Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile already yielded his position to Sen. Franklin Drilon who is touted to be Malacañang’s bet for the top upper chamber position beginning July.
Drilon himself practically spilled the beans as he publicly disclosed yesterday his meeting on Thursday with Enrile in a hotel in Makati City to discuss the Senate leadership, among other things.
While there remains three more session days next week, June 4 to 6, before the current 15th Congress adjourns sine die, Drilon’s assumption as Senate president will come when the 16th
Congress opens in July 22.
It appears that Enrile and his so-called “macho bloc” are poised to take on the role of the minority bloc in the next Congress, the Senate chief underscoring to Drilon that they and the entire United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) members in the upper chamber “will be a constructive opposition.”
“We will not be an obstructionist,” Drilon quoted Enrile as assuring him during their meeting.
Drilon, whose name had often been linked in the past on alleged planned coup against Enrile in the Senate, is said to be already secured of 13 votes from his peers in the Liberal Party (LP) as well as those incoming senators who won under the senatorial slate of the administration-led coalition Team PNoy in which he happened to be the campaign manager.
Yet, he practically also admitted that he’s trying to lure the vote as well of known allies of Enrile in the Senate.
“Senator Enrile expressed no objection to my seeking the support of the senators presently identified with him or the so-called ‘macho bloc’ (Senators Enrile, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan and Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III), so that we can all work together on measures that can improve the lives of our people,” Drilon said.
It was not clear who initiated or the original agenda of their meeting as Drilon merely mentioned that he took the opportunity to discuss with Enrile the issue of the Senate leadership.
Drilon was told that while UNA will actively engage the LP-led majority coalition in policy debates in the Senate, Enrile assured him that UNA will not obstruct legislation needed to address pressing national problems such as poverty and unemployment.
Prior to his pronouncements on his meeting with Enrile, Drilon had tried to be discreet on his so-called “dealings” with colleagues and incoming senators in securing their support for his bid for the Senate presidency, refusing to discuss the matter during a radio interview last Thursday.
“It’s (status) still the same, we continue to hold talks with them and I cannot disclose anything more than that,” he was quoted as saying.
He even tried to downplay his campaign for the Senate presidency, saying all 23 of his colleagues are qualified to seek the seat.
Last week, Drilon met with Sen. Manuel Villar, the president of the Nacionalista Party, where Villar assured Drilon that the NP will stay with the coalition.
“Senator Villar assured us that the NP will continue to support the President and his legislative agenda in the Senate and that there will be a common candidate of the coalition in the Senate,” Drilon said.
“The people sent a clear message with this election: Let’s continue with what the President started three years ago,” he added.
Drilon said the important measures to be tackled in the next Congress are the new charter that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, rationalization of government fiscal incentive program and mining law, among others.
Friday, 31 May 2013 08:00 Published in Nation
Sen. Franklin Drilon yesterday stepped back from his earlier pronouncements on priority measures in the coming 16th Congress, including amendments in the country’s charter on the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), saying that they will have to await first the final draft of the Bangsamoro law.
Drilon said they cannot initiate any legislative moves concerning the enactment into law of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which will replace the present ARMM and pave way for the creation of an autonomous political entity in Mindanao, unless the final peace agreement is already put in place.
The senator, last Monday, cited the matter as among the expected priority measures in the next Congress.
Yet, in a radio interview over dwIZ, Drilon said they cannot just take up amendments in the Constitution on the provisions concerning the ARMM without the final peace agreement with the MILF.
“We have to wait for the peace agreement first,” he said, pointing out that Congress, on its own, cannot act on the piece of legislation sans the framework agreement which is currently being taken up by the 15-man Transition Commission (TransCom).
The TransCom is the body tasked to produce the draft of the basic law that President Aquino will then certify as priority bill for the two Houses to legislate.
Drilon, touted to be the next Senate president in the coming 16th Congress, himself noted that the matter concerning the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law is one of a “number of difficult items that I can foresee.”
“For one, we have to amend the charter of the ARMM to confront with the framework agreement. How the framework agreement will come up with the annexes, still we do not know. How easy, how tough it would be for the Senate to conform to the agreement, nobody knows,” he said.
The basic law, once approved by Congress and signed into law by the Chief Executive, will still to be subjected to a plebiscite among the constituents of the areas that will be identified as belonging to the Bangsamoro territory for ratification.
Once ratified, only then can it supersede the present Organic Act of the ARMM or Republic Act 9054.
Thursday, 30 May 2013 08:00 Published in Nation
Confirmation on the appointments of the three remaining Cabinet officials of President Aquino who have yet to be given the nod by the Commission on Appointments (CA) is seen to take place anytime soon, once Palace’s staunch ally, Sen. Franklin Drilon, assumes the upper chamber presidency.
Drilon himself underscored the need the Cabinet members to dispense with their duties and responsibilities with the approval of the bicameral appointments body.
The senator was referring to Justice Secretary
“We have to provide stability. This can happen after we reorganize the CA. Under the Constitution, we have 30 days from the convening of Congress to organize the CA,” Drilon said in a recent interview.
Of the three Cabinet officials, only De Lima have yet to undergo any confirmation hearings while Paje, on the other hand, had not been scheduled to any proceedings.
Sources said both Paje and Soliman are being spared, supposedly, from subjecting themselves from humiliation from some lawmakers who have been critical of their respective performance in government.
Both are also facing numerous oppositors, including those from the private sector, who have filed formal positions before the confirmation body, sources added.
Aside from the said officials, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla and Commission on Audit Commissioner Heidi Mendoza are also yet to be given confirmation by the CA.
The appointment papers of the recently designated Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioners Grace Padaca, Louie Tito Guia and Al Parreno have not been transmitted to the CA as well.
In the event that Drilon is elected by his peers as their leader when the 16th Congress opens in July, he will also be the concurrent overall chairman of the CA.
18-06-2013 Ninez Cacho-Olivares
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) keeps on claim...
SYDNEY — A landmark ruling won by an Australian gender ...
18-06-2013 Archbishop Oscar V.Cruz
It already happened before. It is again happening now. ...
18-06-2013 Ken Fuller
As attempts to find a diplomatic solution to the proble...
18-06-2013 Charlie V. Manalo
The 15th Congress will be remembered as the last Congre...
HONG KONG — Former spy Edward Snowden has exposed not o...
The Aquino administration can lay no claim on…
The mettle of the four young commissioners of…
The National Police Commission (Napolcom) ann…
Tropical depression “Emong” continues to enha…
US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus arrived yesterday…
The Court of Appeals (CA) has stopped the Sec…
The United States Embassy reported donations …
The Low Pressure Area (LPA) estimated east of…
The eight fishermen from Bolinao town who wer…
Two persons died, another one is in critical …