Lacson hits Duterte’s track record of ‘ignoring’ the Senate

Published April 13, 2021, 6:26 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson on Tuesday expressed lament over the track record of President Duterte for ignoring two resolutions expressing the sense of the Senate on two different issues during the current regular session.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson (Albert Calvelo/ Senate PRIB)

Lacson gave this observation after Malacanang said President Duterte would consider the recommendation of senators to recall his decision to lower tariff rates on imported pork products.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, in an online press briefing, said the President listens to everyone, especially if all senators have a unified call.

 Lacson said it is unfortunate that the Malacanang statement was issued by Roque.

He said President Duterte’s track record in giving importance to the collective sense of the Senate speaks for itself.

 ‘’We already expressed the sense of the Senate in at least two adopted resolutions and he did not only ignore them; he didn’t even take the time to discuss the issues with at least the senior officials of the Senate,’’ he said.

One of them is the call for the President to declare a State of Calamity as the hog industry is devastated by the unchecked African Swine Flu (ASF).

‘’I hope, more than taking time to examine the merits of the facts presented in the COW (Senate constituted as Committee of the Whole) hearing, he considers the plight of the dying backyard hog raisers and the forgone revenues that the government will deal with especially at this time of the pandemic,’’ he added.

Senators had questioned President Duterte’s executive order reducing the tariff rates on imported pork and increasing the volume of pork which they maintained vis a vis actual figures is too high.

Senator Imee Marcos said she has stood against ‘’mass importation’’ of pork.

Based on the proposed 404,000 metric tons of pork with lowered tariff rates would mean a revenue loss of P14 billion that would be used to buy COVID-19 vaccines.

The ASF epidemic sent 2.5 million hog farmers into bankruptcy, she added.