Drilon issued the statement amid reports that senator-elect Imee Marcos is eyeing the committee on social justice, welfare and rural development chaired by Sen. Leila de Lima, while returning senator Pia Cayetano is asking for the committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality headed by incumbent Sen. Risa Hontiveros.
Michael Varcas
‘Don’t take away committees from minority’
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Members of the opposition bloc in the Senate must not be stripped of their committee chairmanships as new senators continue to lobby for posts in the 18th Congress slated to open next month, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said yesterday.

Drilon issued the statement amid reports that senator-elect Imee Marcos is eyeing the committee on social justice, welfare and rural development chaired by Sen. Leila de Lima, while returning senator Pia Cayetano is asking for the committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality headed by incumbent Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

De Lima and Hontiveros belong to the four-member minority bloc. The fourth member is Sen. Francis Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party.

Drilon stressed the equity of the incumbent rule must apply to all senators, whether they belong to the majority or minority blocs.

“Sad, if true. I hope that the equity of the incumbent rule would also be applied to the committees chaired by the minority senators,” he said, referring to the tradition of giving incumbent senators the say on whether they would let go of their committees or opt to stay on.

“Having said that, the committee is a call of the majority. That we are stripped of the committees we now head will not diminish our resolve to scrutinize every measure and act as fiscalizer,” he added.

He said the two minority senators, as chair of their respective committees, worked very hard in the last Congress, which resulted in the enactment of critical laws such as the Magna Carta of the Poor, the Institutionalization of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act and Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act, among others.

“I hope the majority can take a good look at the performance of our colleagues in the minority. They have done an incredible job as chairs of their committees and they can still do more in the next Congress,” Drilon said. 

FRANKLIN DRILON
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