Press Release
February 3, 2016

Transcript of Ambush Interview with Senate President Franklin M. Drilon

Q: On the invocation of Section 20 during the Commission on Appointments plenary session

SPFMD: With the invocation of Section 20 of our rules, the five ambassadors could not go to their respective posts, and we just have to live with it. After the elections, the Congress will again convene - I think it's on May 25 that we will convene as National Board of Canvassers - and after we finish our work as National Board of Canvassers we will convene and put on our legislative agenda and the Commission on Appointments will again meet.

Q: Hindi na pwede iinvoke ang Section 2 kapag mg-aadjourn na on sine die?

SPFMD: Under our rules, you can no longer invoke Section 20 when we are on sine die adjournment.

Q: Is this the first time lahat hindi naconfirm dahil sa invocation of Section 20?

SPFMD: I don't recall but the other practice was if somebody intimates will invoke Section 20 usually we don't bring it to the floor, and we just leave it at the committee. But this time, since we will be adjourning after the elections, we found it necessary to put it on the floor so when we come back in May, we just convene the plenary and no longer the committees.

Q: Sir according to Enrile, kaya niya ini-invoke yung Section 20 dahil ipaubaya na lang daw sa next President yung pagaapoint ng magiging mga bagong ambassador.

SPFMD: Well, we will put it again on the floor, we will convoke the Commission on Appointments and we will submit these nominations to the Commission for approval.

Q: How about the COA and CSC Commissioners?

SPFMD: The same thing. The same, we will put it on the floor, and we will have it voted upon if there are objections.

Q: But pwede silang makaupo?

SPFMD: I think they were extended ad- interim appointments. So they can continue to discharge their functions if they will be again extended ad-interim appointments.

Q: As Chairman of the Commission on Appointments, are you disappointed?

SPFMD: That's our rule. I am not surprised, that's provided in our rules, the invocation of Section 20. This is the first time that I think that it was invoked for this many nominees.

Q: Sir yung SSL IV, mukhang malabo na maresolve yung deadlock sa bicam?

SPFMD: I have no information, I just came in. I think it's now Senator Legarda who is now heading the panel, I haven't had the opportunity to discuss with her.

Q: But you were saying na pwede na i-order na lang ng Pangulo yung increase?

SPFMD: I was saying that in the past, there were occasions when the salary increases were made through an executive order. There is an authorization under the General Appropriations Act, we have appropriated about P57.9 billion for salary increases this year, so the President can issue an executive order for the increase effective from this year to December 31, 2016 as that is authorized under the General Appropriations Act.

Q: So next Congress na lang yung sa magaaprub sa 2017?

SPFMD: Yes, the next 2017 and henceforth increase will be taken up by the next Congress.

Q:Yung last month, yung January hindi na effective yung increase?

SPFMD: That is not a problem. The President may make it effective January 1 or declare as a bonus whatever is the savings for one month that was provided for but not spent.

Q: Nakausap nyo na si Pnoy about this?

SPFMD: Hindi pa.

Q: Yung NBI Modernization na pass na ba sa bicam?

SPFMD :I am informed that yes the bicam has agreed on all the disagreeing provisions of the two versions and it will be presented to the Senate this afternoon for ratification.

Q: Wala na po bang session sa Thursday and Friday?

SPFMD: Wala na.

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