Press Release
December 6, 2017

Transcript of Interview with Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon

Q: Sir, magtatanong lang kami doon sa mandatory retirement sa miltary, kasi di ba 56 y/o ang mandatory retirement?

SFMD: The reason why it's 56 y/o is that they include the four years of PMA as part of the service.

I could not remember kung ano yung number of years of service for a compulsory retirement.

Q: Year of service, hindi yung edad?

SFMD: Hindi, year of service iyan kaya nagiging 56. If I'm not mistaken, 30 years of service gives rise to a compulsory retirement. Isama mo yung years sa PMA (4 years) so 26 years of active service kaya nagkaganoon. I'm not sure pero parang ganoon. Yung 56 years, wala naman iyan sa batas. It's the year of service.

Q: Yung observation kasi kanina sa CA, masyadong naka-cut short yung capacity yung capability to serve.

SFMD: I have not reviewed the law but the remedy is to not consider as part of the service in the miltary service the years of schooling in the PMA. Again, I'm giving an opinion on the basis of my stock knowledge. I have not seen the law but I think that's the law.

Q: Yung sa atin, 70 y/o, 60 y/o, still capable to serve?

SFMD: I think 60 y/o.

Q: You will leave it up to the discretion of the president whether to extend the term?

SFMD: I think only for chief of staff. Three years ang term ng chief of staff, so you can extend it to the extent of completing the term of three years, kahit lumagpas sa 56 years. But it's not possible for the other positions.

(Note: Sen. Drilon is referring to P.D. 1650, which states that a military person shall be compulsorily retired upon attaining fifty-six (56) years of age or upon accumulation of thirty (30) years of satisfactory active service, whichever is later, unless his continued service is, in the opinion of the President, required for the good of the service: Provided, That the compulsory retirement of an officer serving in a statutory position shall be deferred until completion of the prescribed tour of duty.

(This does not violate Art. XVI, Section 5 (7) of the Constitution which states that "the tour of duty of the Chief of Staff of the armed forces shall not exceed three years. However, in times of war or other national emergency declared by the Congress, the President may extend such tour of duty." This is because he has not even completed the three-year tour of duty. In fact, it has just started. The President would not, in effect, be extending the term, because his tour of duty has not expired, but merely waiving or deferring the compulsory retirement.)

Q: Presidential pregorative lang ito, wala siyang pre-requisite?

SFMD: Wala, but it can be done only for the chief of staff, and the reason being is that the term of the chief of staff is fixed at three years, so you can serve the term of a chief of staff even beyond age 56, if it is within the three-year period and the president extends it.

Q: Hindi na kailangan na may emergency situation para ma-extend?

SFMD: No, hindi na kailangan.

Q: Yung PNP chief, sir?

SFMD: No, because PNP is part of the civilian force.

Q: Going back doon sa cosmetic tax, ano na po ang status ngayon?

SFMD: Wala pa. The bicam has not come to an agreement. I stand on the basis that we should impose a cosmetic tax as a matter of principle.

Q: Sir, malaka po ba ang opposition from the house?

SFMD: The house has taken a position that a cosmetic tax should not be imposed.

Q: Meron ding strong opposiition on the coal tax?

SFMD: There is also opposition there because that is a ,3000-percent increase. Many provinces are served solely and source their power soley on coal-fired power plants. The national average would show that 48% of the power source is from coal and bunker fuel. That is the national average. However, there are certain areas where this is not the proportion because there is no renewable source of energy that is sufficient enough. For example, in the case of Mindanao, the whole of Minadanao, if I'm not mistaken, there are 60% dependent on coal-fired power plant and bunker fuel as source of energy. The effect of a 3,000-percent increase on coal tax would be tremendous. Similarly, in 2,700,000 households allover the Philippines are dependent solely on coal-fired power plants. No renewables are available. So this increase will have tremendous effects on the consumers. In my province of Iloilo, it's coal and bunker fuel. I agree on the concept that we should encourage renewable energy. In fact we have an FIT (fit-in- tariff) which provides subsidy to renewable energy and the subsidy is borne by the consumers. I'm endorsing a continued encouragement of renewable energy, but we must see to it that we will not unduly burden the consumers. Not only the consumers but also our industries will be burdened by the increase in the coal tax. It could shelve expansions of industries that can generate jobs. There must be a balance. Anyway, the Philippines is less than one-half of one percent of the carbon footprint all over the world. We are such an insignificant contributor. Talk about China, Indian and United States - these are the advanced econcomies and therefore, they contribute a lot to the carbon footprint. Ang Pilipinas, it's 0.03%.

Q: Sa cosmetic tax ulit, since wala pang agreement, may mga nag-lobby po ba?

SFMD: Certainly, yes, mag nagla-lobby. There's a very strong lobby.

Q: From the affected sectors?

SFMD: Yes, I assume.

Q: May kumausap na po sa inyo?

SFMD: Yes, may kausap, pero ang sai ko ay as a matter of principle, we should impose the cosmetic tax, because we are increasing the excise tax on fuel, which affects everybody. Yung pangunahing bilihin, tataas dahil dito. Yung mga magsasaka, yung mga mangingsida. The poorer sector of the society will be affected, so why can we not impose a tax on an activitit, which is purely luxury?

News Latest News Feed