Padilla mum on senators’ caucus on Cha-Cha: Baka masabihan na naman akong neophyte
MANILA, Philippines— Lest he is called a “neophyte” again, Senator Robin Padilla is keeping mum on what transpired during an all-senators caucus on Monday except to say there was a “passionate” exchange of views on the Charter change (Cha-cha) issue.
Since it was an executive session, Padilla said only Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri is authorized to give a statement.
“Baka masabihan na naman ako ng ‘neophyte kasi ‘yan kaya ganyan ang ginagawa,’” Padilla said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel on Tuesday.
(They might say again, “He’s a neophyte; that’s why he’s doing that.”)
“Executive session is a big secret. At ang magbibigay lang ng statement ay si (The statement will only come from) el presidente Migz Zubiri,” he said.
Zubiri earlier referred to Padilla as a “neophyte senator” when explaining why he asked the latter to postpone his invitations to some members of the House of Representatives as resource persons in the Senate committee on constitutional amendments hearings on Cha-Cha proposals.
“Being a neophyte senator, the Chair of the Committee may not yet be fully abreast with the traditions and practices of both Chambers,” he said in a statement on Monday.
Padilla is the chairman of the committee on constitutional amendments.
Though tight-lipped, Padilla still gave some hints about what happened during the caucus.
“Ang masasabi ko lang po diyan, naging maganda ang usapan,” he said, “Nagkaroon man ng palitan ng pagiging passionate… Isipin nyo 24 Republics of the Philippines ‘yan. So isipin mo ang bitawan ng mga salita niyan.”
(All I can say is that there was a good discussion. There might have been a passionate exchange…Imagine, there are 24 Republics of the Philippines so there. Just imagine the exchange of words there.)
However, he gave an assurance about one thing: those present in the caucus only want to protect the public interest.
Padilla said he also gave his word to his colleagues during the caucus that he had no plans to abolish the Senate in his Cha-cha bid.
In the end, the senator remained hopeful that his Cha-cha proposal through a constituent assembly is still alive in the Senate.
“Magiging dead end lang ito ‘pag tinanggal na nila ako as chairman ng constitutional amendments and revision, ‘yun lang ang dead end. Pero hangga’t hindi ako tinatanggal, tuloy-tuloy ito. Hindi ako titigil sa pag-file ng resolution at bill patungkol dito,” he said.
(It will only be a dead end if they remove me as chairman of the committee on constitutional amendments and revision. That’s the only dead end. But as they haven’t ousted me, this will continue. I will not stop filing a resolution and bill regarding this.)
“Malaki ang aking paniwala with the help of God, the Almighty, naniniwala ako na naintindihan nila na kailangan na ng amendment sa economic provision lang,” Padilla further stressed.
(With the help of God, the Almighty, I believe that they would understand that there is already a need to amend the economic provisions only.)