'Hinay-hinay lang': Pimentel warns PCO on abuse, overuse of presidential certifications

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III warned against the possible abuse regarding the issuance of the Presidential Certification of Necessity and Urgency stating that under the Constitution there's a requirement for it.

Senate PRIB photo

Pimentel pointed this out during deliberations of the Senate Committee on Finance for the proposed budget of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) for Fiscal Year 2024.

"Hinay-hinay sana tayo dyan (We should take it easy with that). If we could also advise the executive branch — the Executive Secretary and the Office of the President (OP) - hinay-hinay tayo sa issuance ng presidential certification (let's be cautious with the issuance of a presidential certification)," Pimentel explained.

Pimentel further stated that while it is a presidential power or prerogative given by the Constitution but there is a written prerequisite for it to be given.

"Di lang ito dahil gusto mo. Ganun ang point eh (This is not because you want to. That's the point)...I will certify because it's a priority. Di naman yun ang sabi ng Constitution (That's not what the Constitution states)," he added. 

He added that the PLLO should be circumspect with it because it will be adding an issue that the minority bloc will always raise to the floor. 

Out of 14 pending Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) measures, PLLO Secretary Mark Llandro Mendoza disclosed that four were issued presidential certification. These were the Internet Transaction Act, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Act, the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, and the Philippine National Police reorganization.

While Pimentel acknowledged the President's powers, he stated that no one is above the Constitution and no one is exempted from it.