Press Release
July 4, 2016


Una sa lahat, thanks for inviting me.

You know, whatever happens, I will still be your friend and I will still pursue outside of the box solutions especially to our long-running inter-generational problems.

Last June 30, I witnessed the oath taking of President Duterte and his cabinet. Nowadays, we hear the saying "Change is Coming" all the time. Everyone is excited for Change. These are exciting times for all of us.

Let me take advantage of your presence. Let me talk about President Digong and his party the PDP LABAN. So that you will know what kind of Change has come. Dumating na po si Change at ito yon:

1. We dedicate ourselves to the all-out search for Peace in our land;

2. We will move for the adoption of a Federal System of Government;

3. We will launch an all-out war against crime, drugs, and corruption;

4. We will reform our taxation system and make it more just and truly progressive;

5. We will give more importance to micro-economics than to the macro-economic indicators. Household income and expenditure numbers are more important than GDP figures;

6. We will have Rule of Law and make the justice system work;

7. We will reform the budget and declare a war on waste;

8. We agree that economic growth should be inclusive but we believe that it should also be sustainable;

9. We will fight abuse and the abusive;

10. We will focus on the common man because the government is needed more by the faceless, voiceless, powerless, defenseless, and penniless members of Philippine society;

In short, our mantra under this new government is: "The Poorest First, the Poor Second!" Do not worry too much about the shift to the Federal System of Government as there will still be a Legislature under that system.

Under Federal-Presidential espoused by my father former Senate President Nene Pimentel, there will still be a Philippine Senate, a much larger one. We will be hiring more employees.

Under Federal-Parliamentary espoused by other Federalistas, there will still be a legislative branch, the Parliament, which can absorb the current employees of the Philippine Senate.

Each Regional State will also have its own legislative branch which can benefit from the expertise you have developed here in the Senate. You can choose to work therefore in your own region.

Hence, I repeat, there is nothing to worry about.

Regarding other specialized Senate matters, I am not ready to comment at length on many of them as I have been with you for only four years and ten months plus. I still cannot consider myself an expert on Senate administrative matters.

Since I am joining the President's call to end contractualization, I have to be consistent and call for the minimization of contractualization's equivalent in the public sector, which is casualization.

I have been informed that we have more than 200 casuals. If and when I become Senate President, I will encourage all our casuals to regularize. I have heard of the union's programs to assist our casuals become regulars. I will support said programs as we have the same goal. Thank you for helping your fellow workers in government.

I have also been informed that the Senate has been returning unused or unneeded money to the National Treasury year after year. This is good because this means that we have not been forcing ourselves to spend unnecessarily, especially at end of year. But let us try a better practice. Why not plan the Senate budget better so that it more accurately reflects the true needs of our institution? Let us try not to contribute to the over-all bloating of the national budget so that once and for all, the clamor for tax reform, for lower tax rates, can be seriously entertained by the Government.

As we enter a new era in our country's history, remember not only the battle cry for Change, but the more important fact that we are "partners for this Change" and we are "partners in this Change".

My fellow Change-minded Filipinos, together let us build a Philippine society which is JUST and FAIR, which SAVES and SHARES, which is SCIENTIFIC and OBJECTIVE, which is PEACEFUL and DEMOCRATIC, which is EDUCATED and HEALTHY, and which is, most of all, HAPPY and FREE, with overflowing LOVE OF COUNTRY.

Let us welcome the Change that is already here. Let us all be part of it.

Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

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