#PingSays: On the President’s health, latest proposed amendments to the Constitution | Oct. 10, 2018

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answers questions on:
– speculations on the health of President Duterte
– proposed amendments to the Charter by the House
– possibility of suspending fuel taxes

Quotes from the interview… 

On latest proposals in the House to amend the Constitution:
“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 (sa Senate) 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.”
“So long as the sentiment of the majority wag muna pagusapan ang Cha-cha because we have so many problems na hindi ma-solve ng Charter change.”

On proposed amendment putting the Senate president as next in succession to the President:
“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 para, anong motive? Anong purpose? 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 (behind the latest Cha-cha bid) 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 namn may mga motibo.”

On whether the Senate will change its position:
“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.”

On when should be the right time for Charter change:
“Ito sarili kong opinion. Ang right time is pagpalit ng presidente, sa unang taon pa niya 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 magiisip noon?”

On speculations about President Duterte’s health:
“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.”
“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 naman.”
“Kung indisposed siya doon tayo magkaroon ng concern. And we are not being told anything at di natin nakikita sa public ang president then something must be wrong and we should demand na Malacanang dapat magbigay ng bulletin. Pero ang nakita natin, very visible ang president.”

On possibility of President Duterte suspending excise tax on fuel:
“That’s a good pronouncement. Hindi pa ito move pero mas maganda at least coming from him, consider niya i-suspend. May provision doon na pag-hit ng $80 per barrel talagang isuspend. Kaya lang sa bicam yata nangyari napalitan na hindi absolute.”
“Let’s wait for further announcements. Sinabi ni PRRD may naisip siyang way to suspend the excise tax.”
“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.”

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