Press Release
September 26, 2014

Transcript of Interview of Senate President Franklin M. Drilon

SPFMD: And addition na hinihingi ng Supreme Court ay about P7.2 billion which is almost 50% of THE proposed budget for the Judiciary. We have to look at that very closely. That really depends on the Committee on Finance. We asked questions in order to establish the basis for the decisions the Committee may make on that additional request of 50% more than what is provided under the National Expenditure Program.

Q: Do you see the need for increasing the Judiciary's budget?

SPFMD: That is precisely the role of the committee.

Q: Iko-consider din ba yung somehow part ito pagbagal ng justice system?

SPFMD: In fact, during the hearing, they said they have P1.5 to P1.7 billion in savings. Whether or not that indicates that the budget is sufficient, I do not know. But they have savings.

Q: Yung suspension ni Sen. Bong, i-implement na po ba?

SPFMD: We have not received the order yet, but we will implement it in the same manner we implemented the two other suspension orders.

Q: Kinukwestyon yung jurisdiction the Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) ng Binay camp?

SPFMD: I firmly believe that the BRC has jurisdiction. As defined in the rules, on the basis of the resolution filed, there can be hearings in aid of legislation. This is an investigation in aid of legislation. Merong jurisdiction po ang BRC doon sa mga inquiries na ginagawa. Of course, VP Binay and Mayor Binay can bring this issue to the Supreme Court. That's a privilege of every citizen. But let met reiterate that the questions are in aid of legislation, not for anything else. That is consistent with the decision of the SC.

Q: Can the SC stop any legislative function?

SPFMD: I don't believe the SC has the power to enjoin legislative acts. The principle of separation of powers dictates that we are supreme in our own sphere.

Q: Or to stop inquiries for that matter?

SPFMD: That matter and a number of cases have been brought to the SC and the SC has always sustained the right of legislature to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.

Q: Has there been any case before na pina-stop yun hearing ng SC?

SPFMD: I don't recall any instance that the SC stops an inquiry. I think there was one case where the inquiry... the resolution prompting the inquiry did not assert that it was in aid of legislation. Since that hearing, all inquiries are done in aid of legislation. That is within the prerogative and the power of legislature.

Q: Clarify lang, you're saying if the SC stops in inquiry, it would violate the separation of powers?

SPFMD: I am just stating a principle. The separation of power would call for the Senate to continue its investigation in aid of legislation.

Q: Going back to the suspension, pag-uusapan pa ba ito sa Senado?

SPFMD: Ang position po namin, ang order po ay in-implement namin. We are not imposing a suspension. This is an implementation of a court order consistent with the decision of the SC.

Q: Sa emergency power, convince na ba kayo or you need more explanation?

SPFMD: That is a matter that is addressed to the sound judgment of the Committee on Energy.

Q: Yesterday, Sen. Serge said he will recommend not granting emergency power as worded by the DOE or government?

SPFMD: First, there is no draft resolution coming from the DOE. In fact, the hearing is being conducted upon the resolution of Sen. Osmena and my resolution asking for an examination of the so-called deficiency in our power supply in summer, and examine the need for additional supplies.

Q: It's much cheaper to buy power from the participants (in the private sector)?

SPFMD: It's correct because from our studies, in Luzon there are about hundred megawatts from the private sector that is not part of the grid. These are power generated out of generating sets. In shopping malls, cement factories, they have back-up power generator. My information is that there are about a hundred megawatts power available in Luzon. I agree with Sen. Osmena to let us see first why we cannot tap these megawatts. The next question in there is one particular power plant whose capacity is only double what the actual generation now is. That is Ilijan power plant in Batangas. Why we can't fully utilize this? We have the Malaya One which is not working. Why can we not open this? In fact, at this point, it is not yet clear to us how much do we really need. But we recognize that there indeed is a shortage. How to address this best at the least cost is what the committee is looking.

Q: Is there a plan to investigate SAJ or JDF?

SPFMD: There is no resolution on that.

Q: Is there a way na yung hinihiling ng SC na wala doon sa proposal ng DBM, mabibigay sa kanila yun?

SPFMD: Not only SC, but all the agencies are requesting for additional budget. But at the end of the day, you look at it and see whether you can increase the deficit program and examine its effects on the economy of a higher deficit. This is a zero sum game. If you increase one agency, you have to reduce the other agencies unless you want to increase the deficit.

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