Dapat nakabukod o hiwalay ang botohan ng Senado at Kamara de Representantes sa pagtalakay ng pagbabago sa probisyon o bahagi ng ating Saligang Batas.
Ito ang nilalaman ng Senate Resolution 623 na inihain ni Senador Panfilo Lacson bilang tugon sa mga galaw na baguhin ang ilang probisyon ng 1987 Constitution.
“My resolution when adopted will clarify unequivocally that voting to revise or amend certain provisions of the 1987 constitution will be done separately via 3/4 votes of the respective members of the Senate and House of Representatives, each voting in plenary,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Ayon sa senador, ginagawa na ito ng Mababang Kapulungan bagama’t nasa lebel pa lang ito ng committee.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed Senate Resolution 623 to unequivocally clarify that voting to revise or amend certain provisions of the 1987 Constitution will be done separately via 3/4 votes of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively.
“My resolution when adopted will clarify unequivocally that voting to revise or amend certain provisions of the 1987 Constitution will be done separately via 3/4 votes of the respective members of the Senate and House of Representatives, each voting in plenary,” Lacson said.
He noted the House of Representatives is doing it now although still at the committee level.
Patawarin uli natin si Cong Garbin – dahil talagang hindi niya alam ang sinasabi niya.
Ito ang reaksiyon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa paggamit ni House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairman Alfredo Garbin Jr. sa isang resolusyon na isinulong ng senador noon pang 17th Congress.
Sa panayam ng Politiko TV, iginiit ni Garbin na ang pagtalakay sa pagbabago sa Saligang Batas na kanilang ginagawa ay batay sa Senate Resolution 580 na inihain ni Lacson noong Enero 2018.
“Under Senate Resolution 580, which I filed in 2018, proposed changes are to undergo the regular lawmaking process. This means proposed amendments to the Charter are to be tackled at the committee level first, then approved in the plenary, before both Houses convene into a constituent assembly. Nowhere in the resolution does it say na committee pa lang, Con-Ass na,” ayon kay Lacson.
Forgive Cong Garbin yet again. This time – for he knows not what he says.
On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson debunked on Saturday the new claim by Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. that the tackling of proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution by a House panel last Wednesday was in line with a Senate resolution he authored in the 17th Congress.
Garbin claimed in an online interview Friday that Senate Resolution 580, which Lacson introduced in January 2018, allows both Houses to separately tackle amendments to the Constitution without need for a joint session.
“Under Senate Resolution 580, which I filed in 2018, proposed changes are to undergo the regular lawmaking process. This means proposed amendments to the Charter are to be tackled at the committee level first, then approved in the plenary, before both Houses convene into a constituent assembly. Nowhere in the resolution does it say na committee pa lang, Con-Ass na,” Lacson said.
In his interpellation of the DPWH’s proposed budget for 2021, Sen. Lacson questioned several issues including whopping appropriations for several districts, double appropriations, overlapping projects, modifications involving poor planning, and right-of-way costs embedded in several infrastructure projects on top of the P11.45-billion appropriations for ROWs. He also reiterated his call to set aside at least for 2021 non-priority projects such as multi-purpose buildings (MPBs), in favor of helping LGUs hit by recent typhoons.
Regardless of the constitutional issues involving the House of Representatives’ version of the 2021 budget bill, it is still good that the Senate has enough time to approve our own version, leaving room for the bicameral conference and submission to the President for approval, thus avoiding a re-enacted budget.
Late yesterday afternoon, I submitted my Finance Subcommittee C report covering all the agencies assigned to me as Committee on Finance Vice Chair, in compliance with the Oct. 26 deadline set by the Committee.
However, I based my report on the National Expenditure Program, with a caveat that necessary adjustments will be made once the General Appropriations Bill is transmitted by the House.
Now that the GAB is available as reported, once we get hold of our copy, I’ll make adjustments based on the House version of the budget bill.
From The Daily Tribune: In response to a 24 October editorial of the Daily Tribune, Senator Panfilo Lacson’s camp wrote that the legislator is not ready to give the House of Representatives’ version of the General Appropriations Bill the benefit of the doubt regarding the measure being free of pork.
Last Oct. 16, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the P4.5-trillion proposed national budget for 2021. Yet as of today, it continues to tackle amendments via the so-called “small group.”
Art. VI, Sec. 26, Paragraph 2 of the 1987 Constitution is unequivocally clear, regardless of where the amendments will come from. Wala namang sinasabi ang Constitution na pag naghahabol ng “errata,” hindi ito applicable: “Upon the last reading of a bill, NO AMENDMENT THERETO SHALL BE ALLOWED, and the vote thereon shall be taken immediately thereafter, and the yeas and nays entered in the Journal.”
Amid promises of “best efforts” to transmit the budget bill by end-October, if the House still ends up transmitting the bill on Nov. 5, does it mean that the description “House of the People” is all lip service?
It is the President’s option to do whatever is necessary, even taking a “direct” hand in resolving the Speakership issue, with the timely passage of the 2021 national budget as his only consideration. After all, anything that has to do with national interest should involve the President.
This is one credit I would give to the President. As the leader of the coalition of political parties in the House of Representatives, I don’t think there is impropriety if he steps in to resolve the impasse between conflicting groups that are both his allies anyway. A few calls to the leaders of those coalitions can simplify matters.
Having said that, how can the Senate accept a printed copy of an unapproved House version of the budget bill, as proposed by Speaker Cayetano? We can only file a committee report once the General Appropriations Bill is transmitted to us after it has been approved on third and final reading. Why do they have to wait for Nov. 16 to approve the budget on third and final reading? I can’t understand any of this.
Our priority in the Senate remains the same – to pass on time a national budget that will allow us to deal with the effects of the pandemic. This includes scrutinizing the budget bill to make sure huge sums are not lost to incompetence or greed.
In an interview on DZBB/GNTV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* options on further actions regarding anomalies at PhilHealth
* possible use of questionable sums in DPWH budget to address budget shortage for health care in 2021
It is basic that once an infra project has started its implementation, it is already obligated. Hence, there can be no partial cash allocation, unless that project is discontinued, cancelled, or terminated. Then, the unused portion of the appropriation becomes savings that may be realigned. Or, if the project is covered by Multi Year Contractual Authority (MYCA), formerly known as MYOA or Multi Year Obligational Authority which is clearly spelled out and provided in the 2020 GAA, the same item can reappear in the succeeding budget year.
We were not born yesterday as far as budgeting is concerned.
I don’t think the standards for the granting of legislative franchises will change. The case of ABS-CBN’s legislative franchise application is ‘sui generis’ in a manner of speaking.
The Machiavellian leadership style easily comes to mind, and if I may quote what Niccolo Machiavelli once wrote: “I’d rather be feared than loved if I cannot be both.” Accept it or not, the President’s body language was obvious enough for the House leadership and allies not to read and interpret the way they voted yesterday.
All that being said, Machiavellian or not, President Duterte’s leadership style is a class by itself and is proving to be an effective style of leadership. Whatever individual and collective reasons the 70 Committee on Legislative Franchise members have in voting against the media giant, nobody can argue that under the Constitution, a legislative franchise is up to Congress to grant or not.
With regard to ABS-CBN, the only message I have for them is: “You fall today, you will rise tomorrow, and that’s for sure.” It is as simple as that.
In an interview on Abante Radyo Tabloidista, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* ABS-CBN franchise [30:25]
* Fake news vs Anti-Terrorism Law [37:22]
* Cops accused of violating the law [16:07]
* Dealing with COVID at home [21:20]
* DOH issues in handling COVID pandemic [24:05]
In an interview on ANC, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* second wave of COVID? [0:21]
* pattern of overpricing at DOH [3:05]
* day of reckoning vs those behind overpricing [7:46]
* need for extension of Bayanihan Act [12:17]
* fate of NCRPO chief Debold Sinas [13:21]
* ABS-CBN franchise issue [16:50]
In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson stressed the need for lawmakers to prioritize help for daily wage earners amid the COVID19-triggered lockdowns, while preventing corruption in the implementation of aid for those affected.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on congressional actions to address the COVID-19 threat:
– Extra compensation, health insurance for front-liners
– Heavier penalties vs politicking during calamities
– Addressing economic impact of COVID-19 threat
In a phone patch interview on DZBB and GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson notes the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 that was passed in the Senate will lead to a more proactive fight against terrorism, while containing safeguards to prevent possible abuses.
At the Kapihan sa Senado forum, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– Passage of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020
– Senate’s planned petition before the Supreme Court regarding VFA abrogation
– Congress’ possible actions regarding ABS-CBN’s franchise
Speaker Cayetano may have a point since the Constitution provides that bills of local application like franchise measures must originate from the House of Representatives.
He is wrong in equating it to the Charter change issue, though, since as practiced and for expediency, we conduct committee hearings on tax and budget measures even before the House transmits its approved version of the bill to the Senate.
What can be considered blatantly violative of the Constitution is if the Senate committee chairperson reports out on the floor for plenary debates the committee report. This is something we have not done and will never do.
Having said that, what I understand to be tackled by the Public Services Committee are not the bills in connection with the ABS-CBN franchise but a filed resolution to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the alleged violations of ABS-CBN that is being questioned by the Office of the Solicitor General before the Supreme Court via a quo warranto petition in which I have earlier expressed reservation out of courtesy to a co-equal branch that has already given due course to the said petition.
As I have earlier mentioned, there is no jurisdiction issue here. Rather, it is about merits in the SolGen’s allegations regarding an existing 25-year franchise that is expiring and over which the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction under the 1987 Constitution; and the merits of ABS-CBN’s application for a legislative franchise that Congress has the sole power to grant or deny under the same Constitution.
It is a matter of different jurisdictions. The quo warranto petition is under the original jurisdiction of the Court. Approval or renewal of legislative franchise is the jurisdiction of both houses of Congress. As such, I see no conflict in jurisdictions.
As in the case of former Chief Justice Sereno, under Art VIII, Sec 5, Paragraph 1 of the 1987 Constitution, the Supreme Court exercises original jurisdiction over a petition for quo warranto, among other petitions filed by the State through the Office of the Solicitor General.
Hence, Solicitor General Jose Calida cannot be prevented from filing the petition in the case of the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN.
Likewise, Congress is not prevented from exercising its powers under the same Constitution to act on the application for renewal or a new franchise which is now pending before the House of Representatives.
Being bicameral, without the Senate agreeing to amending the Charter via a constituent assembly, no amount of determined efforts by the House members will bring to reality new provisions of the 1987 Constitution, whether economic or political.
One reason why I did not attend the signing of the bicam report: Last night after our session, my office received from the House of Representatives through the Senate Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office (LBRMO) one USB drive containing two files, the “Source” File and the “List” File.
Our preliminary scrutiny of the last-minute insertions made by the House would indicate that the Source File is the list of 1,253 budget items worth P83.219B that was apparently used as the congressmen’s ‘source’ of their ‘list’ of 742 projects worth P16.345Bthat were inserted in the bicam report that was signed by both panels this morning.
In an interview on ANC, Sen. Lacson answered questions on: – House leaders’ claims that Senate to blame for early hosting woes for SEA Games – pork in the 2020 budget
– reported proposal to vote for President and VP in tandem
– advice to VP Robredo after her removal as ICAD co-chair
Sa halip na itago, dapat isapubliko ng mga mambabatas ang kanilang isinusulong na amendments sa pambansang badyet para sa susunod na taon, sa pamamagitan ng pag-post nito sa kani-kanilang website.
Ito ang naging hamon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson sa mga kasamahan sa lehislatura upang siguraduhing walang pork ang mga pondong nakapaloob sa 2020 national budget.
“We should make everything public. That includes all amendments we submit, whether institutional or individual. We have our own websites, we should use them for this purpose, as I did for the 2019 budget,” paliwanag ni Lacson.
Instead of whispering proposed “amendments” to the 2020 national budget or scrawl them on napkins, why not post them online?
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson issued this challenge to fellow lawmakers Tuesday, adding no less than such a show of transparency would dispel suspicions that the amendments are stained with pork.
“We should make everything public. That includes all amendments we submit, whether institutional or individual. We have our own websites, we should use them for this purpose, as I did for the 2019 budget,” Lacson, an avowed enemy of the pork barrel system, said in an interview on DZBB radio.
In an interview on DZBB/GNTV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– need for transparency in crafting the 2020 budget
– curbing pork amid growing national debt
– making enemies while fighting pork in the budget
To the Manila Standard: Please allow us to disabuse the minds of the public regarding the column of Mr. Ernesto Hilario where he extensively quotes statements from the House Speaker and his deputies, including the accusation that Senator Lacson is an obstructionist “out to derail the reform programs of President Duterte.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
My fight is against ‘pork’ and corruption, and nothing more. It is never about the House or its members, even if some of them take turns in insisting otherwise.
For one, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Sid Ungab, is one of their many decent members whom Rep. Villafuerte tried to undermine by attempting to withdraw the budget measure from his committee, but held his ground and rejected his malevolent move.
As for Rep. Villafuerte and his claim of a ‘ceasefire,’ for once he should stop prevaricating. How could I not honor something that I did not have knowledge about? He should not put words into my mouth then comment on it himself.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– ‘Patay kung patay!’ Dealing with ‘organized’ moves by pork proponents
– pork proponents’ violation and twisting of the 1987 Constitution
– death threats vs Mayor Benjie Magalong
In a letter dated Sept. 19, 2019, Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro lobbied with Sen. Lacson for financial assistance to construct a municipal building for Dumalag town, costing P258 million. The stamp indicating the time and date it was received at Sen. Lacson’s office belies Castro’s claim that the lobbying was ‘fictional.’
In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– ‘ceasefire’ with some House members on 2020 budget
– call from the House to cut the Senate’s budget
– passage of 2020 budget in the Senate in 2-3 weeks
In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– possible effects of a ‘shared’ House Speakership
– possible ‘pork’ in the budget, amending the 1987 Constitution
– Senate’s continued independence even with ‘the President’s men’
– passage of death penalty bill
– Sen dela Rosa’s ‘S*** happens’ statement
Mas maraming mata, mas madaling mabibisto ang tangkang pangungupit ng mga makakapal ang mukhang mambabatas na nais magpakasasa sa kaban ng bayan.
Ito ang pangunahing adhikain ng Senate Bill 2219 na inihain ni Senador Panfilo M. Lacson, na nagpapahintulot sa publiko na makapanood nang personal at makasali sa talakayan ng mga mambabatas sa pambansang badyet.
Layunin ng panukala na magkaroon ng karapatan ang publiko na malaman ang ginagawa ng mambabatas sa badyet mula sa komite ng Senado at Kamara hanggang sa bicameral conference committee.
“Now is the time for Congress to recognize the importance of the direct participation by people’s organizations and non-government organizations in the budget deliberation,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa kanyang panukala.
“We should institutionalize the practice of legislature-civil society collaboration in order to achieve a people-oriented budget as well as establish transparency and accountability in the budget process,” dagdag ng mambabatas.
Taxpayers themselves will soon serve as the biggest safeguard against pork barrel being sneaked into the national budget, with a bill filed by Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson.
Senate Bill 2219 institutionalizes the direct participation of people’s organizations and non-government organizations in the preparation of the spending bill.
“Now is the time for Congress to recognize the importance of the direct participation by people’s organizations and non-government organizations in the budget deliberation,” Lacson said in his bill.
“We should institutionalize the practice of legislature-civil society collaboration in order to achieve a people-oriented budget as well as establish transparency and accountability in the budget process,” he added.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answers questions on: – possible veto of the 2019 budget
– resolution calling out US senators for arrogance
– new vote-buying scheme using 4Ps, up to P25,000 per vote?
– Holy Week 2019
Undoubtedly, and as I have always pointed out, the 2019 national budget measure had been subjected to abuse and indiscretions by some legislators from both houses of Congress, with the House of Representatives’ leadership even going beyond the mandate of the law and time-honored legislative practice.
At the end of the day, it is greed and insatiability of those who cannot control their appetite for more and more ‘pork’ and all the perks and commissions that go with it.
Having said that, the President is well within his legal authority to veto in whole or in parts the Enrolled Bill already before him if he and his economic team see it wise to do so.
As for me, I am prepared to fight the next battle when the National Expenditure Program for the 2020 national budget is submitted by the President at the opening of the First Regular Session of the 18th Congress.
It is tiring and frustrating, but I am always ready and able to fight another day for my career-long advocacy as an elected Senator of the Republic – that of fighting corruption, particularly in the authorization phase of the budgeting process.