June 2, 2015
Drilon: Railroading bills, reports not a Senate tradition
"There is no tradition of railroading in the Senate ever," Senate President Franklin M.Drilon asserted today, in response to claims made by the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay that the subcommittee report that recommended the filing of plunder charges against Binay is being railroaded in the Senate.
"There is not a single proposed legislation in the Senate that is being railroaded, because that practice is not a tradition here in the Senate," Drilon said in a radio interview.
He said any student of political history or anyone following the proceedings in Congress will attest to the many examples of the independent nature of the senators' mandate, and of the rigorous systems being followed in the Senate.
Drilon explained that following the Senate's rules, the subcommittee report will have to be scrutinized by all senators, and not just the Senate President, when the final report is submitted to the Senate plenary for debates and approval.
"It is incorrect to say that the report will be approved by the Senate President alone. As with the regular bills, all the senators will deliberate upon it, and vote on it," Drilon said.
Drilon said the accusation of railroading is preposterous and baseless, adding that it contradicts its earlier claims of deliberate efforts in the Senate to prolong the hearing.
"Before this committee report came out, they were throwing accusations at the Senate and urging us to put an end to the investigation. Now that the committee report is out, and the hearing is nearing its conclusion, there was a sudden change of tune for the Binay camp. Now, they're saying the report is being railroaded. That's why I don't understand what they are saying," said Drilon.
"Especially in this case, how can that be done, when there is a strong presence of a competent minority in the Senate, and most especially when Senator Nancy Binay is here with us?" he added.
As of today, the draft report has been already signed by 10 senators, which is more than the majority of the 17-member of the mother committee needed to bring it to the plenary for deliberations.
The subcommittee report recommended the filing of plunder charges against Binay, his son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, and other public and private individuals associated with the "grand conspiracy" involving the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.
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