Study hard, Zubiri tells Robin Padilla on possible committee chairmanship
MANILA, Philippines — “Mag-aral nang mabuti.”
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri has this one advice to political rookie, incoming Senator Robin Padilla, especially since he wants to lead the Senate committees on constitutional amendment and public information.
Zubiri said Padilla may end up being the chairperson of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments since he has asked for it and no other senator would like to head it.
“‘Yung Constitutional Amendments, hinihingi niya talaga ‘yan. (He really asked for it.) No other member of ours wishes to head that committee. Kung ‘yan talaga ang adhikain niya, he might shine,” he said in an interview over ABS CBN’s TeleRadyo on Wednesday night.
“Let us listen to his arguments. Dapat pag-aralan niyang mabuti itong Constitutional amendments and revision of laws. Remember, revision of laws din ’yan so ’yung mga papalitan na batas, ’yung aamyendahan na batas, lalo na sa mga issues on criminal law and other corporate law, dadaan sa kanya ’yun,” he added.
(He should study the Constitutional amendments and revision of laws well. Laws that need to be amended, especially in issues surrounding criminal law and other corporate law, will pass through him and his committee.)
Zubiri said the committee is usually headed by a lawyer since revising laws, apart from Constitutional amendments, is also part of the tasks of the committee.
“Sa totoo lang, abogado talaga ang humahawak ng committee na ‘yan pero gusto niya eh so baka magpakitang gilas ang ating kaibigan na si Senator Robin Padilla,” he said.
(In truth, lawyers usually head that committee but he wants it so he may show an effort for it.)
His only one appeal to the incoming neophyte senator: study well.
“I have to appeal to him and bigyan ko ng payo at advice, mag aral nang mabuti. Kailangan mag-aral ka nang mabuti kasi ang kausap mo diyan justices eh, constitutionalists,” Zubiri said.
Padilla earlier said he would hire lawyers, particularly Atty. Salvador Panelo, who served as the presidential chief legal counsel of President Rodrigo Duterte, “as his “legislative consultant, adviser, and mentor.”
Panelo also ran for senator under the banner of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., but failed to secure a seat.
Zubiri said that there is nothing wrong with hiring lawyers as part of his staff, but said Padilla would still have to study since he will be the one talking on the floor and debating with resource persons.
“Kailangan ikaw ang magsalita eh. Hindi sila pwede magsalita, ikaw ang magsalita so you have to know the legal terminologies. Hindi pwedeng i-simplify ang napaka-complicated na legal terminologies,” he said.
(You’re the one who has to talk so you have to know the legal terminologies, which cannot be simplified.)
Padilla, who is an actor, would have to talk and debate with constitutionalists, seasoned lawyers and deans of Philippine law schools if he heads the said committee.
Zubiri, however, said that Padilla should be given the “benefit of the doubt” since he can study for the job before assuming the post.
He also said that Padilla is not yet assured of the chairmanship of the committee since the plenary has still to vote for him.
“Kailangan mahalal po ’yan ng mga miyembro. So kung mayroon pong mga miyembro diyan sa dami namin, sasabihin nila, hindi ka karapat-dapat doon sa posisyon na ’yan, kung hindi po siya karapat-dapat sa posisyon na ’yan, ay hindi siya ihahalal ng mga miyembro ng Senado. Remember that the position, including mine, is elected in the plenary. Kailangan lahat po, walang objection. Kung may objection, we will divide the house, magkakabotohan ’yan,” he explained.
(He needs to be voted for in that position. If there are a number of our members who think that he is not fit for the post, they will not vote for him. They all have to vote for him, no objection. If there are objections, we will divide the house and that will be voted on.)
“So kailangan niya na lapitan lahat ng miyembro and convince them na you know, bagay ako diyan dahil mag-aaral ako nang mabuti, so hindi po automatic ‘yan,” he added.
(So he needs to talk to all the members and convince them that he is suitable for the position because he will study hard. That is not automatic.)
Padilla, 52, emerged as the No. 1 senator in the elections on his first try with a total of 26,612,434 votes, according to the final, official tally from the Commission on Elections sitting as the National Board of Canvassers.
He has been very supportive of calls for a shift to a federalism form of government and has vowed to push for Charter change as senator.
Padilla has a degree in Criminology from the Philippine College of Criminology.
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