Nakakataba ng puso, nakaka-humble, at nakaka-inspire po ang sandaling ito.
Please allow me to spend the next few seconds in thanking all of you dear colleagues and our new Senate President, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, for your trust and confidence.
Luke chapter 12 verse 48 says, “To whom much is given, much will be required.”
I know that more than a rank, title, or position, I am now receiving a great responsibility. This responsibility is about taking care of this beloved institution, the People’s Senate.
My predecessor, Senator Zubiri, has so raised the bar for this office. Keeping up will be a constant challenge, but we are ready to learn and to listen.
We will burn the midnight oil to live up to the responsibilities. We will not sleep or rest until we finish our job. Kung kailangang trabahong kalabaw o magpakakuba po tayo, nakahanda po tayo kasama ang lahat ng aking staff sa opisina.
I have been a point guard in basketball, and I know that success in any human endeavor requires effort and teamwork. Communication is not only essential but critical in a team. We will ensure that nothing stands in the way of good communication and coordination between our offices.
While I consider myself a rookie in this new role, we are not a tabula rasa or a blank slate. We have been with the Rules Committee for a very long time. When I was the “Benjamin of the House” during the 12th Congress, I was elected Assistant Majority Leader along with Senator Alan Cayetano as Deputy Majority Leader and Senator Chiz Escudero as Senior Deputy Majority Leader.
When Senator Chiz became the Minority Leader in the 13th Congress, I served as one of the Deputy Minority Leaders with Senator Alan as our Senior Deputy Minority Leader, and I must say that I lavishly benefited from their guidance, especially on how to make the Rules serve the interests of our people.
I know that we stand on the shoulders of giants in our attempt to make a difference. Let me say that the past six years were worth more than a doctorate degree because of the mentoring we received from “the living legends of this institution”, “the gurus of gurus”, former Senate President Tito Sotto, former Senate President Pro Tempore and now Congressman Ralph Recto, former Minority Leader Senator Frank Drilon, and former Senator Ping Lacson, among others.
I also thank my family, my Dad, Bro. Eddie, and most especially my mom and sister, whom I know are watching me right now, for demanding that I always do my best. To honor their memories, I pledge every bit of energy in my body, mind, and spirit to give justice to this responsibility you entrusted to me, dear colleagues.
To my wife, Gladys, this new role is going to take effort. Ngayon pa lang nagpapasalamat na ako sa ‘yo dahil sa hirap at ginhawa, palagi kang nasa tabi ko.
In closing, let me say that God blessed my life with opportunities. He makes my cup overflow. To praise and glorify Him forever is the only desire of my heart.
Iaalay ko po ang bawat segundo, bawat minuto at bawat oras ng trabaho natin dito sa Senado upang papurihan, dakilain at sambahin ang ating Panginoong Diyos.
Kaya mga kasama, tara, trabaho tayo!
Maraming salamat Ginoong Pangulo at pagpalain tayo ng Diyos.