Press Release
July 19, 2012

Transcript of Kapihan sa Senado

On the priorities of the Senate

Q: What will be the priorities of Senate?

SP: I am ready, I don't know about the others. The priorities will still remain the same. We deal with the unfinished bills that we left when we went on a sine die adjournment. We will try to pass the Anti-Trust Law, the Cyber Crime Law and will tackle new ones.

Q: Sir, will there be an all-senators caucus a day after the opening of the session and will you ask them to submit a list of the bills they want to prioritize?

SP: No. That will come as a matter of course. We will hold a caucus on Tuesday after the SONA because there urgent local bills that must be done. Some of them involve the splitting of provinces and creation of districts. The filing of certificate of candidacies is fast approaching for the 2013 elections. So, we have to tackle those bills.

Q: On Monday the President will deliver his SONA, what are your expectations?

SP: I hope he will touch on the economic direction of his administration and the problem of security.

Q: Like the Scarborough security?

SP: Over-all security of the country. Scarborough is only a part of that.

Q: Do you think all the promises in the President's last SONA were fulfilled?

SP: I do not know. I cannot even remember what he has promised. I guess there was a great effort on his part to accomplish what he publicly promised the people he will do. Let us give him a chance.

Q: On the part of Congress because there were some bills he requested to be approved, naka-deliver ba 'yung Kongreso?

SP: I cannot remember the bills that he promised. The budget was passed, the two amendments of the Anti-money Laundering Law was passed..I cannot recall the others.

Q: The bills that PNoy mentioned in his SONA like the Anti-Trust bill, Witness Protection Act, Whistle-blower, National Land Use bills were not passed , do you think the impeachment trial was a factor why these priority bills were neglected?

SP: The impeachment trial took a great deal of our time during this first half of the year. It took us about over four months to dispose the case. Indeed, our legislative effort was somehow derailed because of that case. On Charter Change

SP: We are proposing charter change not to revise the Constitution but only to make the economic provisions more flexible. It's a simple introduction of a phrase that will enable Congress, when needed, to change the ratios of participation of Filipinos and foreigners in a given business enterprise that will involve in the exploitation, development and utilization of natural resources and such other areas of business concerns where a certain percentage of Filipino participation is required.

Q: Since Malacañang is reportedly lukewarm in amending the Constitution, is there any plan from you and Speaker Sonny Belmonte to meet with the President?

SP: Speaker Belmonte, when we met recently because he came to my house with the majority floor leader of the House of Representatives, promised that he would reach out to the President and find out if he would be receptive and available for discussion to our proposal to re-examine the economic provisions of the Constitution.

Q: So, for now wala pa schedule with the President? SP: Wala pa.

Q: Sir, some are saying that this won't materialize kung before 2013 mid-term elections ipu-push ang cha-cha because the legislators will be busy with the budget and then they will be in the election mode...

SP: Alam mo, 'yung nag-ngagawgaw hindi nila pinag-aralan 'kasi sandali lang 'yan. Kung talagang asikasuhin natin at harapin natin sandali lang yan. It does not require too much time.

Q: Bakit limited lang to economic provisions, Sir? Some are saying that it should not be limited to economic provisions only.

SP: Hindi pwede 'yun. Hindi nila naintindihan 'yong proseso na gagawin namin. The House will file a resolution limiting it that particular subject we have spoken with the Speaker. Now, if ginulo 'yon at hinaluan ng mga iba then hindi na papasa 'yong resolution. Ganoon din sa Senado. Kaya lahat mga kuro kuro 'yan, panananakot hindi mangyayari 'yan.

Q: 'Yung concern na maka-derail sa economic progress ng bansa itong proposed change?

SP: It's a matter of opinion. Baka sasabihin nila, bakit ngayon lang natin ginawa yan?

Q: Sir, ayon kay Sen. Angara dapat daw babaguhin 'yong political structure kasi malaki daw epekto nito sa mabagal pag-unlad sa atin bansa?

SP: Hindi na kailangan 'yung political structure natin kasi ok na 'yung. Ano ibig nila sabihin? Federalized system? Papayag ako kung 'yung ang gusto nila para makita nila kung anong parte ng Pilipinas ang uunlad kaagad.

Q: Sir, ano ang plano? Cha-Cha via Con-Con or Con-Ass?

SP: Magastos 'yong con-con at mag-aaral pa sila. Hindi nila naiintindihan 'yong problema na hinaharap namin araw araw. Logically ang dapat gagawa ay 'yong dalawang bahay ng Kongreso. Hindi naman kailangan magsasama sa isang bubuong 'yung dalawang pagkat ng Kongreso. They can pass the resolution in the House, we pass the amendatory resolution in the Senate with the required number of votes that will be sufficient.

Q: So, via Constituent Assembly?

SP: Yes, in a modified form.

Q: Na-resolve na ba 'yung resolution on whether to vote separately?

SP: Siyempre, we will vote separately.

Q: When did the Speaker visit your house? SP: About last week.

Q: Sir, anong time frame binabalak n'yo dyan sa usapan n'yo nina Speaker?

SP: Wala kaming time-frame. The President is busy now preparing for this SONA, maybe after SONA.

Q: Pero, Sir, kailangan talaga suporta ni Presidente?

SP: Sa ating systema dito sa Pilipinas, sa ating systema ng gobyerno, hindi ka pwede i-bypass 'yung opisina ng Presidente. He's the chief executive of the country and he is in charge of policies. So, we have to discuss with him whatever proposal we have in mind and explain our position to him.

Q: What are the sentiments of majority of the legislators on this?

SP: I have not talked to my colleagues in Senate about it. But I am sure they are as equally patriotic as anyone else. They want their countrymen to have a better life. They want their country to progress and provide jobs for our jobless people.

Q: Sir, bakit hindi isama 'yong political system (sa Cha-Cha) para hindi piece meal?

SP: Ayaw namin isama 'yung makakagulo na aspeto. Magulo 'yong political. Wala kaming intention gagalawin 'yong political structure ng gobyerno. Maraming debate 'yun. Yun nagsasabi 'yan dapat mag-aaral muna kayo.

Q: You will talk to the President to convince him ...

SP: No, papaliwanag sa kanya kung ano naming pinaplano dahil hindi pa niya alam. Kung ano balak namin. 'Yong pinopropose namin na amendment ay one phrase lang.

Q: Sir, ipapatuloy nyo ba 'yung cha-cha kahit hindi isuporta ng Pangulo?

SP: Depende kung ano ang aming paningin sa kanya. Sa totoo lang, 'yung resolution na mag-amyenda ng Saligang Batas sa akin paningin ay hindi na dadaan sa Presidente 'yun dahil resolution lang ng House with the correct number of votes. Now, the budget support for the proposed plebiscite must pass through Malacañang.

Q: Sa tingin po ninyo na personal na desisyon ni Presidente yung wag muna galawin ang Constitution? Do you think the President would be sentimental about it?

SP: Hindi ko alam kung personal niya yun. I don't know. I don't pretend to read the minds of anyone. I present my case, I argue my case, and I will try to make the other side understand and accept my case.

Q: Doon sa proposal ninyo na baguhin na yung 60-40 ownership, bakit may malaki nang pangangailangan?

SP: Hindi namin binabago. Mali yung interpretation na babaguhin namin yung 60-40. Ang sinasabi namin, we are supporting a 60-40 rule, but do not put it in the Constitution. Let it be delegated to Congress so that Congress will have the flexibility to maintain it or to relax it, if there is a need for it.

Q: So ibibigay po sa kamay ng Congress yung pagde-decide?

SP: Yes. Ngayon, naintindihan na?

Q: Clarify lang po, sinasabi ninyo na ire-retain yung 60-40, pero dadagdagan na parang as may be defined by Congress?

SP: Alam mo ngayon, sabi kailangan 60-40. Wala nang makakagalaw diyan unless you amend the Constitution na baguhin mo yung ratio. Gagawa kami ng paraan na 60-40, ngunit, kung kailangan in certain areas of our economy that Congress will relax it, then Congress, in its wisdom, may do so without abandoning the protection of Filipino interests.

Q: Ano po yung magiging basis para i-relax yung 60-40? SP: Bahala na ang Kongreso nun. You cannot anticipate it. Q: Hindi ba may danger yun?

SP: Walang danger yun. Alam mo palagi tayong natatakot.

Q: Kung meron na tayong ganung flexibility sa 60-40 as defined by Congress, magkakaroon na tayo ng flexibility to deal with China in joint exploration sa Scarborough Shoal?

SP: Walang kinalalaman sa China yung aming ginagawa. Wag ninyong ico-connect yun sa mga Scarborough, mga Reef Bank, Spratly, mga Kalayaan, Panatag o ano pa. Walang lumpia yun, walang lomi yun. On the proposal that UNA and LP merge to form a super-coalition

SP: That is unrealistic. Mga out of the blue opinion lang yun. How can you marry the ticket of LP with the ticket of UNA where the ticket of UNA will contain 12 candidates and in the same manner, the ticket of LP will contain 12 names? Sino ang iba-bump off ng LP doon sa kanilang ticket at iba-bump off doon sa ticket ng UNA? Hindi mangyayari yun.

Q: The idea came from one of your party mates? Cong. JV Ejercito?

SP: Personal niya yun. That is not the position of the Executive Committee.

Q: Hindi ba nilagay sa alanganin ni JV ang UNA?

SP: Hindi. Kami, we are free to talk, whether our talk is hot air or good air or all air.

Q: What will happen sa role ng Senate sa check and balance kung bubuo ng isang super senatorial ticket?

SP: You beg the answer to the question. Totoo, hindi mangyayari yun. We are under a democratic setting. There are two political groups contending for power and they are presenting a full ticket to the people from whom the people will select the Senators that they want to elect. How can you possibly merge the two tickets?

Q: So yung offer na yun, it does not mean na threatened yung UNA?

SP: Kung natatandaan ninyo yung sinabi ko, David lang kami. Pygmy kami compared to a behemoth like the LP.

Q: Amenado po kayo na no match pa?

SP: Well, sa bandang huli, ang magpapasiya niyan ang bayan. Kung sino ang gusto nila.

Q: I heard that the national Executive Committee of UNA will have a meeting? What will be the agenda?

SP: I don't know. Siguro we are going to talk about how we can source our funding to support our campaign.

Q: Atty. JV Bautista said there will be an announcement of additional names sa Senatorial candidates? SP: Meron na kaming napili na mga kandidato na hindi pa naa-announce.

Q: Who are they sir?

SP: Pakinggan na lang ninyo mamaya.

Q: In our interview with JV Ejercito this morning mentioned Sen. Chiz Escudero?

SP: I think Chiz is going to join the ticket but Chiz has his own way of campaigning. He can campaign alone. He does not have to ascend the stage of any rally if he does not want to. On Cong. Jackie Enrile

SP: He is going to run in UNA. Nagpaalam na siya sa NPC. Mali yung sinasabi nila na kinausap ko si Presidente tungkol sa anak ko. When I meet with the President, we never talk politics. We talk about the problems of the country. Nagtataka nga ako. Siguro natatawa na lang si Presidente sa sinasabi na nag-usap kami tungkol dyan, ang attribution ay galing sa source from Malacañang, ewan ko kung sino yung taga doon. During that supposed meeting where I met the President and talked to him, I arrived first in the meeting and I had no chance to even shake the hand of the President. When the meeting was over, I went to the restroom and when I went out the President was no longer there. So, I was not able to shake his hand and say goodbye to him. How can I possibly be talking to him and whispering sweet things to him?

Q: Ano ang dahilan kung bakit may ganung intriga po?

SP: Kasi David kami. Hindi mo babatuhin yung mangga kung walang bunga.

Q: Kasi sa survey pang-ilan si Cong. Enrile?

SP: Ewan ko. Hindi naman talaga nag-depend sa survey yun. Hindi ko na nakikita yung anak ko kung saan-saan sila nagpupunta.

Q: Sa tingin ninyo magdadala kay Cong. Jackie Enrile yung pangalang Juan Ponce Enrile?

SP: Hindi naman siguro pwedeng dalhin niya na pangalan ay Bernardo Carpio? Anak ko siya, paano naman yun?

Q: So that is a big advantage for Cong. Jackie Enrile?

SP: Actually, I am on my way out from the Senate. I am not going to run again for any national political position. My son wants to run, to be a member of the Senate when I am gone, so I respect his desires. Q: Pag nagkataon, kung may magkapatid, may mag-amang Senador?

SP: Sandali lang yun. Aalis na ako sa 2016.

Q: Recently, VP Binay visited you in your office.

SP: Nagpunta sa akin si Vice President. We talked about the affairs of UNA and how we will conduct the campaign.

Q: Are you willing to tell us what you discussed?

SP: When you are in a combat situation, you do not telegraph your strategy and your plans, di ba? On his autobiography

SP: Just wait na lang. It may be this year, it may be next year, it may be never. On a Jojo-Jinggoy tandem in 2016

SP: Jojo-Jinggoy? It is too early to be discussing 2016. Many things can happen.

Q: But that is a possibility?

SP: Everything is a possibility in life. It could be that you will not anymore be here tomorrow, so why talk about 2016?

Q: Malakas na tandem po ba yun?

SP: It has to be tested on the ground. Sa aking paningin, bilang kasama ng pangkat na yan, it can equal or better an equally able thing. On the leadership of the House appealing the decision of the Supreme Court on the JBC

SP: I plead silence. Let the Supreme Court decide it.

Q: Sino pa ba dapat ang mag-represent nun?

SP: The only thing I can say is that if a retired Justice of the Supreme Court will have one vote, why shouldn't a representative of either House of Congress have a vote? A vote of equal weight? If a member of the Integrated Bar will have one vote, why should a member of the Senate or of the House a lesser weight? Because you see, nung ginawa nila yung 1987 Constitution, they were thinking of a single House. All of a sudden, it became two Houses and they did not repair these provisions. That is why there is a need to review the Constitution. Maraming mga kamalian.

Q: Kung isa lang 'yung representative, it does not reflect dun sa bicameral nature ng legislature.

SP: Dapat ibalik 'yung Commission on Appointments.

Q: Sa JBC sir?

SP: Oo. Noong araw, lahat ng mga huwes, kasama ang mga mahistrado sa Korte Suprema, dumadaan sa Commission on Appointments.

Q: Sir, may proposal na one-half ang vote ng representatives from the House and Senate...

SP: I don't think that was indicated in the Constitution. Alam mo walang half-half sa Commission on Appointments. Bawat member ng Commission on Appoinments, one full vote yun.

On the Scarborough Shoal issue

SP: Hindi na kailangan isama pa. Ewan ko lang kung isasama ni President pero trabaho ng Foreign Affairs 'yun.

Q: Mukhang sobra na daw ang pambu-bully ng China na pati Scarborough binabakuran na nila ngayon?

SP: Wala naman tayong panlaban sa Tsina. Kailangan sabihin niya na nandyan ang problema ng Scarborough. Palakasin natin ang Sandatahang Lakas. Bumili tayo ng mga eroplano, submarine, kanyon at mga missiles.

Q: The government was disappointed in the recent ASEAN ministers meeting kasi there was no joint statement being issued kasi the chairman daw po is Cambodian.

SP: Alam mo 'yung Tsina, malakas 'yun, neighbor niya 'yung Cambodia. Ang laki ng pera na binibigay ng Tsina sa Cambodia. Tayong mga bansa para ding sa politika sa loob ng Pilipinas 'yan. 'Pag maraming pera yung kalaban mo, mawawalan ka ng boto.

Q: Kung aminado tayo na no-match tayo sa Chinese military, hayaan na lang natin sila sa ginagawa nila?

SP: Kaya dinadala natin sila sa International Court of Justice para batas ang gagamitin at isinasama natin ang ating mga kaibigan.

Q: 'Yung problema na 'to, dapat bang bumalik sa Pilipinas 'yung mga bases ng US?

SP: Pag 'yan ang pinag-uusapan natin, magagalit na naman 'yung mga super nationalist. Hindi na kailangan 'yun. Di na kailangan dumating 'yung base ng military dito. Meron naman tayong Mutual Defense Treaty at Visiting Forces Agreement sa kanila. It's a question of good faith in applying these treaties.

On the proposal of a joint exploration

SP: Hindi ako papayag. Ano ang hatian? Sasabihin ng Tsina sa 'yo, mas marami kami, dapat mas malaki ang parte namin.

On Charter Change

Q: As the Senate President, do you think you can convince Malacañang about the necessity of Cha-Cha?

SP: I don't pretend that I can convince them but I'll try.

On the Sin Tax Bill

SP: Mahirap 'yun. Madugo 'yun. Matagal na usapan 'yun. Kawawa naman 'yung mga bumibili ng sigarilyo na tingi-tingi. Magiging mahal masyado 'yung sigarilyo.

On Senate having time to pass the Sin Tax Bill

SP: We will give it a hearing when that bill comes here but whether it will pass or not is something else. 'Yung lower class of cigarettes, they increased the tax by I think 700%. Sino ang tatamaan noon? 'Yung mga jeepney drivers, telephone operators sa call center, 'yung mga nagtratrabaho, ordinary workers, they cannot afford a heavy tax.

Sigurado mayroon nag-lolobby pero wala pang lumalapit sa akin.

Q: Maaapprove po ba 'yun?

SP: 'Yan ang hindi ko masasagot.

Q: Sir, nagrereklamo 'yung tobacco industry kasi mas malaki yung i-iimpose sa kanila na tax kumpara sa alcohol...

SP: Isa 'yun sa pag-uusapan. Matatagalan siguro ang approval. Si Cesar Purisima kailangan pumunta sa amin at ipaliwanag ng mabuti 'yun.

On the RH bill

SP: Hindi pa naa-approve sa House. Kanya-kanyang position diyan sa RH bill. Merong mga boboto ng for. Merong mga boboto ng no. Kung sino ang mas marami. Malabo ma-approve. 'Yun ang feeling ko sa mga member ng Senado.

On the Freedom of Information Bill

SP: To tell you the truth, hindi ko na alam kung ano ang status.


SP: Nasa sa presidente 'yun. Kung kailangan nila, dalasan nila ang pagme-meeting. Kung hindi naman, okay lang 'yung mabagal. Merong mga panukalang batas na ganun na lang. Meron mga batas dyan na fina-file lang para lumaki ang accomplishment nung mga nag-file.

Q: Makakatulong po ba sa priority bills ng Malacañang kung magkakaroon ng LEDAC?

SP: Hindi naman. Meron naman silang listahan nung gusto nilang ipasa. Nabigyan na kami nun.

On the creation of Philhealth wards

SP: Sinasabi ng Philhealth ngayon, ayaw na daw sila suportahan ng mga ospital dahil hindi nagbabayad daw. Bakit naman hindi nagbabayad 'yung Philhealth samantalang nagbabayad naman ng premium 'yung mga tao.

Q: Hindi po ba wise na alisin 'yung charity ward?

SP: Palagay ko hindi dapat na alisin.

On the pork barrel of senators and congressmen in public hospitals

SP: 'Yung akin, para sa mga mahihirap na nangangailangan ng tulong. Hindi ko tatanggalin 'yun.

On his survey rating changing from very good to good a few days before the verdict of former Chief Justice Corona came out

SP: Hindi ko iniintindi ang mga survey. Ginagawa ko lang ang trabaho ko. Huwag lang bad.

On local chapters joining UNA

SP: Wala pa naman akong nahahalatang pumapasok sa amin. Mararamdaman mo 'yang shifting na 'yan later on.

Bahala na kami dun. Ayaw namin sabihin ang strategy namin.

On how UNA is building up local support for national bets

SP: Sasabihin siguro naming sa malalakas, kunin niyo 'yung pera ng iba at iboto ninyo 'yung kandidato namin.

On UNA allies competing against each other for local posts

SP: Walang ganyan na maglalaban sa local. 'Yuna UNA at PDP-Laban kasi wala masyadong representation sa ibaba. So, we can connect with local parties. Maraming malalakas sa local parties. Pwede ka naman maki-connect sa ibang parties. Alam mo, dito sa politika, kahit na kalaban mo, pwede mong kausapin at sabihin na 'yung boto mo, ibigay mo sa akin.

On UNA financial supporters

SP: Wala naman. Wala pa naman akong naririnig. Siguro hihingan ng kontribusyon 'yung mga kakandidato para masuportahan 'yung headquarters ng UNA.

On UNA funding its campaign

SP: I don't know. Maybe we have to dig deep in our pockets. We will do fundraising campaigns siguro. We will connect with candidates with resources.

On Koko Pimentel running under UNA

SP: Hindi na siya magiging kandidato ng UNA sapagkat ayaw niya. Lahat ng kandidato ng UNA ay i-cecertify namin sa Comelec. Siya mismo ay ayaw niya ma-identify sa UNA.

Marami pa kaming hindi na-aaccommodate na kandidato.

On JPE campaigning actively for UNA

SP: Oo. Syempre naman. I will have to go around and campaign for the candidates of UNA. You know, I enjoy campaigning. Trip ko 'yun.

On Rep. Jack Enrile's campaign slogan

SP: "Friend kita." Pwede rin niyang sabihin, "Happy ako kasi friend kita." Nagbibiro lang ako. Wala pa 'yun.

On the UNA meeting

SP: Ako'y nakikinig lang. Alam mo, masarap 'yung nakikinig lang. Kain ka lang ng kain. Sila ang nagsasalita.

On reprimanding Congressman JV

SP: Why should I reprimand anybody? Kami ay hindi ganyan basta free speech. Hindi ko sinabi na out of this world ang idea niya. I am talking in generalities and not in particular.

On the show of force of UNA in Cebu

SP: Ewan ko kung show of force 'yun. Ako imbitado at pupunta doon para kumain. Si Erap din imbitado para kumain ng lechon. Si Vice President imbitado rin mananghalian doon. Kung 'yun ay show of force, salamat.

On LP's candidate being a true Magsaysay

SP: Talaga namang Magsaysay si Jun. Ramon siya. Junior siya ng dating Presidente natin na Ramon Magsaysay pero mayroon namang may apelyido ng Magsaysay. Bakit mo naman sasabihin na hindi tunay na Magsaysay 'yun? Hindi naman Juana Dela Cruz 'yun.

On a real opposition for next year's election

SP: Actually, UNA is a United Nationalist Alliance meaning it is an alliance of people who believe in fostering a certain ideological principle of government. Now, we do not consider ourselves as opposition in the sense of opposing all the time. We oppose when it's bad for the country. We cooperate when it is for the good of the nation. We will become constructive fiscalizers.

On LP not wanting common candidates

SP: Basta I leave it to the parties to decide. Ako, my advice to my son is to run under UNA. Pinayagan na siya ng NPC to run under UNA.

On the crime rate going up compared to the last administration

SP: Maraming dahilan kung bakit tataas ang crime rate, increase in population, increase in poverty, increase in stressful life. Marami 'yan or kapabayaan ng namamahala ng law and order.

On poverty increasing despite the increase in DSWD's fund

SP: All over the world. 'Yan ang phenomenon.

On JPE's SONA expectations

SP: Wala akong SONA expectation. I just do my work as I go along. I'm not expecting anything. I just propose and it's up to the country, the people and my colleagues in Congress to accept my proposal or not. It's their responsibility if they don't.

On Scarborough issue in the PNoy's SONA speech

SP: If I were the President, I wouldn't touch it in my SONA. That's a sensitive national security problem. It's better to not to talk about it. Don't talk about a problem that your enemy has an interest on. I will not advocate back-channeling. That's dangerous. Back-channeling with a giant is dangerous. What are you going to hold? His tail? You involve your friends in order to hold the giant at bay. Whoever is your friend.

Ako, ang suggestion ko dyan, huwag masyado pag-usapan ang Scarborough kung ano ang position natin diyan. Sasabihin mo doon sa kalaban mo, "Ito ang gagawin ko bukas. Sisipain ko ang pwet mo."

News Latest News Feed