Pimentel calls for caution on issuance of presidential certifications
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday warned against the potential overuse and abuse of the issuance of the Presidential Certification of Necessity and Urgency, pointing out that it may only be used in certain circumstances.
Pimentel raised this concern during the Senate committee on finance’s deliberation on the proposed 2024 budget of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO).
In the hearing, it was revealed that at least four of the pending Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) measures have presidential certification.
PLLO Secretary Mark Llandro Mendoza identified the four measures as the Public Private Partnership (PPP), Anti-Agricultural Smuggling, Philippine National Police reorganization, and the Internet Transaction Act.
“Hinay-hinay sana tayo dyan. If we could also advise the executive branch — the Executive Secretary and the Office – hinay hinay tayo sa issuance ng presidential certification,” said Pimentel.
(Let’s take it easy. If we could also advise the executive branch — the Executive Secretary and the Office – let’s take it easy on issuing the presidential certification.)
While Pimentel acknowledged that the issuance of the certificate is a presidential power granted by the Constitution, he also stressed that specific requirements are needed.
“Hindi lang ito dahil gusto mo. ‘I will certify because that is a priority’ — e hindi naman ‘yan ang sinabi ng Constitution. Ang sinabi doon, there is a necessity of meeting a public calamity or emergency. Yan ang sabi doon e, so we have to follow the Constitution,” he pointed out.
(It’s not just because you want to. ‘I will certify because that is a priority’ — that’s not what the Constitution said. Under the Constitution, it will only be issued if there is a necessity of meeting a public calamity or emergency. That’s what it says there, so we must follow the Constitution.)
Pimentel then stressed that no one is above the law, even President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“You are the President [and] the Constitution gave you the power, [but] you will still follow the Constitution. No one is exempted from the Constitution. That’s our simple argument,” he added.