Senate revives CamSur bill
Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - After being relegated to the sidelines for the past few months, the Senate has revived the bill creating the new province of Nueva Camarines and will push for its approval before Dec. 21.

Last Tuesday, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada took up the cudgels for the proponents of House Bill 4820 which would split the province of Camarines Sur (CamSur) to create Nueva Camarines by calling for the resumption of the period of interpellation.

According to Estrada, the bill has been languishing in the Senate for over a year and that it should not be held hostage by just one or two senators who are against it.

Estrada lamented that the bill, which was overwhelmingly approved by the House of Representatives last year, took one year and 32 days before a committee report was submitted for plenary debates by the Senate committee on local government chaired by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 

Based on how the bill was handled by the committee, Estrada said there was a “clear indication of a deliberate effort to mislead the proponents and hostage the bill.”

“Should one or two senators be allowed to decide on a matter which under Section 18, Article 10 of our Constitution, belongs to the people. Isn’t that a violation of the right of the people for self-determination?” Estrada said in a manifestation in last Tuesday’s plenary session.

Estrada said only Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has manifested his intention to interpolate on the bill.

Marcos said there were other senators apart from Trillanes who intend to interpolate him.

He clarified that there was no intention to hold the bill hostage and that there were several reasons for the delay in the consideration of the measure.

“It was not one or two senators who objected to the bill in substance and the manner the bill was being pursued and followed up by the stakeholders. There were at least seven who took that position,” Marcos said.

Trillanes, who was present in last Tuesday’s session, gave his commitment to start the second part of his three-part interpolation next week.

The bill was one of the more controversial measures that the Senate handled due to the strong lobbying from the proponents and opposition in Camarines Sur.

Camarines Sur Reps. Luis Villafuerte Sr. and Arnulfo Fuentebella regularly visited the Senate to lobby for the approval of the bill for several months when it was being discussed in plenary.

On the other hand, Villafuerte’s son, Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., the governor of Camarines Sur, has strongly opposed the creation of the new province and has managed to gain the support of his Nacionalista Party colleagues in the Senate.

“It’s not a question of whether or not it is being delayed or being held hostage and I beg to differ with the gentleman from San Juan that it is being held hostage,” he added.

 

ANTONIO TRILLANES BILL CAMARINES SUR CAMARINES SUR REPS FERDINAND MARCOS JR. HOUSE BILL HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LAST TUESDAY LUIS RAYMUND VILLAFUERTE JR. LUIS VILLAFUERTE SR. AND ARNULFO FUENTEBELLA NUEVA CAMARINES
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