November 8, 2016

My understanding is that the petitioners will be filing a motion for reconsideration regarding the decision of the Supreme Court. Therefore, if that is true, then the decision is not yet final.


Having said that, Mr. President, in many instances in the past, this Senate, even while there are cases pending before the Supreme Court, we have taken a position.

Mr. President, I recall, when there was a petition before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of charter change and the issue of whether or not the Senate should vote together or separately in terms of a constituent assembly, the Senate came out with 23 Senators signing a resolution saying that the Senate must vote separately from the House in a constituent assembly. 23 Senators, Mr. President, while the petition was pending before the Supreme Court.

I remember that, Mr. President, because I was Majority Leader. And I was the one who personally asked each of the Senators to sign the resolution.

Mr. President, in the matter of EO 464 when it was pending before the Supreme Court, again the Senate took a position even as the Supreme Court was deliberating on the matter.

Therefore, Mr. President, being a coequal- not that we would like to interfere with the Supreme jurisdiction or the supremacy of the Supreme Court in their jurisdiction, we have, from time to time, expressed our own separate opinion on matters pending before the Supreme Court, and matters affecting national life.

Thus, Mr. President, I believe, it is timely for us to address this matter before us. I beg to disagree, Mr. President, that the- and I respect, of course, the position taken that they would like to see the Supreme Court ruling. Well then we would say, obviously, that the Supreme Court ruling is not yet final. Therefore, to read it while it is still pending, is also premature. In other words, when do we take a position? Which I feel we should be able to do now.

Mr. President, on this matter therefore, because the motion is that we consider the resolution, I believe that it is timely for us to consider the resolution today. Again, I respect the position taken by the other Senators, obviously it would benefit many of us, or all of us if we are able to read the ruling. but looking at the title of this resolution, Mr. President, it is my view that we may be able to act independent of the ruling of the Supreme Court as the resolution reads “Expressing the sense of the Senate that the crimes of the former President Ferdinand Marcos to the Republic and the human rights violations committed under his regime render him unfit in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.”

With this, Mr. President, it is my humble opinion that we may be able to tackle this resolution separately from precisely the ruling or the final decision of the Supreme Court on the matter.