MANILA – Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri advised incoming senator Robin Padilla to study legal terminologies and the Constitution, especially since he is eyeing to lead the constitutional amendment and public information committees of the Senate.
According to Zubiri, Padilla asked for the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, and since nobody else wants to lead the committee, then he might actually end up being the chairperson.
"No other member of ours wishes to head the committee. Wala pong gustong maghead ng committee na ’yan and therefore, kung ’yan po talaga ang adhikain niya, he might shine [in that position]," he told Teleradyo Wednesday.
(No other member of ours wishes to head the committee. Nobody wants to be head of the committee and therefore if that is really what he is advocating for, then he might shine [in that position].)
"Let us listen to his arguments, dapat pag-aralan niyang mabuti itong Consti amendments and revision of laws. Remember revision of laws din ’yan so ’yung mga papalitan na batas, ’yung aamyendahan na batas, lalo na sa mga issues on criminal law and other corporate law. Dadaan sa kaniya ’yun, " Zubiri added.
(Let us listen to his arguments, he should study constitutional amendments and revision of laws well. Remember it also includes revision of laws, so laws that need to be revised and amended, especially those related to criminal law and other corporate law. These will all go through him.)
Aside from constitutional amendments, revision of existing laws is also part of the tasks of the committee, which is usually led by a lawyer.
"Actually sa totoo lang, abogado talaga ang humahawak ng committee na ’yan, pero gusto niya eh. Baka magpakita-ng gilas ang ating kaibigan na si Senator Robin Padilla but I have to appeal to him and of course bigyan ko po ng payo at advise, mag-aral nang mabuti. Kailangan mag-aral ka nang mabuti," Zubiri said.
(Actually the committee is usually headed by a lawyer, but he wants it. So maybe our friend Senator Robin Padilla will show his best in that position but I have to appeal to him and give him advise that he should study hard. You have to study hard.)
Zubiri said Padilla should prepare well since he has to know legal terminologies, and he also has to discuss with constitutionalists and deans of Philippine law schools.
"So you have to know the legal terminologies. Hindi puwedeng i-simplify ang napaka-complicated na legal terminologies, particularly on revising laws and the Constitution. Lalo na kung ang kadebate mo ay constitutionalist, mga dean of the law school of different colleges," he explained.
(You have to know the legal terminologies. You cannot simplify complicated legal terminologies, particularly on revising laws and the Constitution. Especially if you are debating with constitutionalists, or deans of the law school of different colleges.)
Despite asking for it, Padilla is not yet assured of the chairmanship of the committee since the plenary has still to vote for him.
"Ang katotohanan niyan mga kababayan, hindi basta din po maibibigay ’yung committee na ’yan sa kanya dahil kailangan mahalal po ’yan ng mga miyembro. So kung mayroon pong mga miyembro diyan sa dami namin, sasabihin nila, hindi ka karapat-dapat doon sa posisyon na ’yan, kung hindi po siya karapat-dapat sa posisyon na ’yan, ay hindi siya ihahalal ng mga miyembro ng Senado. Remember that the position, including mine, is elected in the plenary. Kailangan lahat po, walang objection. Kung may objection, we will divide the house, magkakabotohan ’yan," Zubiri explained.
(The truth is, we cannot just give him the committee because he needs to be elected by the members. So if there are members who believes he is not fit for the position, then he won't be elected. Remember that the the position, including mine, is elected in the plenary. It has to be without objection. If there is objection, we will divide the house and vote.)
"So kailangan niya na lapitan lahat ng miyembro and convince them na you know, bagay ako diyan dahil mag-aaral ako nang mabuti, so hindi po automatic 'yan," he added.
(So he needs to talk to all the members and convince them that he is suitable for the position because he will study hard. That is not automatic.)
Padilla, 52, emerged as the No. 1 senator in the elections on his first try with a total of 26,612,434 votes – logging more than 2 million votes more than returning Sen. Loren Legarda, and some 3 million votes more than popular broadcaster and fellow neophyte Raffy Tulfo – according to the final, official tally from the Commission on Elections sitting as the National Board of Canvassers.
He has appealed to his fellow lawmakers help him push for charter change.
Padilla has a degree in Criminology from the Philippine College of Criminology, which he finished after he served time in prison for illegal possession of firearms, according to the Vote Pilipinas website.
While Padilla is first-time election winner, he first sought an elected post in the mid ‘90s. The son of the late Camarines Norte Gov. Roy Padilla Sr. and former actress Eva Cariño, he ran for the vice-gubernatorial seat in Nueva Ecija in 1995, but lost.
A year later, Padilla’s “Bad Boy” moniker made a real-life impression when he was convicted of illegal possession of firearms. He stayed behind bars for only two years, after then-President Fidel V. Ramos granted him conditional pardon in 1998.
He also managed to reclaim his leading-man status, with pairings with A-list actresses including Angel Locsin, Anne Curtis, and Jodi Sta. Maria, after first charming the likes of Sharon Cuneta and Kris Aquino in the ‘90s.
Padilla’s re-emergence expanded to politics, as he became one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest supporters during the 2016 elections and throughout his term in office.
During Duterte’s first year as president, in November 2016, he granted Padilla absolute pardon, restoring his civil and political rights — allowing him to seek public office if he so wished.
Padilla also previously served as chairperson of the Strategic Communications Committee of the Philippine Army Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board from 2020 to 2021.
- with a report from Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News