Press Release
September 4, 2016

Recto prods Digong to convene NSC, LEDAC

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto is urging President Duterte to call for a National Security Council (NSC) meeting after his foreign trip next week, so that other leaders of the nation could help him develop policies and programs that would crush the resurgent Abu Sayyaf.

Another "productive sounding board" that Duterte can convene, Recto said, is the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), which had served three presidents as a forum to discuss cures to the nation's ills before it was mothballed during the Benigno Aquino III administration.

Recto said the first NSC meeting called by Duterte last July 27 in Malacañang was a "fruitful, useful" marathon meeting on the West Philippine Sea, which "benefitted from the insights" of four ex-presidents, Vice President Leni Robredo, congressional leaders and Cabinet members.

"If he is looking for a template in shaping policy, then his expert handling of the NSC provides the best example," Recto said.

In the aftermath of Friday's bloody Davao night market bombing by ISIS' local affiliate, "there is a need for a multipartisan discussion on the best way forward in these troubled times," Recto said.

"Everybody wants to help. This is not the time to point fingers but to offer a helping hand," he added.

If the four presidents - Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Benigno Aquino - will be in attendance in the NSC, "they can share their successes and failures in battling terrorism," the senator said.

"Theirs is a 'been there, done that' squad that can impart to the incumbent the pitfalls and the so-called minefields ahead," Recto said.

Recto said Duterte's four living predecessors had confronted terror attacks of all kinds, "from LRT and multiple bus bombings, mall explosions, the serial mass kidnapping of tourists, the sinking of a passenger ferry, the failed blowing up of a commercial plane, the burning of towns, and many more."

Another area where "pooled advice" is needed, Recto said, is "on how to uphold citizen's rights, minimize public inconvenience, rally the support of the people, manage the country's image abroad, and firewall the economy" during the period of the "state of lawless violence" and onward.

"But beyond the lessons they can share, their presence alone will provide for good optics, that there is unity in crushing terror in a way, in which citizen's rights and the country's economy are not harmed," he said.

Recto said the specific legislation needed on how "to simultaneously bring peace and progress" to the land will have to be fleshed out in the LEDAC.

Recto said Duterte had announced during the last NSC meeting that he will convene the LEDAC this month.

Duterte will be in Laos from September 6 to 8 for the yearly ASEAN Leaders Summit, which will also be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian president Vladimir Putin and leaders of Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.

From Laos, he will proceed to Jakarta, Indonesia, for an overnight official visit.

News Latest News Feed