Velasco: House not a rubber stamp of Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — Despite Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s alliance with the administration, he gave assurance on Tuesday that the House of Representatives, under his leadership, will not be a “rubber stamp” of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Velasco said the House will still continue its mandate to scrutinize and debate on legislative measures that are being pushed by the chief executive.
“Hindi naman po rubber stamp, mainly because kunwari may gusto po ang ating mahal na Pangulo, ibababa po niya sa Kongreso, we debate on it muna po, we’ll have people to scrutinize,” Velasco said in an interview by Daily Tribune via FB Live.
(We will not be a rubber stamp because if the President wants to pass a law, this will go down to Congress and we will debate on it first. We’ll have people to scrutinize it.)
“We are allowed to ask questions, we go on debates to be able to talk about yung mga gusto nating ipasa na mga legislative na measures po. We cannot be called a rubber stamp because we do our job, scrutinizing each and every legislative measure po,” he added.
‘No time for cha-cha’
However, when asked whether the House would push for amending of the 1987 Constitution, Velasco said he would push for it if the President wants.
But he said he feels the government should just focus on its response against the coronavirus pandemic.
“Ako po ay makikipag-usap sa ating mahal na Pangulo, kung sinabi po niya ay kinakailangan po nating gawin, ay gagawin po natin,” he said.
(I will talk to the President. If he says to tackle it, we will tackle it.)
“But ako po personally, I feel na kailangan magfocus muna tayo sa mga COVID-19 responses,” he added.
(But personally, I feel that we need to focus on the COVID-19 response.)
He admitted that he is for charter change but acknowledged that there is currently no time for that now considering the coronavirus pandemic.
He said he wants to amend the 1987 Constitution, especially the provision providing term limits for public officials.
“To be honest po talaga I would want to push for charter change but I think there is really no more time, especially we’re focusing all our efforts sa COVID, ‘yung mga responses natin,” he said.
“At the end of the day I really feel that we have to review, amend our charter. Kagaya po dito sa ating mga public officials, when we talk about term changes, to be honest, kinakailangan po natin,” he added.
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