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116 of 284 bills OK’d by Senate passed into law

Christina Mendez, Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – With Congress adjourning, Senate President Franklin Drilon said that the Senate managed to be productive by approving a total of 284 bills from July 2013 to Feb. 4 this year, including 116 measures signed into law and 59 awaiting President Aquino’s approval.

Another 98 bills have been approved on third and final reading, seven measures are still pending in the bicameral conference committee and four waiting for final ratification by the House of Representatives.

“We can really show that we did our share in opening up the economy to provide a better environment for investment and create jobs. Many of the laws that we passed languished in the legislative mill for years,” Drilon said in a forum held at the Senate yesterday.

However, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, who was the Senate president in the previous Congress, scoffed at the accomplishments cited by Drilon, saying that many of the bills approved were local in application and based on pakikiusap or request.  

Enrile pointed out that he has been in the Senate since 1987 and that the present batch of senators pales beside their counterparts in the past.

He made it a point to state that he was about to go to trial for his plunder case before the Sandiganbayan and that he is certain that he would be acquitted “because there is no basis.”

The 16th Congress has just a few sessions left before adjournment and for Drilon it was very productive and witnessed many historic firsts.

Drilon, who assumed leadership of the Senate at the start of the 16th Congress in July 2013, said that lawmakers witnessed controversial cases and political storms.

“Never in the history of the Senate were three of its members haled before the court and jailed on charges of corruption. Two are still in jail and one is out on bail. The history of the Senate will show that it is the first time it happened,” Drilon said.

It was the first item mentioned by Drilon, who is running for reelection under the administration’s Liberal Party where he serves as vice chairman.

All three senators involved in the pork barrel scam case – Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla – are with the political opposition. Enrile was allowed to post bail because of his age and his various ailments.

“The history of the Senate showed how the chamber became the battleground of many political battles. The Vice President was subjected to intense investigation. The pork barrel issue occupied our time. The Mamasapano, Maguindanao hearing was a very emotionally charged investigation,” Drilon said.

 

ACIRC DRILON ENRILE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES JINGGOY ESTRADA AND RAMON REVILLA LIBERAL PARTY PRESIDENT AQUINO SENATE SENATE MINORITY LEADER JUAN PONCE ENRILE VICE PRESIDENT WITH CONGRESS
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