Transcript of Interview of Senator Bongbong Marcos during the Opening of the 3rd Regular Session of the 15th Congress
Question: Ano po ang assessment ninyo sa performance ni PNoy nitong nagdaang taon?
Sen. Marcos: Yung mga sinasabi nating mga social programs; maganda lahat ‘yan. Pero may kakulangan tayo sa jobs creation, kakulangan sa ekonomiya na hindi natin napag-uusapan kung ano ang magiging public investment plan para makapagbukas tayo ng mga trabaho para sa ating mga mamamayan at mapalawig ang investments.
The other area that is becoming source of concern is our dealings with China. I am hoping to hear something today about what will be in the future in terms of our relationship with China, and dealings with China and the ASEAN vis-à-vis the conflict in our West Philippine Sea.
Question: What are your thoughts about the Charter Change (Cha-Cha), na isa raw sa mga priority ng Senado?
Sen. Marcos: I was very, very gratified to hear the Senate President say that, because talaga namang maliwanag na may maraming kailangang ayusin, palitan at, sabi nga ni Senate President, we will make it more flexible, more open. These are the things that should have been done a long time ago. Unfortunately, as we all know, this has not been the priority of the President. I hope that he will already be convinced that these things are necessary, and this is the right time to do it.
Question: Can we allay fears na baka pang-term extension lang ito, tulad ng mga nakaraang plano para sa Cha-Cha?
Sen. Marcos: Kaya nga sinabi ni Senate President na pag-uusapan lamang ay economic provisions. Kung talagang matutupad, economic provisions lamang ang pag-uusapan. That being the case, there should not be any fear or apprehension that this Charter Change would be done for the purpose only of extension of terms or addition of terms.
Question: Do you agree with the report that Cha-Cha will only be to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution, and not the form of government?
Sen. Marcos: I don’t think that it will be about changing the form of government; I don’t think we can change it radically. Pero maganda na nagsususpetsa ang mga tao na baka gagamitin lamang ito sa extension of term or postponement of elections. Sa gayon, kung maipapakita natin na totoo naman na economic provisions lamang ang ginagalaw, hindi na siguro mag-aalala ang mga tao na ginagamit lamang ang Cha-Cha na ito para sa political ambitions ng mga sumusulat ng mga bagong amendments.
Question: Are we expecting Cha-Cha debate to start soon?
Sen. Marcos: I don’t know. But I think the debate as to whether or not we are going to have it has already started, during the session break. So, we will make sure that every detail is discussed openly, thoroughly, and that we will have a very transparent system of deliberation.
Question: With the upcoming elections next year, will this be a slow year for the Senate? Marami ba kayong magagawa, ngayong anim na Senador ang mangangampanya na agad?
Sen. Marcos: Hindi naman. Pareho pa rin. Responsable naman ang mga Senador. They are always very interested in their work here in the Senate. Mahalaga sa kanila na kasama at aktibo sila sa mga nagyayari dito sa Senado, lalo na kapag mahahalaga ang mga isyu. I don’t think it will slow us down.