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Frustrated with losing the war on corruption, President Rodrigo Duterte has offered to participate in the Senate hearings on anti-corruption and red tape to personally explain to lawmakers what amendment he wanted to make in the law.

But Senate President Tito Sotto said there was no need for the President join the Senate hearings because senators were planning to grant him direct authority to reform the system himself.

Sotto met the President during a meeting in Malacanang last September 16 where he urged top lawmakers to speed up the bills on speed of bills on anti-corruption and red tape.

“Sabi niya (Duterte), ‘Gusto mo, isama mo ako?’ Aattend ako sabi niya, para maeksplika natin kung ano ang gusto niya sa anti-corruption na ito. Sabi ko, baka naman pwedeng invite na lang, wag naman summon. Ikaw, sabi niya,” said Sotto.

“Pero kausap ko yung mga leader namin, wala sa menu. It is not necessary to bring the President. Maganda naman yung mga suggestion namin, hindi na kailangan iimbitahin ang Presidente. Lalo na, iimbitahin mo ang Presidente, naka virtual yung ibang mga Senador? Parang longest day? Kawawa ang Pangulo doon,” he added.

He said a number of senator – Ping Lacson, Ralph Recto, Frank Drilon, Migz Zubiri, and himself – have agreed to give the President a direct hand in making the changes himself while the country was still under the state of health emergency.

“In so many words, bibigyan ng authority ang Presidente na baguhin yung mga system itself. We can do that through a law without necessarily amending the ease of doing business. Pagbigyan yung gusto ng Presidente na hindi na gagalawin yung ease of doing business and then ako na lang ang makikipag coordinate sa Pangulo at makikipag coordinate sa House of Representatives,” said Sotto.

Zubiri explained that the President’s “blanket authority” would cover national government agencies and local government units “to shorten the prescribed time for government transactions for licenses and permit as well allowing, during this time to waive the requirements needed to secure these licenses and permits.”

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