Press Release
October 15, 2013

Excerpts of Interview of Senate President Franklin M. Drilon
Mornings @ ANC with Pinky Webb
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Q: From the time Sen. Estrada delivered his privilege speech, did you expect it was gonna get this bad?

DRILON: No. I didn't think so. Just let me emphasize: what is in issue is corruptions, the improper use of the public funds. That's how this whole thing started when the COA came out with its report on PDAF. Let's us not digress out of that issue. Let me emphasize that DAP is a program, not a fund, in order to catch with the public expenditure program. If you can recall, in 2010, the DBM was criticized for its very slow disbursement program. Kaya towards the end of 2011, the government was really falling way behind in its public expenditure program, that is why the economy only expanded at 3.6% at that time as against the targets of 6-6.5%. That is why in 2011, there was a program not a fund which was designed as a catch-up program in order to accelerate spending.

This is based on the constitutional power of the president and heads of constitutional bodies to realign funds. The issue of corruption should be addressed. Pero ika nga, the issue of corruption was lost in translation.

Q: You cited the , let me read that, the President cannot juggle funds from one department to another?

DRILON: We are not juggling funds from one department to another.

Q: It's still with the executive?

DRILON: It's still with the executive. When you say, can you fund this bridge? In the budget is bridge B which is not being implemented and the authorization will expire in 2011. What the President did upon the request of legislators is to move authorization from bridge a to bridge b from the same department, from the same branch of government.

DRILON: Whether or not your request on the review of the Executive whether it is a valid project. The fact that the legislator requested is not illegal because that is allowed under the Constitution. The Constitution allows the augmentation of the budget. It was done by the previous presidents.

DRILON: What is funny is this is a prerogative that has been exercised in the past, not only by past presidents but also by CJs, the Ombdusman, the Comelec, etc. Unfortunately, he DAP became a punching bag which I emphasized this is not a fund which was resulted to in order to catch up with the public spending and was sourced from savings.

Q: Was there a problem that you sent out this letter in November, a couple of months before the impeachment?

DRILON: I don't recall that the impeachment process in the House started already. Its' way before the impeachment process started in the House certainly, at the very least, we did not know in the Senate this was going to happen.

We did not get these funds; we nominated projects that can be implemented at that time. The issue was how it used. I can account for every single peso. The problem should be was this used properly. These did go to fake NGOs? That should be the inquiry.

Q: There's nothing wrong with receiving more apart from the P200 million PDAF?

DRILON: We submitted projects beyond P200 million at that time. We nominated the projects. What is important is: were these projects implemented properly?

DRILON: I am asking COA to audit all of these DAP. If it is not properly used, then file appropriate charges.

Q: On the Senate caucus

DRILON: First, I discovered about noontime that were two senators, Sen. Marcos and Sen. Aquino, that are still abroad. Sen. Recto was down with flu, Sen. Santiago in on leave, and one or two others said they will not be able to attend. I thought a 48-hour - today is holiday - will not do any harm; will allow a full participation by all the senators in the agenda in the caucus which were very important. Number one, we want to have a consensus on how to dispose the PDAF issue. Per count of a major newspaper, 17 senators said they can delete the PDAF. Number two, the timetable in the budget and FOI bill. Lastly, the subpoena. We want that a full Senate.

Q: A newspaper says there are 17 senators who want PDAF deleted?

DRILON: Honestly I am relying to that report.

Q: How the Senate will delete PDAF?

DRILON: By a manifestation, by a resolution. Or the alternative is for the senators who are allocated P200-M could manifest that he will amend the budget to delete P200-M, so that the budget is reduced by P200-M. If 24 senators say, that's P4.8 billion; therefore, the budget will be reduced by that amount.

Q: Is it a possibility that senators say he wants to keep his PDAF, or you have to speak as one?

DRILON: It's possible. That is entirely possible. I am just stating a conservative approach.

Q: Does that hold in 2014 only?

DRILON: It will hold in 2014 because the budget is on a yearly basis. The President can delete it already in 2015 so there's nothing to consider.


Q: If for example the government wants to implement DAP again, is that something acceptable to the senators? O Tama na?

DRILON: You cannot say tama na yung DAP, do not forget it's an acceleration program. You have to have that flexibility. The Constitution says that not only the president, but the CJ, heads of constitutional commission. You cannot say abolish DAP because in the first place it is a program necessary to spur spending.


DRILON: The FOI was already sponsored by Sen. Poe before we went on a break. It is now subject to interpellation. A number of senators have asked clarification on certain issues. We will work on this. We will try to have it passed before the year is over, but given the fact the budget will be coming probably in Nov. once the budget is in the Senate, the other items on the floor will have to be suspended. We want to finish the budget by December 31, before we go on a break.

Q: FOI will take a back seat - I mean it's a priority of the Senate - but it takes a backseat once the budget comes in?

DRILON: That is why we hope to terminate the interpellation before the budget comes in. We're giving ourselves six months including to pass two measures: budget and FOI.

Q: On Napoles DRILON: Let me go back. First, let me emphasize is what is important is we will be able to dispense justice properly; punish the guilty and acquit the innocent. The case is before the Ombudsman - as former Secretary of Justice - I don't want to prejudice the Ombudsman which is basically to dispense justice. If the Ombudsman advised us pwede bang ipagpaliban muna. What is wrong with deferring to the Ombudsman on the side of caution, on the side of prudence?

Again, the chairman of the Blue Ribbo asked for reconsideration. The Ombdusman said while I maintain my view, I defer to the collective judgment and that's why I called for a caucus.

Q: Why did you do that?

DRILON: Because the Ombdusman said it would not be advisable at this time. Then, there was reconsideration. This time

Q: As SP, You're entitle to make your own decision...

DRILON: Yes. Now, I leave it to the collective judgment of the senators.

Q: Sen. Revilla said he was dismayed...

DRILON: We hear that and the senators will take that into account when the caucus decides tomorrow

Q: If the senators decide to call here, how soon will that be?

DRILON: I would not know. It depends on the chairman of the Blue Ribbon.

Q: But you have to sign the subpoena?

DRILON: With that collective judgment, no question.

Q: Tapos na yun?


Q: On PNoy rating

DRILON: These are perceptions at the moment. I am sure as we move along in the next several months, they will see how serious the President is in instituting reforms which are not easy. I am confident the ratings will move back to where it was before.

News Latest News Feed