Press Release
December 13, 2006

Transcript of interview with Sen. Franklin M. Drilon on budget, Con-Con

Q: On bicam on budget

SFMD: All that was agreed upon was that the cap in the National Expenditure Program is P1.126 trillion. Beyond that, nothing else was agreed upon. Therefore, our technical staff is now going through line by line the Senate version and the House version; the cap in the Senate version, having been accepted. But we have to discuss the nitty-gritty on the budget of each department. The technical staff is still working on that.

Q: It's too early to congratulate you?

SFMD: Of course, the approval has been hastened by the fact that effectively, the House accepted the version of the Senate, which imposed a P1.126 trillion cap. The bicam work has been relatively made easier because of that. We will see how it looks like after the technical staff has gone over it.

Q: Wala nang masyadong contentious issues?

SFMD: I don't know. I still have to see how the technical working group will be working on the differences with the line by line items.

Q: Kailan kayo ulit mag-uusap ni Joey Salceda?

SFMD: After the technical staff would have finished their work.

Q: Kanina, narinig ko ang interview ninyo sa DZBB, okay na ba sa inyo na sa May 2007 elections, isabay na ang paghalal ng Concon delegates?

SFMD: What they were asking me is there is no money for the Concon because they were quoting my statements. I said, if this is part of the May 2007 election, then no extra funds are necessary. But the Constitutional Convention itself would need funds. And there's no such funds in the budget. You will appreciate that the expense is basically on the convening of the Constitutional Convention itself. Kung sa eleksyon, walang ekstrang gastos doon dahil isasabay mo lang sa May 2007 election. Kapag na-convene na ang Constitutional Convention, kailangan mo ng budget. And that is where I said you need a special budget for that because the amount required could be substantial.

Q: Sinabi n'yo rin po na sa mga susunod na mga buwan, huhupa na ang tension kaya baka puwede na sa Mayo?

SFMD: I am open to that. I am willing to listen to arguments. I am not closing any avenue. But as I said, if you go back to my public statement, I have said always that I am in favor of a Constitutional Convention.

Q: You are opposing the proposal na ia-appoint ang delegates ng Concon?

SFMD: Yes. I am opposed to that.

Q: Ano ang disadvantage kung appointed?

SFMD: A Constitution should reflect the views of the delegates elected by the people, not appointed. (end)

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