MANILA - Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday urged neophyte senators to study, saying getting elected "does not make one a senator."
"Kailangan po mag-aral sila (They need to study)... You must earn the respect of your peers first, and the public second. And therefore, there's nothing wrong with studying and getting advice from experts in the field," he told ANC's Headstart.
"In the Senate, you get confronted with issues in various fields and therefore to be able to participate and contribute your share in policymaking, you must have certain knowledge of what is the issue at hand."
Drilon said as a lawmaker, he brushed up on his past experience as a member of the executive branch for 9 years.
"I had to study, to listen. I was quiet for the first few months trying to learn the traditions of the institution of democracy called the Senate. That was how I was able to get into the groove," he said.
"To those who are incoming, there's no substitute for studying and learning. Learning as we know is a never-ending process. Even at my age, 76, I continue to read, I continue to learn new things," he said.
Drilon added that he joins Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri in advising incoming Sen. Robin Padilla to "study hard" as he was eyeing to lead the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendment and Revision of Codes and Laws.
The post "requires legal knowledge" and the senator must have "exposure to the Constitution," Drilon said.
"Remember, it says Revision of Codes and Laws. This would refer to major laws like Civil Code, Revised Penal Code, all the codified laws and it’s not easy to do that. I don’t claim to know all of those but certainly to a neophyte senator who has had no exposure to these subjects he needs a lot of schooling," he said.
"In fairness to the public who expects him to come up with policies insofar as not only the process of amending the constitution but the substance of the amendment. You must be able to debate with your colleagues so you can come up with a most reasonable policy."
Drilon, meantime, said Zubiri as the majority leader "has improved his skills on trying to build a consensus."
"That's why I think he's fit to become the Senate President apart from his knowledge of several policy issues that confront our country," he said.