Senators hold caucus to tackle ‘pressing matters’
MANILA, Philippines – Senators on Tuesday held a caucus to discuss “very important matters concerning the chamber.”
Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile requested all senators present in the session hall to attend the caucus.
“The session is suspended for a caucus of 11 senators to take up very important matters concerning the chamber. And I suggest that all senators must be present,” Enrile said.
In the caucus, the senators are expected to tackle the resignation of Senator Ralph Recto as chairman of the Senate committee on ways and means Monday and his motion to withdraw his report on the controversial sin tax bill.
Recto, in his letter to Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, apologized for his decision not to attend the caucus.
But he reiterated his motion to withdraw the committee report and proposed to adopt either the original version of the House of Representatives on the bill or Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s version of the measure.
Both the House and Santiago’s bills were expected to generate higher revenues from the bill compared with Recto’s version, which was only expected to generate between P15 billion to P20 billion.
“The withdrawal of the report would also allow the new chairman a free hand in crafting a new version of the bill with new matters arising after the report,” Recto said in the letter.