Press Release
February 22, 2017

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

SFMD: Senator Recto has taken the position that we should not amend the Constitution and therefore, it is a vote against adoption of the resolution calling either for a constitutional convention or constitutional assembly. Whether or not that will be a decisive vote, I do not know.

You know by his withdrawal of the resolution, it only means that he is not in favor of amending the Constitution. So any resolution that will propose for the call of a con-con or con-ass, he will cast a negative vote. Whether or not that negative vote will affect the vote is something that is speculative at this point.

Q: He said that it is because he is seeing political reasons na yung Cha-cha, do you share his observations?

SFMD: I would not express an opinion, because I am the chair of the committee that will draft the report.

Q: Yun lang bang kay Senator Recto yung hini-hear na resolution? It will not affect the hearing?

SFMD: Marami. It will not affect the hearing. Not at all. We would know the effect once we put it to a vote.

Q: Yung legal luminaries, some are in favor, some are not.

SFMD: That is expected and I'm glad that views were freely expressed. It as a very substantial discussion and we will take this into account when we submit a report to the plenary.

Q: Is there another hearing?

SFMD: We are reviewing the necessity whether or not we should conduct out-of-town hearings. But we have not decided on that.

Q: Nagbotohan daw po kagabi sa caucus?

SFMD: We voted and as reported in media, 10 of us said we should see what the truth is by hearing the new witness, and that the Committee on Public Order to whom it was referred would hear it. There were 10 of us who voted in favor and Senator Poe said she would also endorse the ruling, so there are at least 11. By tradition, we honor our agreements in caucus. In other words, the mechanism for calling for a caucus in order to arrive at a consensus is a time-honored practice in the Senate which is not easily disregarded.

That is a tradition that other senators can junk if... Legally we cannot do much. I'm talking about the tradition in the Senate, caucuses are called to arrive at a consensus and there was a consensus last night, although we had to go to a vote. But a majority clearly stated that we should hear Lascanas.

Q: May botohan talaga, mainit ang discussion?

SFMD: There was a discussion. That's natural. The voting was only a way by which we, at the caucus, could arrive at a consensus. We assume that the consensus arrived at as a result of the voting in caucus is that we should hear the new witness and find what the truth is.

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