Press Release
March 9, 2020

MARCH 9, 2020

Part 3

Mr. President, first of all, I accept the apology of the senator who chairs the Committee on Economic Affairs, Senator Marcos. I accept the apology. However, I have difficulty understanding the explanation that the committee covers a wide range of topics. Because if you look at the resolution, there are five "Whereas" clauses. The three "Whereas" clauses are the background, the citing of the Constitution, what are the IPAs, and what are the jobs of the IPAs. And the last two clauses are very specific on the effect of CITIRA.

So, if you are a resource person and you will receive this, obviously, the topic is CITIRA. That is all I am saying. How do you move forward if this is the resolution? How do you say that in the next hearing, and there is one scheduled on Saturday, you will exclude the concerns on CITIRA? The whole resolution is about CITIRA, dear colleagues.

What do you want me to do? It's all about CITIRA. And to be specific, and that's why I was very clear in saying I was not in the hearing, I had another hearing with our Chairperson Sherwin Gatchalian. Very specifically, our colleague asked the question to the PEZA Director General, what is their feeling about CITIRA? And then after that, she even made a comment that, " So hindi pala totoo ang tsismis na okay na kayo?"

So in response to the statements of the leadership that it is very possible to come out with different reports, of course it's very possible. I already told you. I know that the PEZA Director General was against CITIRA, and then she was on board, and then she was somehow against. So, are we just going to have continuous hearings giving her the floor and the others?

And then the same question was asked the other resource persons there, "Okay ba kayo?" Ang DOF, tinanong din. Okay ba kayo dito sa sunset provision? So bakit ako nag-aksaya ng panahon ko kung mayroon palang ibang maghi-hearing? I can very well focus on something else, Mr. President. I am happy to do so. I just don't want to waste my time and this body's time. I would like a clear resolution on this matter. This will happen again and again if this is clarified very specifically on CITIRA. Somebody else can chair this if that is the decision. But I just want clarity on this.

Thank you.

Part 4

I'd like to put on record that I appreciate every effort that a lot of you have done - to use the words of the Majority Leader - "to mediate." But it's not a matter of mediation. It's a matter of clarifying the jurisdiction. Senator Marcos approached me, she apologized, I accepted.

But the jurisdictional issue remains. She wants to continue to have her hearing on the other related topics. But like I already said, and you may all get a copy of the resolution if you want, the three "Whereas" clauses are the background of the Constitution and what the IPAs are all about. The last two, and the "Now, Therefore" clause is about investigating, in aid of legislation, what is the effect of the incentives scheme on them. That is the very essence of my Committee Report, my dear colleagues, na alam niyo namang inaral ko. So, if one of you and any of you would like to interpellate and make those statements of support or opposition, that is your prerogative. But I have another committee hearing it - and the chairperson herself will say, "Do you still have the heart to inflict CITIRA on these poor exporters?" Why do you have a chairperson on Committee on Ways and Means defending this on the floor if you have another chairperson hearing the same matter?

So that's it. I sound exasperated because I am. I'd like to move on with work. But I cannot unless this jurisdictional issue is resolved. It doesn't have to be now. But please don't try to mediate. Resolve the jurisdictional issue. Thank you.

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