Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. today thanked Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito for clarifying the facts surrounding the deliberations and the eventual passage of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Act saying it should finally settle the issue.
Marcos said it was honorable for Ejercito to have issued a statement on the matter to set the record straight and support his pronouncement on his crucial role in the law’s passage.
“I would like to thank Senator JV Ejercito for clarifying the issue on what really transpired in the Senate and in the House of Representatives and what we had to go through to make sure the anti-dynasty provision be included in the law,” he said.
Administration lawmakers had disputed Marcos’ statement in the vice presidential debate last Sunday that he played an important role in the bill’s passage saying it was Senator Bam Aquino who actively pushed for it.
But Ejercito, one of the authors of the Senate version, backed Marcos’ assertions on the bill saying it was Marcos, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, who worked hard to ensure that the anti-dynasty provision was included in the bill and pushed for its passage.
Ejercito disclosed that Marcos “fought for the bill” as he even “pressured” the House of Representatives to pass it. He also pointed out that the House was not even keen to pass the SK Reform bill but it was Marcos would insisted that it should be passed because the old law was defective.
Ejercito added that Marcos could have chosen to be absent in the bicameral meetings but he actively participated in the deliberations and was instrumental in the crafting of the bill.
“He was the one who really pushed for it. I know it because I was one of the authors. Joint effort namin yan. We all worked hard for it,” Ejercito had said in an interview.
The SK Reform Act or RA 10742 contains a provision which prohibits any SK official from having any relative in elective public office within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity.
The said law emanated from Senate Bill 2401 and House Bill 6043. Senate Bill 2401 is the consolidated version of Ejercito’s Senate Bill No. 68, which had an anti-political dynasty provision and Aquino’s Senate Bill No. 1090 which did not have an anti-political dynasty provision.
Marcos, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, submitted the committee report recommending the consolidation of the two bills into SB 2401 which had the anti-dynasty provision.
Marcos lamented that the issue is being used yet again to discredit his role in the passage of the law when everything is on record.
“We are in the campaign season but it should not be used to sow confusion and discredit anyone. Everything is on record. The facts could easily be checked so let us not make false accusations,” he said.