of the cooperative sector has carried over to the current 17th Congress, where he chairs the Committee on Cooperatives.

Gatchalian helped push for the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) as the country moves toward the promotion of sustainable transportation under the new normal. He is the principal author and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 1382 or the proposed Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act which was approved on 3rd reading by the Senate on May 31, 2021 and ratified by the Bicameral Conference Committee on December 16, 2021.

Ang panayam sa apat na senatoriables na bumisita sa Laguna.