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Senator Win Gatchalian on Wednesday distanced himself from a bill declaring every September 11 as a holiday in Ilocos Norte in honor of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

It was Gatchalian who moved to have the bill, along with nine other local holiday bills, “endorsed” for further study in a technical working group (TWG) of the Senate local government panel, which was reported as omnibus approval of the 10 measures.

“Let me go straight to the point. I did not vote for the approval of the proposed Marcos Day in Ilocos Norte contrary to what some media organizations published. I merely moved to have the bill, along with other local bills, tackled by the local government committee in last Monday’s hearing, subjected to further study by the TWG,” he said in a statement.

Gatchalian received brickbats on social media over the reports.

Another senator, Senator Nancy Binay, also denied reports that she was among those who voted to approve the bill.

“The exact words that I said during the hearing were ‘I’m moving for an omnibus endorsement to the TWG to reconcile the different versions and also to request for position papers from the resource persons. I so move,’” Gatchalian said.

“Placing the bills under TWG is not tantamount to its approval,” he insisted.

“Approval of the bill takes place on the plenary floor with majority of the senators voting on the measure. Records of the proceedings can confirm that no ‘voting’ took place in the said hearing. I hope this clarifies the misleading news,” Gatchalian said.

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