Press Release
January 31, 2017

Transcript of Interview with Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin M. Drilon

Q: May itinakdang timeline ang Congress kung ano ang mode na gagamitin sa pag-revise ng Constitution?

SFMD: We estimate that by the third quarter of this year we should be able to decide. In other words, by that time that we open the second regular session of the 17th Congress we should have that laid to rest.

Q: May proposed bills ba ang President na wala sa listhan?

SFMD: The executive branch will also propose its own list. The income tax reform, the traffic issue or the emergency power to resolve the traffic, the proposal for a free irrigation services, a salary standardization, free internet access, the expanded absentee voting, the Philippine Passport Act amendments, a national ID system. We want also to strengthen the rule of law and a working justice system through the indexation of the Revised Penal Code, the government procurement and reform act, the amendments to the Corporation Code, the "endo." Those are some of the items that we have included in our legislative agenda. Both houses of Congress have submitted this common list to the executive and the executive will look at this, and they will have their own list. In the next 60 days, we should come up with the agenda, which we will work on for 17th Congress. This is without prejudice to other bills which each senator may...

Q: Yung mga pet bills?

SFMD: Yung mga pet bills.

Q: How was the interaction between the President and the Vice President?

SFMD: I did not notice anything unusual. It was very pleasant.

Q: No awkward moments?

SFMD: No awkward moments.

Q: What can you say to that na nakabalik siya ng Palasyo?

SFMD: She is the vice chairman under the law creating LEDAC.

Q: So walang biruang nangyari?

SFMD: Meron, but not that significant that I can remember.

Q: Iyang 39 bills, sa buong session iyan?

SFMD: Buong session, hindi naman kaya ng isang taon.

Q: May monitoring on both sides?

SFMD: That's correct. There will be monitoring. That is why upon my suggestion we will meet every quarter. But in between, there should be an executive committee that will monitor the developments in each item as we go along.

Q: Were there other matters dicussed like the war on drugs?

SFMD: Wala naman.

Q: Hindi pinushed ni Presidente ang death penalty?

SFMD: In the Senate we could not get a consensus, so we did not place it as a priority. But in the House, it is placed as a priority. In other words, the leadership of the Senate cannot say, "we will pass it." Whereas the others, we can say that we can pass it.

Q: Hindi kayo kinumbinse ng Presidente na maging priority?

SFMD: Wala naman. Well I do not know how...Basta sa amin sa Senate, we have agreed, the leadership of the Senate, that we cannot place it as a priority in the sense that we are certain of passage.

Q: Ang basis pala niyan ay certainty of passage?

SFMD: Yes. Of course. How would you have a legislative agenda kung hindi naman maipapasa.

Q: Most probably by March may decision na kayo kung anong mode ang gagamitin sa Charter Change?

SFMD: Mahirap. Siguro by June 2017, because w will have another hearing in mid-February and two or more hearings out of town, tentatively.

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