Press Release
May 18, 2015

Transcript of Ambush Interview with Senate President Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On the issue of Senate's consultancy expenses, depende po ba sa bawat senador kung ilan ang ihihire niya sa consultancy?

SPFMD: Each senator is given a budget. He uses his budget in accordance with his own priorities, his own needs. The Senate, as part of the independent nature of the offices of the senators, gives complete discretion to each office insofar as his own budget is concerned.

We believe that that is the proper thing to do to make sure that the independence of each senator is protected.

Q: On the BBL, can we pass it before June?

SPFMD: I would like to wait for the committee report by Senator Bongbong Marcos.

Q: And tanong niya, "Why the rush?" Yung June 11 is just a political deadline.

SPFMD: Why not rush it? We needed peace like yesterday. Nobody is rushing it, but we should not delay it.

Q: Even though may contentious issues?

SPFMD: Well the contentious issues will be debated upon. Nobody will impose anything on anyone. We will debate on it and try to address possible solutions.

Q: Will you be open for a line-by-line voting for the BBL katulad sa House?

SPFMD: In the Senate you can have line-by-line, period-by-period amendments. You have seen how the Senate works, the period of individual amendments. Every senator has the right to suggest an individual amendment. We have a period of individual amendments where each senator can suggest amendments and have it voted upon in the floor.

Q: Sabi po ng ilang Congressmen, kinausap daw po sila ng Presidente, pati daw po si Speaker Belmonte. Dito po ba sa Senate?

SPFMD: No, he didn't talk with me.

Q: Sa Senate, magkakaroon pa po ba ng meeting with senators to expedite the BBL?

SPFMD: I would like to wait for the report of Senator Marcos.

Q: Sa LP po ba, magkakaroon ng deliberation kung Mar-Poe, o Poe-Chiz?

SPFMD: Let me say we have an official process in the party but I would take the position that Mar Roxas should now declare his intention. If he is indeed interested- and I think he is - he should declare now his intention that he would want to present himself as a candidate for the Presidency in 2016.

Q: Bakit po?

SPFMD: Sa akin ay kailangan po, at importante na ang polisya ng Pangulo ay maituloy, at ang kanyang mga reporma, eh kailangan malaman ng taumbayan kung paano na, ano ang mangyayari.

If he believes that - and I would like to think that the President will endorse someone who would be comfortable with continuing the reforms he has started and therefore, these reforms have taken roots and have resulted in unprecedented improvements in our stock market, in investments, and in improvements in efforts to alleviate poverty.

So it is important for me to have a candidate who will continue these reforms. That is why my view- and this is a personal view- that Secretary Roxas should now declare if he will be presenting himself as a candidate in 2016.

Q: (Unclear)

SPFMD: Let me get into that after he makes that decision.

Q: What is the party policy on non-members?

SPFMD: We haven't discussed anything so far as I am concerned. We would prefer a member of the party.

Q: May napirmahan na po ba kayong subpoena doon sa mga 17 people na pinapa-contempt daw po ng Blue Ribbon Committee, yung linked kay VP Binay?

SPFMD: I have not seen the report, or the recommendation. I haven't seen any.

Q: Ano pa ba ang magiging policy ng Senate diyan?

SPFMD: I will have to see the recommendations first.

Q: Kamusta po yung exit conference ng Senate at ng COA?

SPFMD: That was just in 1:30 PM. Hindi ko pa nakakausap (Secretary Oscar Yabes)

Note: On the question regarding the process of citing a person in contempt, more particularly on the issue whether the action needs the approval of the Senate President, below is Senate President Drilon's response:

"The action of the committee to cite an individual/a group of persons in contempt does not require the approval of the Senate President. However, when the committee orders the issuance of the arrest and/or the detention order, the approval of the Senate President would be needed or would become necessary."

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