Transcript of Kapihan sa Senado

ON RH BILL

Sen. Marcos: I think the status is, as of yesterday evening, last na ‘yong akin naging individual amendments. I think Sen. Sotto is going to introduce more individual amendments on Monday but after that I think we will be getting to the vote on 2nd reading. Siguro hindi na namin iiwanan ‘yan hangang mag 2nd reading na sa Monday, which means that we if want to bring it to 3rd reading ,we will have to have a special session on Thursday. Pero ang binabantayan ng Senado is what will happen in the House, kasi kung napag 2nd reading sila today, Wednesday naman sila magti- 3rd reading so mukhang gumagalaw na, panalo na sa House on 2nd reading. Of course, ‘yung 2nd reading is a very good indication of what will be the vote on 3rd reading. Kung magbabago man siguro, konti na lang.

We were watching it kaya siguro puyat tayong lahat. Iba doon sa House, and dami-dami nila, lahat naman sila nag-explain dahil sa nominal vote. So tumagal, I think just before 2 a.m. natapos.

Siguro ang masasabi ko, if the votes on the different amendments is anything to go by, parang matibay-tibay ang lagay ng RH bill dito sa Senado.

All my amendments, I have several actually, had to do with the LGUs dahil lagi kong inaalala na ang LGUs, laging binibigyan ng bagong function, wala namang kakayahan, wala namang pondo. And, this is something that has been happening since the implementation of the Local Government Code. So, bawat makita ko na mayroon bagong function ang LGU, nilalagyan ko lang “with funding from the national government.” Parero ‘yung thinking namin ni Sen. Ralph on the subject of local government so marami na roon natangal na niya or pinalitan na niya, pito ‘yun eh. So, ang naiwan na lang para sa akin amendment was just a single one, which had to do with the emergency natal care. As far as I am concerned, I am satisfied because the local government are not being, as I said, binibigyan bagong function tapos wala naman support sa national government, both in terms of funding and technical support. Pinagpaaralan pa namin baka meron pa, there might be one more, pero, at least in that regard, medyo na bantayan natin, na hindi masyado mabigat na naman papapagawa natin sa local government, na hindi naman natutulungan.

On whether he is satisfied with present Senate version of RH bill

Sen. Marcos: Yes. I think napagbigyan naman lahat ng ibang amendments that were proposed and I think Sen. Pia was very liberal in allowing all of the amendments, as many of the amendments as she could. We had lunch yesterday and I said to her: to hasten the process, kung kaya mo tangapin, tangapin mo na para masabayan natin yan sa House.

On whether the amendments will be removed in the bicam?

Sen. Marcos: Narinig nyo ba kahapon the Drilon formula? Ewan ko kung bakit ako natatawa dahil hindi ako dapat matawa kasi dun kami nadale sa Sin Tax dun sa bicam. I don’t think it was that. Pero mayroon talaga na hindi niya kayang tangapin, like the minors, because it’s really important, for very, very good reasons. We are one of the few countries where the incidence of HIV/AIDS is actually on the increase and the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS is between the ages of 15-25, so the bulk of your target demographic would be removed from the advantages of the RH bill. I think in the interest of compromise and in the interest of trying to get this through, especially if the House is moving already, tinangap na lang niya as much as she could without undercutting the whole purpose of the RH bill.

On Holding a Special Session

Sen. Marcos: Expected na ‘yun, pinaguusapan na. Pero babantay naming ‘yung House. Kung mag 3rd reading ang House sa Wednesday, may special session ang Senate sa Thursday. Kung wala naman sa House, kahit mag 3rd reading dito, mapasa dito, wala rin mangyayari. The whole point is tapusin ng lahat bago mag break for christmas. We will still be dependent on the House. Pero, sa takbo ng RH bill sa House, mukhang gagawin nila, kasi nga three days, sa Wednesday, so special session sa Thursday.

Hindi imposibleng mababaliktad pa yan dahil ganun lang kalapit, pitong votes lang, but I think despite everything else, despite all of the lobbying that went on, despite all the pressure that were put on the congressmen and are being put on the senators, talagang hati, it is a very close vote. If you are talking of 287, and to have a difference of only 7 votes, or to have it approved on 2nd reading sa pitong boto lang ibig sabihin talagang….So hindi imposible na babaliktad pa yan kaya binabantayan namin ng husto kung anong mangyayari sa House.

On whether there is “man-to-man” lobbying in the Senate

Sen. Marcos: I don’t think so, dahil siyempre mas mahirap i-control ‘yong ganun marami. Karamihan sa amin medyo nagsabi na kung saan sila papanig. Man to man in the sense that in the House, mayroon whip. We don’t have the actual title of whip but mayroon whip umiikot asigurado ‘yan, sino sinasabi ..huwag kayo magpapalit or dito tayo, etc. Sa Senado hindi gaano, what we are beginning to feel, I don’t know about the others pero ako, ang mga lobbying ay galing sa labas. In the last week, siguro mga pitong meetings ko, kung sino sino lumalapit for both sides, pro and anti RH. Kasi malapit na tayo sa finish line, so the pressure is on.

On RH and election

Sen. Marcos: I am sure kung reelectionist ka, you will have to take it into consideration. Hindi mo naman puwede binabalewala ‘yung impluwensya ng Simabahan kasi alam naman natin we are mostly catholic. Ako, I have signed as co-author in the last Congress, so I have been doing this for almost five years, we have been working on the RH. Hindi ko sasabihin na nakapag-decide na ng lahat but the lobbying at this point is taken with a grain of salt. Sa totoo lang, lahat naman mga argumento magkabila nasabi na. Narinig na natin yan in the last Congress, pa ulit-ulit. So tantya ko, mga 90 percent of the senators alam na nila ano gagawin nila.

On Catholic Vote

Sen. Marcos: Mahirap sabihin me Catholic votes dahil the Catholics comprise the majority of the Filipinos. Historically, the way that the Filipino voters are divided, ganun din kung gaano kahati ‘yong so-called Catholic vote. Iglesia talaga sabay-sabay bumobot or even the solid Norte, sabay sabay ‘yan. You can call it the Ilokano vote or the Iglesia vote. The Catholic vote is less clear, kung ano talaga ang Catholic vote. The most similar situation that I know of is the situation of Johnny Flavier when he ran for senator. Pinaglaban niya din ‘yong condom and the Catholic Church came out very strong against him but No. 1 siya sa election. It’s not clear kung hati ‘yung Catholic vote or sabay sabay sila. Yung mga survey na nakikita natin mukhang pabor sa RH bill. Kung maliwanag ‘yan, alam na anong gagawin mga re-electionists . Because it is so unclear I really believe in the end, although politics will play a part in it, it will be a conscience vote.

On whether his position would change if he were a re-electionist in 2013

Palagay ko hindi magbabago. As I said I have been doing this for at least 5 years already. Ang position ko dito ay ‘yong experience ko as governor. Talagang maliwanag na there is a need for this. Dahil ang daming kawawa mga bata, ang daming kawawang mga pamilya. They are ignorant, they have no access to any form of contraception and they do not even understand how reproduction works. Ito kailangan natin ayusin.

On the RH Bill

Sen. Marcos: What is proposed in the RH Bill is already being done. Namimigay na sila ng condom, gamot. They are already starting to educate so it is just institutionalizing what is already on the ground and to strengthen what they’re trying to do. Para sa akin, maliit na hakbang na lang ito mula sa nangyayari ngayon kapag napasa ang RH Bill kung ano ang gagawin ng pamahalaan.

On the senators’ vote on the RH Bill

Sen. Marcos: Ang definitive guide, so far, is ‘yung botohan sa mga amendments. It’s indicative. Hindi mo masasabi na kapag ‘yung amendment pabor kay Senator Pia, ibig sabihin pasado na. It’s not that clear. We try to make a headcount, it’s not clear. I suppose ‘yung iba nag-iisip pa kung ano ang kanilang gagawin. In the end, despite all of the pressures that are being put on the senators from both sides, I don’t think anyone will cast their vote purely on political expediency. In really believe that everbody’s conscience will be a part of it.

Siguro ‘yung resulta sa House, magkakaroon din ng influence ‘yan but again, it’s hard to assess how much influence.

On whether there would be a party stand?

Sa NP walang party stand. Sa NP, sinasabi kung ano talaga ang paniniwala ninyo. Medyo hesitant ako to talk about the LP pero mukhang sa botohan ‘yung LP supportive because alam naman natin na si Presidente is supportive of the RH Bill. The JPE group is not supportive. The rest yun ang mahirap basahin.

On the rumors that a vote on the RH Bill equals pork barrel release

Marcos: Sa amin sa Senado, I can categorically say na walang ganoong pangyayari. Bawat isa, lalo na ‘yung mga re-electionists, sila ang mag-aassess sa sitwasyon nila. Kung matibay-tibay sila, they can pretty much do whatever they want pero kung medyo insecure ang lagay nila, baka iba ang kanilang pag-iisip. I cannot tell you what they are thinking but if I am a candidate, if I were in their position, ganoon siguro ang mangyayari sa akin.

On the RH Bill reaching the bicam conference

Sen. Marcos: Lahat pwedeng mabalik sa bicam as we have experienced in the sin tax. Maayos na ‘yung sa Senate version pero sa bicam, wala. Sinagasaan lang kami so we adopted generally the House proposal. Again, those proposals can come from either House. It’s actually the third House of legislature because kung ano man ang naging Senate version o House version, maaaring paglabas sa bicam ay ibang-iba sa House o Senate version. Nagbago ng husto. That’s just the way it works. That’s our system so that can happen.

On the parental consent for minors

Sen. Marcos: Dahil nga isa tayo sa, I think, siyam na bansa na dumadami ang nagkakaroon ng HIV/AIDS. The highest number of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines is on the demographic between 15-25 years old. Sabihin natin na kailangan ng parental consent, number one, alam naman natin na hindi kukuha ng parental consent. It’s just unrealistic. To deny the people who are vulnerable, deny those children who are exposed to this particular disease, parang counter-productive ‘yon. We look at the empirical data and see what is really going on in the ground.

On the sin tax bill

Sen. Marcos: Disappointed ako kasi sa aking pananaw, makakasira itong sin tax bill. Sa aking paniniwala, hindi mababawas ang paninigarilyo, pag-inom. Hindi makokolekta ang incremental tax revenue na kanilang sinasabi. Magkakaroon pa ng smuggling. Ang mangyayari lamang ay wawasakin ang local. Tinataasan natin ng husto ang buwis sa sigarilyo at alcohol, especially ‘yung distilled, para kumita nga pero ang imported walang binabayad na tax. Binabayaran lang nila customs duties. So, very preferential ito sa mga imports. Nagtataka naman ako bakit natin ginagawa ‘yon. Bakit natin pinapayaman ‘yung taga-labas on the backs and on the sacrifices of our local manufacturers.

Sa lahat ng paliwanag at pagka-unawa ko sa industriya, dahil sinasabi nila nag-aral ka ng husto, ang katotohanan nag-aaral ako nito 14 anyos na dahil I was governor for 9 years, I was congressman before that, I was congressman of Ilocos Norte after the 9 years so heavily involved ka sa tobacco manufacturers, sa tobacco industry dahil isa pinaka profitable na crop yan para sa amin. So nauunawan ko yung industriya. I really believe I have a good understanding of the industry. And sa aking tapat na pagtingin ay talagang hindi makakatulong ito. Hindi lamang sa hindi natin makukuha yung karagdagang buwis ang mangyayari pa sisirain natin ang industriya at yung nakukuha nang buwis ngayon sa industriyang iyon ay mababawas pa. I really hope that I’m wrong. I really hope that this is one of the instances na maling-mali ako para hindi naman matamaan ‘yung mga farmers, producers, manufacturers pati ‘yung mga retailers. But to the best of my ability, my analysis tell me that this is not going to be as we hoped. It will destroy the industry, we will not collect the revenues and criminality in the form of smuggling will increase.

On reaction of tobacco farmers after the passage of the sin tax bill

The tobacco farmers, pinupuntahan na ako simula ng napag-usapan na ang sin tax. Di depressed sila lahat, sabi nila patay na ito. What can I say? Anong masasabi ko to appease them? I don’t believe it will be okay. So I have very little to tell them. Syempre hindi naman kataka-taka na maraming lumalapit, this has been going on through the entire process. After the Senate version was approved on the 2nd reading, medyo maganda-ganda na because people say kaya nating suportahan yung ganung klaseng schedule. But nung napalitan ulit ang sabi natin wala tayong magagawa, ganyan na ang magiging batas. But when you do the numbers it’s really very clear, pag titingnan mo talaga yung magiging effect.

On the possibility of failure for the sin tax bill

Sen. Marcos: We are gonna be watching this from the beginning of its the implementation. We will track it. May oversight naman. Ang sinasabi ko kay Commissioner Kim (Henares) mag-usap tayo at the end of 2013. Tingnan natin kung ano ang naging collection ninyo, tingnan natin kung talagang totoo o hindi. Kung mali naman yung aking sinasabi di tatanggapin ko. If its true then we will try to amend it. Ano pang magagawa natin, an act of Congress can only be amended by another act of Congress. That’s all we would be able to do. But in the meantime there is no satisfaction from being right on this question. Because in the meantime maraming mahihirapan, maraming mawawalan ng trabaho. Baka dadami na lang ang mga OFW natin, aalis na lang yung mga iyon, yung mga nadi-displace. Baka yun ang gusto ng gobyerno kasi ang dami nating kinikita sa remittance. Maybe that’s what they really want to do.

On the distribution of the tax burden on sin taxes per year

In the first year. Tingnan ninyo, it is back-loaded. Even in the unitary, 2017, ang unitary was 26 dito sa House version. Sa final version 30. Ginawa lang nila yun para pagandahin yung numero pero ang totoo, over a period of five years, they expect yung kanilang projection is makaka-kulekta sila in five years ng half a trillion. Look at the size of the industry, paano ka magko-collect ng half a trillion? Hindi realistic yung kanilang mga assumptions.

On the earmarking

Tinanggal lahat ang earmarking kasi sinabi ng House sa Bicam, that is an appropriation. If this is a revenue measure, it cannot be an appropriation bill and that appropriation should just come. Ang ina-alala nga namin is that kung sinasabi ninyo health measure ito, eh di talagang ilagay natin ang health measure. Ano ang nangyari sa Bicam? Kinu-kwestiyon nga na may ganitong halaga na ilalagay sa healthcare itong halaga, sinasabi nila na hindi maaari yan, dahil that is appropriating already, which is a function of the House. Nagtanong ako, nandoon si Secretary Ona, kung magkaroon nga tayo ng collection na ganito, papaano ninyo gagamitin? Paano ninyo i-aasses? Hindi siya pinasagot, sinabi wag, i-adopt na lang natin, saka na lang natin pakinggan si Sec. Ona. Kung na-adopt na natin, bakit pa natin pakikinggan si Sec. Ona? Ganun ang nangyari, ganun ang naging sistema ng Bicam. Let’s adopt it first then we will discuss it. Bakit pa tayo magdi-discuss, tapos na ang usapan?

On the Drilon formula

Walang natira sa Senate version. Yung unitary rate, pati yung revenue, yung burden sharing, lahat ng pinag-usapan namin dito sa Senado, nawala. Essentially ang naging template was the House version. Sinasabi nga nila dito it was 35.9 billion ang total, sinabi namin bawasan kasi 31.3 billion sa House, split the difference, 35.5 more or less. Ano ang nangyari sa 5 billion? Nilagay lahat sa tobacco, hindi lahat sa alcohol. Hindi ko alam kung bakit. Ewan ko bakit ano bang kasalanan namin sa Presidente na inaapi kami ng ganito.

On Marcos and JPE’s amendments

Ang nangyari lang, yung sistema. Yung stamps, yung markings, etcetera para maliwanag kung ito ay imported o ito ay locally-made. In fact, narinig ko sa isang tobacco manufacturer, sabi niya isasara na lang namin yung planta namin dito, bubuksan namin sa labas. Bibili kami ng tobacco sa Pilipinas, gagawin naming sigarilyo, tapos ibebenta namin as imported cigarette. Hindi smuggling. Legal yun, because hindi sila magbabayad nung ganoong klaseng tax. Because for distilled spirits and tobacco, all imported goods are not taxed. All the specific taxes, all the ad valorem taxes that we apply to distilled spirits and tobacco do not apply to imported products. Ang binabayad lang nila customs duties. Negosyante yan, nag-iisip sila kung papaano sila makakarecover. E kung pipilitin nila sabi nila di na kami kikita rito. Ang iniisip lang naman nila kung paano kumita. Yung ang one of their options. Kung titingnan ninyo ang numero, it actually makes sense na ilabas na lang natin ang production. Bilhin na lang natin ang tobacco sa Pilipinas, we will export it to I don’t know where, tapos dun sa bago nilang planta dun nila gagawin ang sigarilyo tapos ibabalik nila as imported product. Syempre di na sila magbabayad ng tax.

On whether the tax will meet the revenue?

Yun na nga, half a trillion. San manggagaling yung half a trillion. Para sa kanila, basta itaas nila ang sin tax, tataas yung revenue. Hindi nila iniisip na may merkado yan. After a certain level sasabihin ng tao, hindi na namin bibilhin yan. Kaso may smuggling. Sa debate dito, sabi hindi, kailangan may organization na sindikato, mag-organize sila. Meron na. Nagpabili lang ako ng smuggled cigarettes, dalawampu kaagad na iba’t-ibang klaseng sigarilyo dito sa Maynila ang nabili. Sa Mindanao, mas marami pa. Yung formula nila was always the higher you make taxes, the more we will collect. Hindi ganoon kasimple ang usapan nito. It’s a market, hindi linear, there’s a point na talagang sasabihin ng consumer, ayaw ko na, maghahanap na lang ako ng iba, and ang magiging option doon is smuggled cigarettes.

On whether felt being bullied in the bicam

Hindi naman nila kami pwedeng i-bully but the discussion was abbreviated in the Bicam. Humihingi kami, mag-agree tayo P35 billion. House and Senate, nag-agree. P35 billion ang projected revenues. Tanggap na namin yung P35 billion. Ang House proposal, ganito nga ang lumabas ngayon, five years unitary hanggang 30, etcetera. Yung working group, sabi namin ipakita nila yung projection, Hinihingan namin, sabi ko kung ganyan, ano pa ba yung ibang option P35B pa rin ang kikitain ng gobyerno? Take it or leave it na nga ang naging situwasyon.

On rationale of the House for a higher burden share for tobacco while maintaining that of alcohol

Ang reasoning nila, irrelevant na yun dahil in the first year, ang pino-propose ng Senate version, mas malaki ang magiging buwis kesa sa pino-propose nila. Sanay naman ako sa numero, kung binawasan nila ng konti sa first year—I think the savings was P300 million—pero kinarga nila sa following years. Mas malaki pa rin over-all and their estimate again, let’s just be sensible about this, let’s keep this simple: P500 billion is their expected revenue over the next five years. How can an industry the size of the tobacco industry and the size of the distilled alcohol industry and the beer, saan mo kukunin yung P500 billion? Hindi ganoon kalaki ang industriyang yan. Ang kanilang assumption, basta itaas ang buwis, mas malaki ang kikitain, which is a simplistic approach, incorrect. Pinag-uusapan, 60-40, naging 70-30, etc. Bakit nagbago? Sinasabi, di na bale, huwag ninyong inaalala yun dahil mas maliit naman sa first year. Sabi ko tingnan natin ang susunod na ilang taon, sabi nila wag na, okay na yan. Basta sabi nila napag-usapan natin ito ng matagal, bomoto na tayo.

On whether the liquor industry lobbies harder

Hindi ko alam, pero ang pakiramdam ay aping-api ang tobacco. If you wanted to destroy an industry, you could not do a better job than what they did for the tobacco in the sin tax bill.

On whether the tobacco farmers can let legislators know their disappointment through their vote in 2013

May election. Alam nilang lahat kung sino ang bumoto saan. Maliwanag na maliwanag sa kanila, pinag-mamasdan nila, binabantayan nila. Darating ang campaign period, iikot kami, at magtatanong sila, sino ba ang dapat nating tulungan? Kahit sabihin ko na tulungan namin sila, sasabihin nila bakit ko tutulungan yan, bumoto yan kontra sa amin? During Christmas aakyat ako ng Ilocos. I’m sure tatawag ng meeting yang mga yan at gustong pag-usapan kung ano ang magiging epekto sa kanila at kung anong gagawin sa darating na election. Kahit sabihin mo na malakas ako sa mga botante dyan, pag pinilit ko na sasabihin ko tulungan natin itong kandidatong ito, pag alam nila na yung kandidatong yun ay lumaban sa kanila o bomoto sa final version ng Sin Tax bill, alam ko na ang sagot nila: Boss hindi namin magagawa yan dahil hindi kami tinulungan nyan.

On the effect of the Sin tax bill to Ilocano votes

Sen. Marcos: Ngayon lang talaga natin matetesting kasi the previous elections ang Ilocano vote ay nanggagaling sa Norte. Pero sa palagay ko, magpaparamdam ang mga Ilocano na hindi sa Norte dahil sa Sin tax bill. Kahit papano kamag anak at kaibigan pa din nila yung mga yun. Alam niyo naman pagdating sa senador, ang local tumatawid ng party line yan. Usually, ang governor, magbibigay ng sample ballot yan, hindi puno sa senador. At the most anim or pito. Para yung botante may option siya kung sino ang gusto niya. Para dun sa pagpili ng anim o pito, simple lang naman ang tanong kung sino ang nakatulong sa atin. Ang local tumatanaw lang yan ng utang na loob. Hindi sa partido yan. Ang talagang determining factor sa akin, in my experience: sinong tumulong sa atin? Kahit yung governor sabihin wag nating tulungan yan. Sir, bakit naman e tumulong sa atin yan, dapat naman ay tumatanaw tayo ng utang na loob. I think hindi pa nagbabago yung ganung pag-iisip.

On whether the supporters of Sin Tax Bill can campaign in the North
Of course they can. Pero maraming itatanong sa kanila na dapat nilang sagutin. Ang simpleng tanong: Bakit nyo ipinasa yang Sin Tax na yan na ganyan na alam nyo maraming mapipinsala?

On the members of the bicam on sin tax bill from the North

Marcos: Well, ako tapos sa Congress si Congressman Singson. Yung ibang mga Congressman tumulong, sumubok like Congressman Danny Suarez who has been very supportive. Even Congressman Villafuerte and Fuentebella were trying but in the end, wala rin.

Q: When will the sin tax bill be transmitted to the Palace?

Sen. Marcos: Third reading was Tuesday. So 15 days tapos dadalhin na sa palasyo.

Effectivity of the sin tax bill

Sen. Marcos: Ang ginawa nila effective immediately, upon signing. That will probably be before the end of the year.

On possible challenge against the legality of Sin Tax before SC

I’m sure, lalo na yung mga manufacturers tinitingnan nila kung merong ganung possibility. We will be definitely studying to see kung meron talagang flaws dun sa present version that might be questioned as unconstitutional. If you can elevate the question into a constitutional issue dadalhin sa Supreme Court. Gagawin namin ang lahat kung maaring makatulong sa mga farmers, sa industriya.

On the 2013 elections

On campaigning for certain candidates?

Sen. Marcos: Oo naman. Lagi ko ngang sinasabi in the last 20 plus years ito lang ang eleksyon na hindi ako kandidato. Siguro kung yung mga kasama natin sa partido ay nangangailangan ng tulong, tutulungan natin.Kung sa local, kung sa palagay nila makakatulong ako, e di tutulong ako at ikakampanya sila. My mother and my sister are running. Si Imee is unopposed. Yung mother ko may pumila pa ata kontra sa kanya pero hindi naman siguro masyadong malakas. Si Imee and Si Congressman Farinas ay walang kalaban.

On Senator Trillanes who voted for ratification of Sin Tax bill

Sen. Marcos: Yes, I will campaign for him. But nag-usap na kami dyan. Ang sabi nya alam kong tatamaan ako dyan sa Norte.

On Senator Alan Cayetano

Sen. Marcos: Oo ba, I will campaign for him. Kagaya ng sabi ko pagka ikampanya mo kahit na sabihin na mahal ka ng tao, tatanong nila bakit namin iboboto dyan e hindi tumulong yan. Alam niyo ang mga botante sa Pilipinas, when you get down lalo na pag di presidente, simple lang ang tanong dyan eh, what have you done for me lately? Ano bang naitulong sa amin? Kung meron kayong naitutulong di iboboto ko kayo kung wala e bakit pa, wala naman kayong silbi sa amin. Natural yan. Di lang sa Pilipinas yan.

On the Camsur bill

Sen. Marcos: Alam naman natin lahat na ang plano talaga ng mga proponent dun sa Camsur ay tumakbo doon sa bagong probinsya. Hindi na sila makakatakbo in the next election dahil hindi sila makapag-file. Kahit sila, alam nilang wala nang pupuntahan yung bill although patuloy pa rin sa plebisito. Even that, as a practical matter, hindi na kaya gawin ng COMELEC, kasi sinabi na ng COMELEC dahil sinabi na nila na masyado na silang madaming ginagawa in fact behind schedule sila sa kontrata nila, walang special elections, walang mga plebisito until after the May elections. After the May elections, whatever the result may be tapos na yun, pag hindi napasa magsisimula ulit. Baka there’s an element of face saving na rin sa kanila. ###

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