Press Release
August 6, 2015

Transcript of Ambush Interview with Senate President Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On Senator Grace Poe as Secretary Mar Roxas' partner in the 2016 elections

SPFMD: Grace Poe has been an ally of the administration. She has been supportive of the administration in the Senate, and yes, we would like Grace Poe to be nominated as running-mate of Mar.

Q: Does Sec. Mar Roxas need Sen. Poe, or does Sen. Poe need Sec. Mar?

SPFMD: We find in Grace Poe somebody who can support the reforms that this administration has been pushing and which we wish to continue in the next administration.

Q: Can Sec. Mar still win without Grace Poe?

SPFMD: Mar will build up his strength as a presidential candidate.

Q: On Sen. Lacson's statement regarding allocations in the 2016 budget

SPFMD: Well how it will be allocated? We will be transparent. We can assure Senator Lacson that the administration will allocate these funds in the areas where it is needed and within constitutional limits, and make sure that it is consistent with the Supreme Court decision.

You know, those fears that they might be used for elections this and that, are speculative. What is critical is that we are able to spend public funds in the manner that is consistent with our policies, because 25% of the GDP is sourced out of government spending. And if you do not spend as appropriated, the efforts to expand the economy suffers.

Bantayan na lang ng taumbayan kung saan gagastusin ito, but we should not act on the basis of fears.

Q: How much of the 2016 budget will be front-loaded?

SPFMD: I do not know, but the matter of the releases of the budget by our system is lodged in the executive.

Q: On Rationalization of Mining Revenues

SPFMD: Well the mining sector themselves said that they would want to await for the next administration for purposes of these excise taxes in mining. They have not been pushing for the amendments to the taxes on mining.

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