Transcript of Ambush Interview with Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto

Q: On the priority legislation of the 2nd Regular Session

SPKPimentel: As far as I am concerned the following are my priorities and I have seen the priorities of other senators, plus of course, the unanticipated priority bills of the Duterte administration: the tax reform package, of course I will push that we study the revision of the Constitution, hind lang iyan for federalism purposes but even for the economic provisions, and based on the clamor of the people, they want a national ID system to be established, they want the strengthening of our anti-terrorism laws.

Si Senate President Pro tempore Ralph Recto has other priorities in mind, he might..

SPPRecto: I have a full list in my office, maybe later you on might want to take a look at the list as well, consistent with what we have agreed upon in previous LEDAC meetings.

Q: Sir you think it is time to tackle death penalty in this 2nd Regular Session?

SPPRecto: I don't see that in the radars really.

SPKP: Ganito na lang. As Senate President, this bill was submitted by the House so I think we owe it as a gesture of friendship to the House that since they passed it this so it means that they also want us to discuss it. Hanggang doon na lang, I will assure the House that we will discuss the death penalty bill.

Q: But priority bill ba?

SPKP: Not a priority bill, it is in the regular course of business.

Q: Yung Bangsamoro Basic Law?

SPKP: Thank you for reminding me, the BBL, kasi kabibigay lang pala noong last Monday noon. The BBL also, especially because it will be certified as urgent. A bill certified as urgent means that it is certified as important.

Q: On appeal of former senators for Senate to be "stronger" this 2nd Regular Session

SPKP: With the vote last Saturday, 16-4 isn't that strong enough? Huwag naman izero yung voice of dissent. We should not silence the voice of dissent. We should have an opposition or a minority in the Senate to check the majority.

Source: Senate of the Philippines

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