Press Release
August 10, 2009

Transcript of interview of the Senate President

Q Sir, can you comment on the issue about the $20,000 dinner of President Gloria on August 2, a day after former President Cory Aquino died?

SP: She has to deal with problems individually and all the circumstances. Not everybody can afford to postpone their lives simply because somebody died. We do not know all the facts and it's difficult for us who were not there to make a judgment. I am not condoning it. I do not know how many people were there, who paid for it. You might be talking of the totality of their bills. Q: Sir, by Philippine standards daw po masyadong lavish yung one million pesos na dinner.

SP: Marami dito nagkakaroon ng functions na ganyan, individual weddings that would cost more than that. Q: Sir, are you going to call for a caucus with the senators?

SP: There was a proposal and we are going to discuss it. I handle the caucus of the Majority every Monday. But this time, this will include all the senators, Majority and the Minority. We will discuss the bills that we will tackle. Q: Other than the bills, ano po yung tingin ninyo na dapat unahin ng Senado?

SP: Marami, katulad ng immigration law, herbal medicine law, cyber crime law, marami iyan. Q: Kasama din po ba yung proposal ninyo sa EPIRA amendment?

SP: Tapos na iyon. It's already in the House of Representatives. We will also be dealing with the tax proposals of the government although I have a very bleak view of the proposition of any tax bill at this time. Q: Are there enough senators supporting your opposition to go slow on their tax proposal?

SP: I don't look into numbers. I will argue my position. I will debate it on the floor. They can pass their bills on the basis of their arguments. So be it. But I am going to put it on the record the impact of how many of these proposals.

Q: But as far as you're concerned, are they not trying to mislead?

SP: The people are really over-burdened with their financial responsibilities at the time when there are many uncertainties in the economic horizon.

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