IN RESPONSE TO SP KOKO PIMENTEL ON ‘HAMPERED’ LEGISLATIVE WORK

February 28, 2017

How can work in the Senate be hampered by the now minority members, including four from the Liberal Party, when almost 70 percent (20 of 29) of the bills now a couple of steps into becoming a law are being defended by us?

It is simply untrue that LP Senators hampered the legislative agenda. How is this possible when two out of the administration’s three priorities — death penalty and the lowering of criminal age of responsibility — are with the justice committee and not our committees?

Also those who voted against the 2017 national budget, namely Senators Lacson and Gatchalian, did not come from the LP.

The only other law passed so far was on the Postponement of the October 2016 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections, and it was secondarily referred to the committee of Sen. Leila De Lima (Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation).

The only instances we were divided in the majority were on the issues of the Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the extra-judicial killings, the investigation of corruption in the Bureau of Immigration, and the Lascañas testimony. In these instances the LP asserted the independence of the Senate and it was in these instances that Senators allied with Malacanang opposed our efforts.

It is therefore inaccurate and factually erroneous to say that the reorganization was due to hampered work. On the contrary it was undertaken to ensure that the Senate toes the line on issues that may have a negative impact on the administration.

Nevertheless, despite having a different stance on several life-and-death issues that impact our people’s lives, we remained with the majority in the Senate because this precisely allowed us to work as our oath of office requires.

Rest assured, we will continue to support the policies of the administration that improve our people’s lives, as well as to speak out against State actions that threaten them and their livelihoods.

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Committees of six minority senators (including Senator De Lima) and their bills either pending on second reading (28) or approved on second reading (1), from senate.gov.ph

Agriculture: 2

Education: 3

Science: 1

Constitutional Amendments: 2

Electoral Reforms: 1

Women: 2 (including 1 approved)

Civil Service: 9 (including 3 Ordinary Order of Business)

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