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‘Di effective! Zubiri wants Duterte’s legislative liaison replaced

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By Xave Gregorio

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri wants President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative liaison replaced, after the coco levy fund bill was almost vetoed had lawmakers not noticed it abruptly being taken off among the measures scheduled to be signed Tuesday (October 9).

Zubiri said Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) Secretary Adelino Sitoy should be replaced by someone “more effective.”

“Maybe, with all due respect to Secretary Sitoy, maybe he’s suited for another office. Maybe he’s not suited for the PLLO. Kasi hindi nga natin nakikita. Hindi siya kilala ng mga senador, hindi rin po siya kilala ng mga congressmen,” Zubiri said.

To avert a veto, Congress decided to recall the coco levy fund bill to bring it back for further amendments by another bicameral conference committee.

The bill seeks to create a trust fund which would allow coconut farmers to benefit from billions in coco levy funds collected during the regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

However, Zubiri said this would not have been necessary had the PLLO been present during Congress’ deliberations on the measure and was informing the Malacañang and lawmakers of developments in the proposal.

Zubiri said he and seven other senators told Duterte this over dinner last night at the Malacañang, but the President only smiled in response.

The Senate Majority Leader said they would review the PLLO’s proposed 2019 budget to “see how we can make it more efficient and more answerable to problems like this.”