Transcript of Interview with Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon

SFMD: Sa bagong Congress, mayroong halal, mayroong election of the new officers, as a matter of rule, because the present set of officers is only good for this Congress. In the new Congress there will be an election of new officers and chairmen of the different committees.

Q: Automatic kayo yung tatakbo for SP para maging minority leader?

SFMD: No such rule. The rule in the House is that the second highest candidate for speakership becomes the minority leader. There is no such rule in the Senate. In the Senate, it is the consensus of those belonging to the minority who becomes the minority leader. The losing candidate for the Senate Presidency is not necessarily the minority leader.

Q: Kayo po nag-decide na kayo who will you field as minority leader?

SFMD: Aapat lang kami, pag-uusapan na lang iyan. Kahit 10 minutes before session opens kaya naming tapusin yan.

Q: Wala bang magiging bagong member?

SFMD: Hindi ko alam iyan.

Q: Paano yun nakikita ninyong magiging relationship with the new senate majority?

SFMD: We have had a good relationship with the leadership of this Congress. Senate President Sotto has been treating us fairly and has given us the appropriate respect as members of the minority. But the matter of the Senate Presidency is a matter for the majority to decide.

Q: Do you still want to be the minority leader?

SFMD: I'm willing to work in whatever capacity. The matter of the minority leader is the choice of the minority in the Senate.

Q: How about the committees?

SFMD: The committee chairmanship, under the rules, is the decision of the majority. We will not come begging for committees.

Q: Will the minority bloc remain as fiscalizers?

SFMD: Yes, you saw it yesterday. We study every law that comes in the agenda.

Q: Is the situation parang worse with only four in the minority?

SFMD: We will continue to fiscalize. The rules and the tradition of the Senate will always recognize the voice of the minority. There is no railroading in the Senate.

Q: Do you think Sen. Kiko is still the best person to lead the LP?

SFMD: I have talked to Sen. Kiko today and I told him, "don't take it so hard. We needed somebody in the opposition to run the campaign and I thank you for sacrificing his time, his resources and his family for the sake of the opposition, because we needed the opposition in order to strengthen our democracy." He has agreed to discuss it further. Anywat it's effective June 30 and we have time to review the situation. There will be a meeting at the end of the month.

Q: Yung pagkatalo ng Otso Diretso hindi naman rason para bumaba siya?

SFMD: No, because he exerted his best efforts with our limited resources to give our candidates a chance. Unfortunately, we were overwhelmed by the resources coming for the majority.

Q: Not his fault?

SFMD: Not his fault. In fact I go on record defending him for giving his best.

Q: Wala bang clamor na mag-resign siya sa loob ng LP?

SFMD: No such thing. No one is clamoring. In fact if there's a clamor, as far as I'm concerned, it is for him to stay.

Q: Open siya to stay?

SFMD: He has agreed that we will discuss.

Q: Understandable naman yung kay Sen. Kiko dahil siya na yung LP President, siya pa yung campaign manager?

SFMD: It is understandable that he feels bad; he gave it his best. Masama ang loob niya dahilan sa mukhang sa kabila ng lahat ng ginawa niya, hindi pa nagtagumpay. I can understand where he is coming from. It's not his fault.

Source: Senate of the Philippines