Press Release
February 1, 2016

Transcript of Ambush Interview with Senate President Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On the BBL

SPFMD: We can not finish the Bangsamoro Basic Law by the time we adjourn on Wednesday, but that does not mean that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro is dead. I think it is to the national interest that whoever is the next president should pursue the peace process.

Insofar as the legislature is concerned, the non-passage of the BBL by the time we will adjourn would result in the bill being considered as no longer existing. It should be refiled in the 17th Congress. In the 17th Congress, the chair of the committee can incorporate by reference all the testimonies of the resource persons in the 16th Congress or the documents.

In other words, the chair of the committee has the discretion not to call each and every witness. But of course that is subject to any member of the committee to request that certain resource persons be recalled because wala sila dito noon. But that procedure and the process of incorporating by reference the proceedings in the 16th Congress in the 17th Congress is allowed under the rules, so that hindi na po kailangan balikan ang lahat ng mga resource persons.

Q: Imposible na rin po siya ma-pass when sessions resume on May to June?

SPFMD: I cannot say that for certain. In the first place, we will be resuming as the National Board of Canvassers. Remember that we will act as the National Board of Canvassers when we resume sessions after the elections. How long will that last? I can not say, but when we resume it will be as a National Board of Canvassers. Whether or not we can resume sessions for purposes of the bills that are pending is beyond me to predict at this point.

Q: The BBL is still on the agenda, right?

SPFMD: It is still on the agenda, just to finish the interpellations, if we can. Because right now, the parliamentary status is that Senator Enrile is availing of the period of interpellation.

Q: Will the non-passage of the BBL reflect on the President?

SPFMD: The President tried his best to have it passed. But the circumstances, as I have explained, did not favor the passage of the law on time.

Q: Mi-nove na po ng Comelec yung printing of the ballots from February 1 to February 8.

SPFMD: At least they listened to me. All that we are saying is that let us make sure there is no confusion, that this action of the Comelec will not cause confusion among voters.

Q: Ombudsman Morales said that corruption is still prevalent in government. Does this mean that the Aquino administration failed to curb corruption?

SPFMD: No, well, to me it's really that corruption continues to be an issue. To me one of the difficulties we are facing is that the punishment is a deterrence to the commission of offenses, of crimes, and here as you can all see, it takes a long time for a case before the Sandiganbayan is decided, and therefore, the intended deterrence, the punishment, is not achieved.

Tumatagal ng tumatagal ang kaso sa husgado, nawawalan ng bisa ang desisyon, kaya amin pong sinikap na dagdagan ng 6 na justices ang Sandiganbayan para mapabilis ang paglilitis ng mga kaso.

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