Q: On House’s latest Chacha bid:
“It doesn’t change anything. Kasi kung con-ass, the Senate maintains the position na they will have to deal with the Senate… … And it’s not as simple as transmitting their joint resolution to the Senate. As of now, ang parliamentary status is nasa committee. And hindi namin mapwersa ang chairman ng committee na i-report out yan sa floor. So it remains that way. … We are unanimous on this position. At the same time, nag-cross na ng party lines yan. Whatever bait ang kanilang i-dangle walang magba-bite noon. Q: On House dangling a provision that the Senate President will be next in the line of succession
“It doesn’t make sense. Meron tayong line of succession. VP Robredo was elected and proclaimed as winner of the 2016 VP election… … To boot her out of that line of succession I think is not only unfair, mukhang devious ang scheme. Anong motive? … Para ma-lure ang Senate through the SP? I don’t think so because SP Sotto is too smart not to bite the bait na dina-dangle nila.” “Ang motive is to push through Cha-cha in any manner na magsu-suit yung anuman ang interest nila. Like removal of term limits so anybody can run. And other matters na tingin namin may mga motibo.” Q: Senate won’t bite on no-term-limit provision?
“No, hindi ma-attract. Our position hasn’t changed. Even up to today I’ll tell you hindi nagpapalit ang position ng Senate na Chacha… … Ang timing is off, hindi ngayon kasi it’s already suspect. If we go along with the HOR, masasama pa kami sa whatever motivation or self-interest na kasama.” Q: On President Duterte’s health, sabi niya not for public consumption?
“Yes. Pero he also clarified na free siya from cancer and he’s healthy… … So while it is so provided in the Constitution na dapat made public ang state of health ng presidente kasi kasama sa national interest, that’s it. They already publicly announced na wala naman siya, hindi siya cancerous. Q: Tigilan ang issue sa health ng Pangulo?
“There are so many problems na hinaharap natin. Economy, peace and order, may napatay pang PDEA agents… … I think we should more focus on the bigger problem rather than side issues like talking about the president’s health when in fact we can see him functioning.” Q: On Chacha, when is the right time?
“Ito sarili kong opinion. Ang right time is pagpalit ng presidente, sa unang taon niya pa lang, doon i-discuss. Kasi kung halos patapos na ang midterm o patapos ang term niya, naging suspect nang nahahaluan ng motibo… … Especially so na yung nagpu-push ang mga congressmen na ang iba matatapos ang term, last term. Di ka ba mag-iisip noon?” Q: Until 2022 ang walang pag-asa sa Senado ng Charter change?
“As of now yan ang sentiment ng mga senador. And I can boldly speak on behalf of the rest of my colleagues.” Q: Kung magbago ang composition ng Senate sa 2019?
“That’s another matter. So long as the sentiment of the majority huwag muna pag-usapan ang chacha because we have so many problems na hindi ma-solve ng Charter change.” Q: PRRD open to suspending excise tax on fuel
“That’s a good at least pronouncement. Hindi pa ito move pero mas maganda at least coming from him, consider niya i-suspend… … Let’s wait for further announcements. Sinabi ni PRRD may naisip siyang way to suspend the excise tax… … So let’s leave it to the executive branch. Naroon sa batas na yan, we don’t need to intervene except in the exercise of oversight. Kung walang ginagawa ang executive pwede kami mag-exercise ng oversight kasi kami ang nagpasa ng batas.”