Press Release
February 13, 2017

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

Q: On the resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the termination of any treaty should have the concurrence of the Senate

SFMD: We are just formalizing the resolution approving the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) treaty. When we ratified the treaty there, we included a provision there that says that any withdrawal should have the Senate concurrence, and that was approved. So we are just reiterating and formalizing the resolution. This is in recognition of the right of the Senate to participate in the withdrawal of a treaty, because the Senate concurrence is required in the approval of the treaty. A treaty that is approved by the Senate becomes part of the law of the land, and any repeal of any treaty by a withdrawal should also require the concurrence of the Senate.

Q: Sir, may implication ba doon sa ongoing deliberations on the revival of the death penalty?

SFMD: Well, that is a legal position that the 14 senators have taken: that any withdrawal from any treaty should require the concurrence of the Senate. But it is argued by those who oppose the death penalty that in fact, the Philippines cannot withdraw from that Second Protocol.

Q: Saan batas nakikita yung may karapatan ang senado?

SFMD: That is the result of the power of the Senate to concur in the treaty ratification. A treaty cannot be effective without the concurrence of the Senate.

Q: Explicit ba na sinabi iyon?

SFMD: Explicit in the Constitution is the power of the Senate of the Senate to concur and with the concurrence of the Senate, the treaty becomes effective. In other words, it is not simply an act of the executive. When we concur in a treaty, it becomes part of the law of the land. The concurrence of the Senate is required to make the treaty effective and therefore any withdrawal should have the concurrence of the Senate. Let me repeat that a similar provision was already approved by the Senate in the concurrence in the treaty wherein the Philippines agreed to become a member of the AIIB.

Q: Sir, yung possible arrest po kay Senator De Lima?

SFMD: If that happens, we will see to it that the rile of law is followed.

Q: Exactly how?

SFMD: It should be followed.

Q: What's the process are you talking about?

SFMD: Firstly, by tradition we will oppose service of the warrant of arrest inside the session hall. The sanctity of the session hall must be respected.

Q: Outside?

SFMD: Theoretically, it can be served, because it is an alleged offense where the penalty is beyond six years. But we will object to any service of the warrant in the session hall.

Q: Sir, is there any opportunity wherein the arrest can be stopped by the Senate?

SFMD: No. We will...That is a legal process and the general statement that I can make is that we will see to it the process is followed strictly in accordance with the rule of law.

Q: So hindi pwede na i-custody muna ng Senate si Senator De Lima?

SFMD: That is not within our power to assert. It will be the court that will allow that, because at that point, theoretically, she is under the custody of the court.

Q: Questionable po ba na sa court at hindi sa Ombudsman nag-file?

SFMD: That is a legal issue which the court will have to determine if the case is brought before it.

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