April 4, 2013
Excerpts of Kapihan sa Senado with Sen. Jinggoy Estrada
On P25 wage hike.
My position there with regards to the P25 increase is to just to leave it to the Regional Wage Board to decide. Anyway, the Regional Wage Board will strike a balance na hindi naman maagrabiyado 'yung mga employers and employees. We will have to strengthen the Regional Wage Boards. Siguro in the next Congress I will file a bill to strengthen our Regional Wage Boards na matakbo ng red line, kung kinakailangang itaas ng mga sahod ng magagawa, mayroon na tayong red line. If my memory serves me right, I had a bill, 'yung P125 across the board, during the 13th Congress, I did know it was passed by the House of Representatives. That was during the administration of President Arroyo.
On the situation of 40,000 Filipinos in South Korea.
Wala pa naman sa alert form. Pag nasa alert form na, it is our responsibility to repatriate our country men in South Korea.
On whether he will conduct a public hearing on contingency plans on Korea in case the situation worsens.
Siguro sa 16th Congress, if makakuha tayo ng balita na hindi ready ang mga tao nating irepatriate mga kababayan natin sa South Korea, then that's the time we will conduct a committee hearing.
On whether he was satisfied with the contingency plans in South Korea.
Hindi naman siguro papabayaan ng mga consuls natin doon like the DOLE.
On reported apprehension of Filipinos in Saudi.
We cannot also blame the government kasi siyempre gusto nilang ibigay ang prayoridad sa kanilang mga kababayan. It all boils down na wala tayong job opportunities dito. Siguro we will have to strengthen the integration program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration para kung makakauwi ang mga OFWs natin doon sa Saudi, mayroon silang matututunan dito tungkol sa livelihood programs, etc. Kailangan pauwi na natin itong mga naaresto, mga undocumented, mga walang papeles, tutal naman malaki naman ang pondo ng OWWA.
On the situation of Filipinos in South Korea and Saudi.
Perhaps my office will ask the situation on South Korea, that is, if I will be the chairman of the labor committee in the next Congress. Right now, we are working hard para mapanalo ang lahat ng mga kandidato namin sa UNA.
On 9-3, 8-4 survey.
Siguro kailangan naming mag trabaho ng mag trabaho.
On expectations if next Congress is dominated by LP candidates.
Wala tayong magagawa. We have to abide by the rule of the people.
On whether he will be given the minority block leadership or will you remain as Senate President Pro-Tempore.
I have already made several pronouncements in the media, sinabi ko naman kung bababa na si Senate President Enrile, bababa na rin ako.
On the UNA campaign
I am not part of the strategy team. I am just a member of UNA. Hindi ko alam kung ano strategy nila.
On joining the campaign sorties of UNA and the refusal of JV to let JEE endorse him
I'm always ready to join the campaign sorties of UNA. There is no problem on my part. We talked regularly over the phone. In fairness to them, I am the one asking about their schedules. I reached out to them. As of now, I am preoccupied on campaigning for my dad and campaigning also for my daughter Janella in San Juan.
Kung sasama ka sa UNA campaign sorties, handa ka bang itaas ang kamay ni JV?
Well, sa akin walang problema. But, I cannot force myself naman to endorse a candidate who does not need my endorsement.
Totoo ba ang balita recently na tinanggihan ni JV ang offer mo na tulong sa kanya?
I reached out to him and I was planning to endorse him. But, I do not know why he refused. Maybe he has reasons. I heard tapos na daw ang media plan niya. So, wala na po akong magagawa doon.
Kahapon may statement na JV is still hoping daw for you to endorse him.
Pwede naman niya akong tawagan.
Sa ginawa niyang pag-reject sa offer mo na tulong, direct or personal ba kayo na nag-usap?
Actually kinausap ko ang daddy ko. And my dad is so excited about it that he is going to endorse him. Pero, baka may ibang reasons si Cong. JB, Kasi I heard tapos na daw ang kanyang media plan.
On the latest survey of Pulse Asia on the decline in the level of support for the senatorial bid of JV Ejercito.
I saw that on TV too, but I believe that there is no significant decrease naman doon sa mga kandidato ng UNA. If you noticed doon sa mga kandidato ng UNA sa Pulse Asia, there is only a slight decline lang naman sa percentage doon sa ibang kandidato. But, honestly, I am also worried about it. Dahil kahit paano at the end of the day, kapatid ko pa rin si JV. Maybe, dapat siguro mag double time siya sa pangangampanya. You see, ang totoong survey talaga ay sa araw ng election. Marami nga noong araw sa 2007 and 2010 na marami ang wala sa survey, pero nakapasok at nanalo.
On Congressman JV snubbing Janella at the proclamation rally in San Juan
Ako syempre bilang isang ama, masakit sa akin pero siguro iniisip ko na lang baka marami siyang problema nung araw na yun at baka hindi niya napansin yun bata. Sa akin naman, sana wag nang idamay yung anak ko kung ano man yung namamagitan sa amin.
Offended ba yung anak nyo sa nangyari?
Of course hindi na lang kumikibo yun but deep inside her siguro she's hurt. But I've already talked to my daughter, sabi ko it's politics, you have to bear with it, yan ang pinasok mo kailangan matibay ka.
Nagsumbong si Janella sa inyo?
Actually hindi nagsumbong yung anak ko marami lang nakakita sa TV, actually hindi ko nga alam e.
As a father, hindi ba kayo nasaktan?
Of course, sino ba namang magulang ang hindi masasaktan sa ganun, tao lang naman ako. Lalong-lalo na anak ko pa yun. Masakit po sa akin, lalong-lalo na bilang isang ama, bagong salta lang ang anak ko at hindi ko pa nakitang personal na nag-salita siya sa first public appearance niya bilang isang kandidato.
Your wife was there, so paano siya nag-react?
Actually hindi ata niya nakita.
Sa tingin nyo isang pambabastos sa anak nyo yung ginawa niya?
I don't want to put words in my mouth, bahala na lang sila.
Are you still willing to help him?
As long as he needs my help I'm willing to help anybody. Kahit sino naman humingi ng tulong ko, tutulungan natin basta kaya.
On any conflict with Janella's campaign and with representing Erap in UNA rallies
No no, hindi naman sa walang agreement, kasi as I mentioned earlier you see I'm campaigning for my dad and I'm going to start campaigning also for my daughter once I can squeeze it into my schedule at libre ako, I will go and campaign for the UNA candidates since the Vice President is out of town. My father is busy campaigning in Manila and the Senate President is having problems with his eyesight so they actually spoke to me and asked me if I can substitute for them.
On Jinggoy making political ads
No no no. Walang ganun. Wala. As I've told you hindi ko alam kung ano yun and I'm not really into it, hindi ako kasama sa nagsa-strategize ng plan.
Jinggoy and Kris as Vice President candidates for 2016.
Well, siguro those are simple playing rumors and if ever my kumare decides to join politics, she's most welcomed she has a base, she has the charisma of her father, she's intelligent and ma-appeal sa taong bayan.
On Kris as a threat
That remains to be seen.
On whether Alan Cayetano running for a higher government position is a threat?
Alam mo lahat naman nag a-aspire sa mataas na position, ako naman I never said publicly that I'm going to aspire for any higher position. These are all speculations, these are all rumors but if Senator Alan Peter Cayetano decides to run for a higher office then so be it. He's highly qualified, magaling siya, he's very articulate, lahat naman naga-aspire magagaling.
On Sen. Jinggoy aspiring for VP
Wala pa akong ina-aspire, masyado pang maaga. We still have three years, after this election tatlong taon pa so lots of concentrations, I will have to concentrate on my remaining years as senator. Matagal pa yan. Definitely everything can happen.
On Sen. Chiz Escudero
We have nothing to do with the controversy regarding Senator Escudero and his heart.
On former President Erap's campaigning against Chiz
That is not true, my father never campaigned against Senator Escudero in fact he never said anything against Senator Escudero. Actually hindi naming kilala yung parents ni Heart. Ang kilala naming si Rod, yung tiyuhin ni Heart, yung kapatid ng dad ni Heart who's a close friend of our family. But yung parents ni Heart no, we met them once during the celebration.
Dapat si Senator Escudero ay magpatutor kay President Erap.
Sir, may tampuhan ba talaga silang dalawa?
Wala naman siguro.
May communication pa ba between them?
Ngayon siguro, wala. Both of them are busy persons.
Ano bang pinagmulan ng tampuhan nila?
Hindi ko alam.
On the SC decision to lift the freeze order on Ligot accounts
Although I disagree with the Supreme Court, we have to respect it. Kami naman sa Senado ang nagimbestiga dun sa hidden wealth ni General and Mrs. Ligot pati yung mga bahay nila don sa Amerika. Hindi ko alam bakit ganun ang naging desisyon ng Supreme Court. Alam mo hindi ako abogado pero ang nangyari sa amin nung araw, ang alam ko yung sa Citibank, yung account ng mommy at dad ko, hanggang ngayon ay nakafreeze. But ako I disagree with the decision of the Supreme Court.
Sir, sino dapat mag-appeal nun sa Supreme Court?
Baka Solgen. Dapat apelahan ng Solgen yan.
On the height equality act.
I think that is the pet bill of Senator Honasan.
On the President's decision to veto bills.
Well, I do not want to add malice pero wala naman sigurong kinalaman yun. Palagay ko hindi naman siguro porket si Senator Honasan, Estrada or Revilla ang author. Wala naman siguro sa isipan ng Malacañang yun.
Pero kayo pabor kayo na alisin yung height requirement sa mga applicants ng PNP?
Tungkol naman dun sa short cops, ang aking palagay ay nagkaroon nga tayo ng presidenteng maliit, ngayon pulis pa pinagbabawal.
Sir, na-receive nyo na po ang letter ni Senator Honasan kasi sabi niya susulatan daw niya yung mga colleagues niya na i-override yung ginawang presidential veto?
Ngayon lang ako nakatanggap. Ang sinasabi ni Senator Honasan dito ay: "We should always empower our people and instill in their hearts and minds that they can be who they want to be and that they are the masters of their destiny. We should not stifle more than half of our Filipino brothers and sisters and make them feel like victims their whole lives. We should not obstruct them from the opportunity to serve their country. It is high time to put an end in this kind of discrimination and restore to our people dignity they deserve. There are no second class citizens in our country." Ibig sabihin nito ay parang merong discrimination sa mga kulang sa sukat.
Personally, tingin nyo malabo na yung plan ni Senator Honasan na ma-override yan bago mag-adjourn sine die ang Congress?
Yes, because we only have two days on June 5 and 6. Ako sa Senate, I don't think we can have 2/3 of the quorum. Lalo na sa House siguro.
Hindi ba waste of time sa isang Congress na ang laki ng ginastos nyo para mapasa ang isang bill tapos pagdating sa Malacañang ay ive-veto ng Pangulo? May dapat bang baguhin sa proseso?
Wala tayong magagawa dahil yun ang nakalagay sa batas. Back to square one pagdating ng 16th Congress, we have to re-file the bill and conduct committee hearings para mapasa ulit. That has been the tradition and practice ever since.
On the Magna Carta for the Poor
I agree with Senator Osmeña na before we pass a bill, we need to have a certification from the DBM. Nung nabasa ko yung bill, hindi talaga realizable na mangyari yung dapat mangyari within one year. Kasi you have to provide housing programs for the poor. You have to give them education, jobs, eh talagang di naman magiging realizable yun sa loob ng isang taon. Siguro kung pagtutuunan natin ng pansin, ang kailangan ata ng P2.3 billion pesos a year. I understand the position of Malacañang. Saan nga naman nila kukunin yung pondo para ipagpatayo ng mga bahay itong mahihirap and of course it will take time.
On oil smuggling
If they know the culprits, they should have filed cases against these smugglers. If they cannot do their job dutifully, I'm talking about the Bureau of Customs, siguro naman they have the courtesy to resign. If it is true that the government is losing P 30 billion in revenues due to oil smuggling, that's no big joke. Kinakailangan talagang let the hammer fall where it may. Kailangan talagang sibakin o ipakulong itong mga nagsa-smuggle ng langis sa ating bansa.
Should Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon resign or removed?
I am not saying na dapat palitan. We need to have a thorough investigation of what is happening right now. The Senate can be the lead investigator in this case. Siguro pagdating ng 16th Congress, I can file a resolution to investigation oil smuggling in our country.
On whether Biazon should take responsibility.
Dapat simulan niya sa kanyang opisina ang pag-imbistiga dito sa oil smuggling, kasi pati ako nagugulat sa mga ulat sa pahayagan na ang gobyerno nawawalan ng P30 billion annually. Doon sa P30 billion a year, marami ka nang mapapatayong mga eskwelahan, marami ka nang mapapakaing mahihirap, marami ka ng magagawang mga proyekto sa P30 billion. Pwede mo nang umpisahan yung housing program para sa mga mahihirap, kaya ako, I am appealing to the Bureau of Customs headed by Commissioner Ruffy Biazon to investigate it immediately. Wag nang paligoy-ligoy pa, imbistigahin ninyo na kaagad kung sino-sino itong mga involved sa oil smuggling.
Kaya lang ang attitude niya sir is merong smuggling but it is not rampant.
Hindi naman rason kung rampant o hindi. Kahit hindi rampant, kahit na may nabalitaan ka na na merong smuggling, imbestigahan mo kaagad. Huwag mo sasabihin sa amin na hindi rampant. Alam mo na palang may smuggling, bakit hindi mo pa imbestigahin?
On whether there is a protector for the smuggling.
As I have told you, imbestigahan nila kaagad. Ako, I am in no position to determine kung meron talagang nagpro-protekta because I am not privy to it.
Siguro, kunin nila yung mga pangalan, yung mga suspected smugglers at doon nila umpisahan ang kanilang investigation. Kung hindi kaya ng BOC na mag-imbistiga, pagdating ng susunod na Kongreso, kami ang mag-iimbistiga.
On the rotating brownouts in Mindanao.
Ang narinig ko lang over the radio at sa TV, ang sinabi ni Sec. Petilla, na kailangan gumamit ng generator ang ating mga kababayan sa Mindanao because of the power shortage.
On the local politics in Manila.
I felt dismayed when I saw the debate on TV. I cannot imagine Mayor Lim cursing or insulting President Erap on TV kasi alam mo, sa kultura nating mga Pilipino, pinangangalagahan natin yung utang na loob. Alam naman natin lahat na pumunta si Mayor Lim, hindi pa siya Mayor noon, sa Tanay and I was witness to that, begging and asking forgiveness from my father. At the same time, he wanted to run as a Senator under the line-up of FPJ, which my Dad acceded. Tinulungan pa nga ng Tatay ko si Fred na makapasok doon sa line-up ni FPJ, and eventually he won. Three years after, he also asked for the endorsement of my Father to run for Mayor of Manila. Tinulungan pa rin ng Tatay ko, pati sa advertisements nung tumatakbo siyang Mayor ng Manila noong 2007, hanggang sa nanalo siya. Hindi ko ma-imagine si Mayor Lim kung paano niya bastusin at i-curse ang Tatay ko sa TV. Kung nagagawa niya sa dati niyang amo, o sa dating Presidente yung kanyang ginawa nung nakaraan, ano pa kaya ang pwede niyang gawin sa ordinaryong mamamayan?
On Erap Estrada's chances in Manila
We have a big chance, we are still leading in the surveys in Manila.
On the rumors that Erap was convicted.
That is an old issue. We have already answered every issue. Sinasabi, convicted plunderer. Alam mo naman the Supreme Court created a special court designed to convict my father. Ngayon, sinasabi niyang convicted o magnanakaw, plunderer, bakit siya pumupunta pa sa Tanay at humihingi ng tulong sa Tatay ko kung alam niyang plunderer ang Tatay ko? Kung magnanakaw ang Tatay ko? Dapat in the first place, hindi na siya pumunta doon. Pangalawa, as far as I am concerned, as far as I can remember, pareho kaming Senador noon, nag-privilege speech si Senator Lim noon defending my father, na hindi siya ganoon. You can trace the records in the Senate, and I have that privilege speech of Senator Lim.
On Mayor Lim not having a registration of birth at the NSO.
Yung birth certificate ni Presidente Erap, authenticated ng NSO, may kopya ang birth certificate doon sa NSO, he was born in Tondo, Manila, etc., but we received a certification from the NSO that there is no copy of a birth certificate under the name of Alfredo Siojo Lim. Hanggang ngayon, walang kopya ng birth certificate ni Mayor Lim ang NSO. He might be born somewhere else. He might be born not in this country, siguro sa ibang bansa, hindi ko alam. His citizenship was questioned before. I do not know. Walang record ang pangalan ni Mayor Lim sa NSO.
We were trying to get a birth certificate of Mayor Lim to really see to it if he was really born in Tondo but nung hinanap namin sa NSO, walang record ang pangalan niya. Baka hindi siya dito pinanganak. We will not file a disqualification case, unlike him who filed three disqualification cases against my father. All of them were dismissed.
On the issue of political dynasties.
I have already answered that issue on dynasty several times. Lagi kong sinasabi, lagi kong inuulit, hayaan ninyo na ang taong bayan magdesisyon kung sino ang karapat-dapat maupo. Alam mo, why deprive somebody of that opportunity to serve? Kung hindi naman natin alam na mas magaling sa akin yan, hindi naman natin alam hangga't hindi sila nauupo. So, give them a chance naman.
On a possible Senate leadership shift.
Always ready, wala tayong magagawa. I am still hoping and praying that the incumbent Senate President will retain his seat as Senate President, and I think you will agree with me.
Friday, January 20