Miyerkules, Enero 24, 2018

The gall of Speaker Panty; My interview with Senator Ejercito

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

The gall of Speaker Pantaleon “Panty” Alvarez threatening those local government units (LGUs) officials that they will not receive their regular financial aid from the national government in case they will not support the Constitutional revision he spearheaded .
HesusMariaHusef, was that sheer hubris and blackmail?! 
Internal Revenue Allotment, called by LGU officials as IRA, is mandated by law as stated in the Local Government Code of 1991.
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SENATOR - Political Columnist Mortz Ortigoza interviews Reelective Senator Jayvee Ejercito at the office of Capital Town Lingayen, Pangasinan Mayor Josefina Castaneda (extreme left). The senator with Actor Raymart Santiago and others through their Italian and Germany’s made big motorcycles’ Ducatis and BMWs have been crisscrossing the Luzon peninsula and dropping by at the offices of provincial, city, and municipal officials.

IRA is the financial life blood of the towns, cities, and provinces as their share of the taxes collected by the national government.
The gall of Speaker Panty Alvarez threatening the 22 senators that in case they did not join the 294 congressmen, the Lower “Going Gutter Low” House will railroad the revision of the charter where plebiscite will be held this May.
 May this year? Holy Casserole and Guacamole, that is roughly four months from now! Public hearings among the 103 million Flips, er, Filipinos would be improbable as time and space dictate.
So how can we get the pulses and inputs of the people in changing the law, not just an ordinary law son of a gun, but the freaking Fundamental Law of our Land?
Where are the sense and the sanity on this Speaker Panty?!
The other day, Lingayen Mayor Josefina” Iday” Castaneda, after I interviewed her on Contract of Usufruct with the DepEd, told me not to leave her office  as she and her officials were waiting for reelective Senator Jayvee Ejercito , actor Raymart Santiago, and company who rode straight from Imperial Manila on their multi-million pesos giant bikes’ Italian made Ducatis and BMWs.
Here were the excerpts of my interview with Senator Ejercito, the son of former President Joseph Estrada, who was crisscrossing the peninsula as probably part of his barnstorming the "boondocks" to boost his critical 10-12 Rank with former Senator Lito “Intellectual Puzzle” Lapid and Broadcaster Erwin Tulfo at the latest polls of Social Weather Station for the Magic 12 of the senate bet on the 2019 election.

ME: Are senators one that embarking into a revision of the Constitution needs that the Houses of Senate and Representatives voted separately?
SENATOR EJERCITO (SJ):  Nagkaroon na tayo ng hearing noong isang araw. We heard from (former Supreme Court Chief Justices Hilario Davide and Renato Puno and (SC Associate) Justice (Adolfo) Azcuna that the Senate has to assert its fight for independence and fight for its independence because iyan ang prinsipiyo ng Bicameral kasi nga Bicameral tayo – check and balance.
ME: When the House of Representatives will have their session do you think some senators will commit treachery by attending their (House) Constituent Assembly?
SJ: Ahh, I don’t think so because it is agreed upon by both majority and minority all senators caucus that we will fight for the Senate’s independence.
ME: Isa pang problema, iyong House tapos na ang 40 bills like PublicService Acts (click here). Doon sa Senate tinulugan daw ninyo ang version ng Public Service Act kaya Speaker Alvarez called you Mabagal na Kapulungan? Any comment?
SJ: Ano iyan?
ME: Iyong 60-40 percent business equity dito na anti foreign investors kaya kakaunti mga nag i-invest dito sa Pilipinas kaya madami ay walang trabaho.
SJ: Ah, hinde ko alam iyan!
 I don’t know what is the status. Sa Senate kasi we are careful, nag aaral ho kami, hindi ng mga bagay na hindi na dapat kinakailangan especially when it comes to altering the fundamental law of the land charter change.
ME: Ranked 10-12 kayo sa latest SWS polls, si brother Jinggoy Estrada ninyo ranked 7-8. Tatakbo rin siya sa 2019?
SJ: Name recall. Ejercito ako Estrada siya. He used to run. The survey is just a guide. Hindi pa naman iyan final.
ME: Sir, suwerte ninyo nakadikit kayo kay Red (Dagupan City Councilor Red Erfe-Mejia who was seated beside him) almost three million rich voters kami dito sa Pangasinan.
(The Senator and Red guffawed while Lingayen Mayor Iday Castaneda – who hosted the meeting inside her office – chuckled on my last statement)

(You can read my selected columns at mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at totomortz@yahoo.com)