Padilla dismayed over execs’ absence

Photo courtesy: Robin Padilla | Facebook

September 3, 2022

Senator Robinhood “Robin” Padilla on Friday expressed dismay over the nonappearance of some officials of the Executive Department during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes on possible enhancements to the Constitution.

“I cannot understand why the Senate has a hard time inviting secretaries. Our 1987 Constitution says the legislative and executive are co-equal. But the executive department’s representatives who were invited do not show up. This cannot be set aside because this is the Constitution,” Padilla said.

“I wish we were in a Parliamentary system because they would have been obliged to show up. We can exchange views with them and have a healthy exchange,” he added.

Padilla made the remark after reading the content of a letter from the Department of Energy where it said its invited representative cannot attend the hearing. It asked that it be allowed to submit “written comments at a later date after due internal study.”

The actor-turned-lawmaker stressed that a sensitive topic like the Constitution merits the interest of all stakeholders.

“I want to make sure our hearings are balanced. We might as well shift to Parliamentary so we won’t have all this ‘hiding’ because I don’t like ‘hiding,’” he said.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III expressed his support to overhaul the entire 1987 Constitution instead of amending it part by part.

“It would hasten the decision-making process because the problem on the ground is being decided by the government authority — those who are near the ground,” Pimentel said.

“For example, the traffic problem in Cebu should be addressed by the government authority in Cebu and not by the national government,” he added.

He also expressed his support for shifting the country’s form of government to parliamentary with a unicameral system, in contrast to the current presidential-bicameral system.

“I am not saying this is a panacea but it can improve if we had a parliamentary system because the head of the agency implementing the laws passed by Parliament belongs to the Parliament,” he said.

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