Press Release
March 18, 2019

Transcript of Interview with Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On ICC withdrawal

SFMD: must be with the concurrence of the majority of the senators. As I've said, it (the resolution) was not formally adopted, but this reflects the thinking of the senator. And in fact subsequent to all of this, every treaty ratified by the Senate contained a provision that any withdrawal must be with the concurrence of the Senate. Now I would like to urge the Supreme Court to already decide on this case, taking into account the sentiment of the 18 senators who signed the resolution. This position taken by the senators is not without precedent, in the case of Burundi, the withdrawal was decided not to be inconsistent with their internal procedures. So I repeat, I hope the Supreme Court can decide on this, because they are the final arbiter on this issue.

Q: As far as executive branch is concerned, is there anything that they can do to rectify its previous motion?

SFMD: No, the executive is within its prerogative to take this legal position that they have withdrawn. The 18 senators took the position that this cannot be done without the concurrence of the Senate and the cases are now pending with the Supreme Court, so let us leave it at that, and let the Supreme Court decide.

Q: Tama ba yung sinabi ni Atty. Sabio that the case with ICC will continue despite the withdrawal?

SFMD: My reading of the statues indicates that indeed cases filed fefore the withdrawal will not affect the jurisdiction of the ICC in trying the case if in fact they find probable cause.

Q: On the budget, Speaker Arroyo said that Cong. Zamora has been tasked to negotiate with the Senate and they will retain their position that what they did is constitutional?

SFMD: The Senate is of different view and I concur with the view of the Senate President that indeed, revising the budget after ratification of the bicam report is unconstitutional and cannot be done. Therefore, to break this deadlock, the House must concur to our position that what should be in the enrolled copy of the bill should be the General Appropriations Bill as spelled out in the bicam report ratified by the Senate. Any revision after that is unconstitutional and illegal.

Q: No negation need?

SFMD: Negotiation is always a venue but I don't think the Senate will veer away from its position.

The Senate has passed the budget - a budget which was approved at the bicam committee. The problem is, after the bicam committee submitted its report and report was ratified by both chambers, the House rearranged the furniture and monkeyed around. The problem is with the House, not the Senate.

Q: As far as you're concerned, you did your job.

SFMD: Yes, insofar as we are concerned, we passed the budget consistent with the Constitutional principles... I hope that it can be resolved but as of now, I think the Senate has correctly stand on its position that the Senate approved what the bicam approved.

Q: So, reenacted budget for the second quarter?

SFMD: Hopefully we could have the budget by the end of second quarter. I don't know how that will come... We cannot just have a budget that violates the Constitution.

Q: Just going back to the ICC, in the brief window when you resume session in May to June, will you try to have it (the resolution) passed?

SFMD: With 18 signatures having been affixed, then it is up to the leadership of the Senate to calendar it for debates once more.

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