By Hannah Torregoza
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday said President Duterte has the option to revoke Proclamation No. 572, which invalidates the amnesty given to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, and just focus on resolving the high prices and inflation.
“The President in his wise judgment has the option of revoking the proclamation, because that can be revoked, and maybe, concentrate of the high prices and inflation,” Drilon said in an interview over ANC Headstart.
The latest inflation rate — at 6.4 percent — is highest in the last nine years and is “worrisome,” Drilon said.
“The people are feeling the effects of the high inflation and especially here in the NCR where the inflation is 7 percent, more than the national average,” he said.
Drilon said Congress was expecting Duterte to fix the tariff rates last month when they adjourned session but wondered why the President did not take advantage of the adjournment to act on reducing the tariff rates.
“A week ago or two weeks ago, Congress, in an unusual calendar adjourned for one week, why did we adjourn? Upon the request of the House of Representatives and I assume, of the Malacañang. Why? It was in order to allow the President, under the law, to fix the tariff rates,” Drilon pointed out.
“But we did adjourn in the expectation that the economic managers will come up with a new tariff structure to lower the prices, at least remove the effects of the tariff rates on the prices,” he said.
“But nothing happened. Apparently, the adjustment of the tariff rates is not a policy that is adopted to address inflation,” he added.
Drilon said the government should exhaust all means to address the inflation including the passage of the rice tariffication bill, which they, the Senate minority bloc, supports.
“Anything will help at this point, because the situation is so serious that we should put all our heads together in order to mine solutions, including the tariff rates – the tariff on oil is one of the factors,” Drilon said.
“Let’s examine it closely; let’s open our minds to all of these measures designed to help bring down prices and stabilize the prices. All these debates about Trillanes — or his arrest — I’m sorry to say, will not bring down prices,” added the senator.