Press Release
July 19, 2013

Press Conference Transcript
Legend Restaurant 
(Part 1)

Senator Alan S. Cayetano (ASC):

I think for every challenge there is an opportunity. Sa opening ng SONA na ito, my expectations for the President is for him to talk about his accomplishments in the past and for him to talk about his plans for the future.

Although we have already discussed the trickle-down effect of the economy and how the people will feel the benefits of the economic growth, I believe they're working on the programs and policy directions that would not only continue the growth of the economy but have some interventions that will assure that the trickle down of the economy is felt.

(Adverse correlation of Corruption to Development)

I think the President will emphasize on the direct correlation of corruption to development. For example, ang isa sa mga naiiwan na sector is agriculture. Makikita natin yung brewing PDAF scam. Definitely ang casualty dito ay ang mga farmers.

So why am I saying that there is opportunity? I am referring to reforms in the pork barrel. For so long, there have been calls to remove or reform the pork barrel. Meron din namang reforms sa pork barrel pero hindi sweeping para matanggal ang korapsyon.

Ang kinakatakot naman ng mga farmers, bakit daw nung panahaon ni GMA, may fertilizer scam. Sa administrasyong iyon, hindi lang yung scam ang tinanggal, pati yung libreng fertilizer tinanggal. What I'm saying is we have to address the issue. We have to hit the nail on its head. Yun yung sinasabi ko sa ZTE, Fertilizer, and Swine scam. Hindi kinasuhan yung mga director na involved. Yung ASEC, USEC walang pananagutan. Yung mga may sala sa scam na ito, paikot-ikot lang sa iba't ibang departamento.

(FOI, Whistleblowers' Act & Witness Immunity)

There are 3 things that we have to accomplish in the next 6 months as a measure to reform the system to fight corruption. Number 1, yung FOI. Para kahit sinong Pilipino pwedeng magkaroon ng sariling expose by simply following the paper trail. Number 2 is the Whistle blower's act. Hanggang ngayon, ang hirap pa rin maging witness. Last week, kausap ko yung witnesses sa sex-for-flight. Hanggang ngayon, wala pa rin silang protection. Number 3, we must talk about the concept of giving a witness immunity.

For example si Jun Lozada, since it's a different case, wala siyang immunity sa iba. Kunwari ang isang tao, nag-participate sa limang kaso pero sa isang kaso lang siya witness. May papayag ba na sa isang kaso lang siya immune pero ikukulong mo siya sa apat na kaso? Kaya sa ibang bansa, kung ituturo mo yung mastermind, key witness ka.

Pero siyempre there must be safeguards. Ang mga batas natin, hindi kasing lakas sa pagtugis sa mga krimen tulad ng ibang bansa.

(Full support to NBI investigation on PDAF Scam)

I think we should support the NBI and make sure that they have everything they need. I also urge my fellow senators and their staff to open their books.

Mahirap kasi na ang senado ang magiimbistiga. Unang tanong, may maniniwala ba? Pangalawa, kung nagkaroon ng feeling na nagkakapersonalan na, maraming bills na hindi maipapasa. I would be the first to say that let's investigate kung walang credible na magiinvestigate. Pero the NBI is doing well.

So for me, it is really supporting and strengthening the NBI unless there is a valid reason for another independent probe at this point in time.

Cayetano pushes for Comprehensive PDAF reform measure by (1) including it in GAA through line-item budget system, (2) specified use, and (3) transparency through FOI

I think this is another opportunity. Many of us who are in the anti-GMA or Impeach GMA movement advocated for a line-item budget. So I think by doing a line-item budget, automatically ay maa-address ito.

Define Pork Barrel. For me, pork barrel is lump sum. Although categorizing certain departments, have much more discretion or the people in charge of it has much more discretion where it is to go rather than line-item allotments.

For example, for a senator, it's understandable that we want to have our own projects. It's understandable that as a compromise [hindi mailalagay sa budget]. Halimbawa ako, kung pro-agriculture o pro-education ako pero ang allotment ay limited, what's the difference kung bibigyan mo ako ng 200 million na lump sum as PDAF and I'll decide during the year where to put it as compared to putting that amount in the National budget already, naka-line item na kung saan nais ilagay ang pondo na ito as pruority [ kunwari ganito sa pagtayo ng elementary school sa Palawan, at ganitong elementary school sa Laguna...].

Same thing with hospitals, one of the most effective sa pork barrel ngayon ay yung sa Medical Assistance dahil marami walang matakbuhan. But you can put it in the budget. Pwedeng under PGH, under Vicente Sotto in Cebu, under Rizal Medical.

I think there's a way that the DBM and the Appropriations and Finance Committee can come out with not only a stricter guideline on disbursement of PDAF but to put it in the national budget already.

Ang mangyayari ay talagang law-making o talagang allotment of funds ang trabaho ng mga senador then may referral system lang. All the senators and congressmen have to do is to write or to tell the hospital [for example] that there's 5M for their constituents, make sure that they use it.

I think, there's a way of still meeting the objectives. Remember the two objectives of Pork Barrel: (1) Sa Congressmen ang objective niyan ay kahit gaano kaliit, kahit gaano kalayo, kahit gaano ka-rural ng isang ugar, you will get an equivalent amount of funds. Kasi kapag tinanggal ang pork barrel sa House, baka sa highly urbanized lang lahat mapunta ang pondo. Ang ini-ensure lang ng mga Congressmen ay walang taxation without representation. Meaning, each district should get the same which can be done through line-item.

(2) The second purpose is that kung hindi priority ng budget, at least a legislator can get enough fund to find a project or to drive that out. Meaning kung halimbawa, kulang yung pondo ng state universities, at the very least may mapagkukunan yung universities. Again, pwede mo naming i-line item yun. The only thing na mawawala sayo yung flexibility na you decide where to put it during the year.

It will still be more transparent because pwede mo nang bantayan yun. Ang problema kasi sa pork barrel funds sa ngayon, ang hirap bantayan. Mainit lang talaga sa pork barrel because lawmakers are supposed to be people that you trust. The lawmakers are the ones who are investigating the executive branch. I mean, if you'll look at the pork barrel, ang budget natin ay 1 trillion. Ang 10% ng 1 trillion is 100B , Ang 1 % nun ay 10B. What's PDAF 1% OR 1.5%? So, there's much more corruption in the 98.5% but yung 1% kasi na yun ay yun ang mga tao na dapat nagbabantay sa 98%.

Hindi sa pinag iinitan mo yung COA (halimbawa). Ang COA kasi an nagbabantay sa lahat. So kung may aomalyang maliit sa COA, hindi sa pinag-iinitan mo sila, o sa Ombudsman o sa piskal. It's just that sila yung inaasahan mo kasi. Sila ang bantay e. So ang bantay basta't naging bantay salakay mas mainit at mas masakit tlga yan. That's why I showed you this newspaper (Shows Singaporean newspaper article "PM urges WP chief to clear doubts on fellow MP's integrity). It's so important for Congress to have credibility and integrity. All of our companions, both in the senate and in the House has to understand this.

It's not about kung gaano kalaki ang amount. It's not about kung kailangan ng constituents niyo ng projects o hindi. Given na lahat yon, it's about the people trusting us.

Paano natin iimbestigahan ang mga fertilizer scam. Let's say may mga fertilizer scam na 10B. Paano mo iimbestigahan yun kung tingin nila may mga senador na sumawsaw sa fertilizer scam. I think it's very important in the next few months, either maparusahan or makasuhan or ma-clear yung name nung mga kasama dito para magkaroon ng trust sa gobyerno.

It's so important na itong issue ng pork barrel maresolve para hindi maapektuhan yung trust. Habang yung system ng pork barrel ay malaki ang discretion ng legislators in the sense that throughout the year they can decide where and what agency to put the funds etc. Magkakaroon ng doubt, pero kung nasa budget na yan, hindi mo pwedeng sabihin sa agency na ililipat ko yan. I think many of the issues of the pork barrel (not all) but many will be addressed if we put the PDAF in the budget for the year through line budget system.

Pork barrel is by discretion and you have a lump sum. We are assuring that the congressmen and their districts get the projects. But this time, department projects na. For example, what we can do is assign the P70M to state universities and colleges. You can give P10M to UP, P20M to PUP, and so on.

Ang sinasabi ko, instead of lump sum, isama mo na yung proyekto mo sa annual budget. Tutal naman kasi, tayo rin naman ang nagpapasa ng budget sa deliberations. Ang mawawala ay yung discretion. Sa ngayon kasi, ang ginagawa ng mga senador at congressman ay may pondo sila at ibinibigay sa mga NGO. May discretion tuloy. Doon nagkakaroon ng anumalya.

Totoo naman ngayon na yung legislator, walang direktang hinahawakan ni piso. Pero may discretion siya kung saang agency ilalagay. Unlike overall budget mo ilalagay, yung department na ang magsasabi kung saan mapapupunta yung pera.

What's important is before the budget hearing, real reforms are passed. Hindi pakitang tao lang.

Cayetano on Senate Leadership

Let us let the members elect. We're hoping that despite the hype regarding senate leadership positions, the minority is willing to accept positions.

For the past few years, my advocacy has always been anti-graft and corruption and now during the campaign, Presyo, Trabaho, Kita or PTK. What I would like to have committees that have direct influence on these. If they are going to give me leadership positions which would help me shepherd these bills concerning these advocacies, then I am more than happy to accept them.

What I did was to give them a "set menu". Kung ano yung maibibigay sa akin, yun ang maipapasa ko. Ang mahalaga ay based on expertise or advocacy of each senator and committees na maibibigay sa kanila.

News Latest News Feed