Press Release
November 20, 2019

Transcript of Interview with Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

Q: Kaya raw na-delay yung SARO (special allotment release order) (for rehabilitation of regional prison centers) kasi pina-re-align daw ni former BuCor Chief Nicanor Faledon yung budget to Sablayan in Mindoro? Pwede ba iyon, to begin with?

SFMD: There is nothing illegal doon sa kaniyang request for realignment. But at that time of before the last election, we heard that he was interested in running for an election post in Mindoro. Certainly, to request the realign P1 billion (part of P1 billion) to Sablayan detention facilities in Mindoro is become suspect. In other words, it is not motivated by any desire to improve our detention system but some other motives. Inevitably, the question is: was it related to some political plans that he had in Mindoro? Although there was nothing illegal about the request, certainly, it was improper or suspect, because you do not propose to realign funds for any purpose other than what is to the public interest. Number two, this Congress, through the budget, has enunciated a policy that we should improve our detention facilities in those areas covered - Davao, Palawan, Zamboanga (Leyte, and Correcional Institution for Women). The former BuCor director has no business trying to overturn that policy of Congress as expressed in the budget approved. Absolutely, there is no basis for a bureau director to try to overturn a policy decision of Congress, especially where his decision is suspect. It was good that the President accepted his resignation.

Q: Can he be held administratively?

SFMD: No, it is just the propriety of making the request, which is politically motivated.

Q: Paano yun na-delay yung SARO? Maayos pa yun?

SFMD: Yes, we just passed a measure extending the validity of the 2019 General Appropriations Act from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020, because of the delay in the signing of the budget and the election ban on projects. That is why we agreed unanismously the capital outlay bufget for one year so there will be time to execute.

Q: Sir, for a number of years, talagang tinitingnan ninyo yung kakapusan ng abugado o public lawyers, and, still, heto pa rin siya.

SFMD: There are hundreds of lawyers being recommended by the Secretary of Justice to Malacanang for appointment to the National Prosecutors Service. Unfortunate under our present system, the Secretary of Justice is not authorize to appoint prosecutors, even the new entrants. They are presidential appointees. As a result, over 600 of these appointmens are pending signature by the President. Kami po ay nakikiusap sa ating butihing Executive Secretary na sana po ay ma-appoint na itong halos 700 prosecutors na nandiyan sa Malacanang. Kapag hindi na-appoint, nade-delay yung mga kaso. Ang laki po ng vacancy - 37% of the authorize positions are vacant, or 1,352 out of ,3,620 positions. Out of the 1,352 vacancies, 622 positions are pending signature. Some of these, according to the justice secretary, went back up to two to three years.

Q: May budget naman po?

SFMD: Of course there is a budget of this. This stands in the way of our dispensation of justice, so I appeal to Malacanang to have these appointments signed. Hindi naman isa-isa ito. Or, if the President is very busy, he can authorize the Executive Secretary to sign these appointments, by authority of the President. I would appeal to Malacanang to sign the appointment of these lawyers, whose appointment has been pending in Malacanang for quite some time.

Q: Yung kaldero, magkakaroon lang pala ng live feed from Clark straight to Philippine Arena in Bulacan. What do you say about this?

SFMD: Lalo na dahil ito raw ay simbolo ng pagbukas ng SEA Games, pagbukas mo pa lang ng telebisyon, makikita mo na. Hindi naman pala kailangan na nandoon ka, Kahit yung mga atleta hindi rin makikita yung pagsindi nitong kaldero na ito. What symbols are we talking about? I maintain that this kaldero is a symbol of extravagance, more than anything else.

News Latest News Feed