#PingSays: On Cabinet walkouts and Philippines becoming a province of China | Feb. 20, 2018

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answers questions on:
– President Duterte’s reported statement he will let Cabinet members walk out of congressional hearings if they feel disrespected
– President Duterte’s reported joke of making Philippines a province of China

Quotes from the interview… 

On President Duterte allowing Cabinet members to walk out of Senate hearings if they feel disrespected:
“Ang question, was he serious when he said that? If he was serious, then that’s ill-advised. Imagine kung nagko-conduct kami ng legislative inquiry or halimbawa nag-hearing kami tungkol sa bills pending sa committee or even sa committee hearings, and any of the executive officials would walk out for whatever reason, pwede naman sila nagpaalam. So that will create an unwarranted confrontation between the legislative and executive.”
“Wala naman nambabastos na Cabinet members dito. In the first place, without permission from the Chief Executive di pwede ipatawag ang Cabinet members. Nasa rule namin yan. Especially Cabinet secretaries, di naman basta pwede patawag. They should seek permission from the President.”
“There’s such a thing as separation of powers. And it also involves mutual respect between and among the three branches of government.”

On whether the prospect of a ‘walkout’ threatens the Senate:
“No, we cannot be threatened. Basta ginagawa namin ang pine-perform naming mandate we cannot be threatened because we know what we’re doing. If there’s one senator who will show disrespect, unwarranted or wanton disrespect, it’s up to us to discipline our members.”
“We have our own rules. Kami yan. We will follow what the Senate rules are. Na-publish naman yan. And it’s well within our constitutional right to act in accordance with the rules of the Senate.”

On President Duterte’s joke of Philippines becoming a province of China:
“Obviously it was a joke. After that sinabi naman niya I assert our sovereign rights over the islands na kino-contest.”