Sponsorship Speech of Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III

PSRN 500 – Resolution Expressing the Sense of the Senate to Join the Community of Nations and Parliaments Around the World in Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Democracy

Senate of the Philippines, Pasay City

September 13, 2017


The Senate of the Philippines has always been considered as a “bastion of democracy”, a role that have we fully embraced in our motto for our Centennial celebration, “Senado ng Pilipino: Sandigan ng Demokrasya, Dangal ng Sambayanang Pilipino”.

In the Senate’s long history, it has espoused the democratic ideals of a government representative of the interests of its people through laws that protect and enhance the human dignity and fundamental rights of every individual, promote social justice, ensure equality of all before the law, and exact accountability from public servants, among others.

It is in this light that I introduce this resolution, expressing the sense of the Senate to join the community of nations and parliaments around the world in commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Democracy on September 15, 2017, with the theme, “In Defense of Democracy.”

Democracy is about the power of the people and the dignity of the individual. It is a system that recognizes there can be no compromise in matters relating to human rights, the rule of law, and the accountability of those in power. It is a system that responds to the lesson of human history – that absolute and unchecked power, concentrated in a person or group of people, leads only to the misery of the majority. It is a system that gives dignity to every human being.

These principles are enshrined in our Constitution. Article II, Section 1 of our Constitution provides, “The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.”

Section 5 of the same Article provides, “The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.”

These provisions in our highest law show that we in the Philippines embrace democracy. We know its value, and however imperfect our system may be, it has done well in checking abuse and uplifting the quality of life for every Filipino.

My fellow Senators, we are all here because our people chose us to represent their values and aspirations in free and orderly elections. We are their instruments in helping the President deliver on the promise ofChange.

It is our duty to spread the message of democracy to the entire world. Let us give strength to those who are fighting for their rights. Let us give voice to those who have been silenced. Let us give hope to those who suffer from oppression.

My fellow Senators, let us adopt this resolution as a symbol of our firm commitment to democracy.

Maraming salamat po.