Criticisms on Senate’s slow passage of bills, not an issue – SP Pimentel
UNTV News • January 9, 2018 • 3597
MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has expressed concern over the negative remarks of the leadership of the Lower House against the Senate.
Drilon said the Lower House should not attack the upper chamber of Congress as this will violate the inter-chamber courtesy.
He added that the criticisms may be part of the move that is pushing for charter change.
“Sa aking tingin (in my view), beyond the criticisms – unfounded as it is – of the pace of the Senate would act on these measures, I think this is part of the effort para pababain ang tingin ng tao sa Senado (to undermine people’s perception of the Senate). Para pagdating nuong charter change, kung ibig nilang burahin ang Senado sa pamahalaan e madali na (So that when charter change comes and they want to get rid of the Senate, it will be easier),” Drilon said.
Senate President Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel, however, said he doesn’t see any issue on the matter.
“I feel I have defended the Senate already. Kung kulang pa din (if it’s still not enough), all members are free to defend the Senate,” he said.
The Senate president added that anyone, including the leadership of the Lower House, should enjoy his freedom of expression.
Pimentel said the Senate continues to do its mandate and, to prove his point, he said it will tackle the proposed death penalty in the plenary when the session resumes on January 15.
He also said a resolution which will call on Congress to convene as a constituent assembly will also be filed on the resumption of the session.
“It’s a resolution calling for the senate to sit together with the House of Representatives as constituent assembly for the purpose of revising the 1987 Constitution, specifically to study the adaption of a federal system of government,” Pimentel said.
The leadership of the Senate believes the push for the charter change will succeed so as the proposal to change the form of government from presidential to federalism. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue
Some senators are still not sold on the idea of instilling changes in the 1987 Constitution in the 18th Congress.
This, despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s manifestations of pursuing the charter change.
Senator Franklin Drilon said it is still uncertain as to how senators will vote on the proposed constitutional amendment.
Drilon said, “(It is) difficult to predict at this time how the senators will vote. Senate prides itself as independent of Malacañang.”
“Plus, I sense that a number of my colleagues have a “moist eye” on the Presidency in 2022, and may not support an amendment which may lead to a shift to federalism,” he added.
Liberal Party president, Senator Francis Pangilinan, who held the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes, meanwhile, said the fate of the charter change will depend on composition of the Senate.
“That all depends on the majority. We will see how it goes given the new composition of the Senate,” Pangilinan said.
Senator Ralph Recto, on the other hand, said he still wants to have the cha-cha proposal scrutinized.
“We’ll have to take a look at details of the cha-cha proposal,” he said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, believes that majority of the senators have not wavered in their stance regarding the charter change.
“It’s a little more complicated than what the President and the House want. Why? We are simply back to the same question, which is to clarify the ambiguity of the provision in the Constitution that deals with the manner of voting by Congress constituting itself into a constituent assembly,” Lacson said.
He further said, “Again, in doing so, we are faced with a chicken and egg situation. If it’s via ConCom, do we have enough time to accomplish it before the end of his term?”
Neophyte senator Francis Tolentino, however, believes that the passage of the proposed change in the form of government can still happen during President Duterte’s term.
“Tapos na yung preparatory work ng ConCom. Yung ginawa ni former Justice Puno [The preparatory work in ConCom is finished. What former Justice Puno did], it was commissioned by the executive branch. May napadala na silang report at nasa infancy stage na yung kauna unahang version nito yung sa Bangsamoro. Hindi pa siguro huli ang lahat [They were able to send their report and the very first version of it – the Bangsamor- is already at the infancy stage. Maybe it’s not yet too late,” Tolentino said.
The proposed charter change was able to slightly move in the Lower House during the 17th Congress.
It was, however, stalled in the Senate until the Congress adjourned. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
The members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) are leaving it to President Rodrigo Duterte as to who he will pick as the party’s bet for the Lower House Leadership.
Senator Manny Pacquiao said he will meet with the President before he flies for the United States on Saturday in preparation for his boxing match.
He said that he will ask the President to decide as to who the party’s candidate for the House Speakership in the 18th Congress should be.
Senator Pacquiao said, “kasi kung magsuggest ang pangulo ng hindi PDP, iyon saka ako magsa-suggest na kailangang PDP. Kasi PDP ang pangulo natin.”
[Because if the President will suggest someone who is not (from) PDP, then I will suggest (to him) that it must be from PDP. Because our president is (from) PDP.]
The senator added that the party’s primary criteria for the next House leader are loyalty and his/her continued support to the programs of the president.”
Senator Pacquiao also responded to the criticisms thrown at him by House Minority Leader Danny Suarez, accusing him of meddling with the affairs of the Lower House.
This is in relation to the senator’s meeting with three aspirants for the House speakership.
“Hindi naman ako nakikialam. Nakikialam ako as kapartido PDP. Kailangang ayusin talaga. Kung siya ay PDP rin dapat tumulong rin siya para ayusin ang problema kasi kahihiyan ng partido yan kapag hindi nagkakaisa ang isang Partido. So iyon ang dapat isipin niya na disiplinahin natin,” Senator Pacquiao said.
[It’s not that I was meddling. I intervene as a member of the PDP. We need to iron things out. If he is a PDP member, he should also help to thresh the problem out because it will put the party in a bad light if we are not united. That’s what he should think about to discipline.]
The three aspirants from the ruling party are Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez, Pampanga Representative Aurelio Gonzales, and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.
Other contenders are Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez of Lakas-CMD and Taguig City Representative Alan Peter Cayetano of the Nacionalista Party.
Senator Pacquiao said that he may announce their candidate for the House Speakership within this week. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
Senator Panfilo Lacson has drafted a resolution that aimed at assuring that Senate President Vicente Sotto III will keep his leadership in the Upper Chamber of Congress.
He said the idea came from Senator Manny Pacquiao.
“Actually, the idea was originally proposed by Sen Manny Pacquiao. The resolution to be routed is about a vote of confidence in the leadership of SP Sotto,” Lacson said.
He added that this move was prompted by the “insinuations made by Senators-elect Marcos and Tolentino for a leadership change for whatever motives they have — whether it’s posturing to get their desired committee chairmanships or serious attempts to elect a new Senate leader.”
Even Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri had also refused to further comment on the issue that floats the name of Senator Cynthia Villar in the Senate presidency.
“I won’t comment on the push for Senator Villar by the newly elected senators as I’m close to both Villar and Sotto. However, my last conversation with Tita Cynthia was that she was not interested. And, yes, I will sign the Manifesto for SP Sotto,” Zubiri said.
Villar had earlier on signified that she has no interest on the said position.
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