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Passage of senators’ pet bills won’t take backseat to controversial measures, Koko assures

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The Senate will give equal priority to tackling controversial bills and the priority measures filed by senators when sessions resume on Jan. 16, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said.

Pimentel vowed to allocate ample time for the discussion of both “controversial” and “non-controversial” bills after a caucus held in Makati City Wednesday night (Jan. 11), wherein each of the 15 attendees were told to submit their respective priority and pet bills.

“We will strategize the use of our time in our plenary sessions this Jan. to March. We will identify non-controversial measures which can be processed alongside controversial ones,” Pimentel said in a text message to reporters Thursday (Jan. 12).

“We won’t let controversial ones eat up all our time that we forget processing pet or priority bills which are non-controversial. With time management and techniques, we believe we can do it – processing controversial ones while passing (also) non-controversial ones,” he added.

Among the so-called “controversial” measures include the bill reviving death penalty as well as those proposing the grant of emergency powers to President Duterte, the proposed income tax reform bill and the issue on Charter change (Cha-cha).

Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said they hope they could pass as many measures as they can within the next two months.