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Zubiri appeals to Drilon: Reconsider bicam on Road Board abolition

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Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri on Thursday appealed to Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon to consider the latter’s position against convening a bicameral conference committee to discuss the bill abolishing the Road Board.

“I humbly appeal to our Minority Leader to keep an open mind to this and i would even ask him together with Sen. (Ping) Lacson to be part pf the Bicam panel to make sure that the best measure can be put into place where the funds would never be corrupted or wasted,” Zubiri said.

“I hope our good Minority Floor Leader would hear me out on this and i will call for an all member caucus on Jan. 14 to discuss the proposal,” he added.

Drilon insisted on Wednesday that there is no need to convene a bicameral conference committe.

“With all due respect to Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, the Senate has already taken the position that the bill to abolish the Road Board is already approved by virtue of its adoption of House Bill 7436 on September 12,” he said in a statement.

“When we adopted the House bill on September 12, there are no more disagreeing provisions,” Drilon said.

“The Senate’s action made the bicam unnecessary, which means the bill to abolish the corruption-plagued agency is already considered passed by both chambers, and should have long been sent to the President’s desk for his signature,” he added.

But Zubiri said his suggestion was only “to appease the side of the House leadership that there should be corrections to the Alvarez approved version of the Road Board Abolition.”

“I see no reason to worry about the procedure as this could take only a day for the reconvened Bicam to meet and approve a better version wherein the MVUC funds are properly directed back to the national treasury,” he said.

Last week, the Senate’s stand to abolish the Road Board got support from the President Rodrigo Duterte, who called for the immediate abolition of the agency, which he said was used as the “milking cow” of corrupt officials.

This prompted the House to withdraw its earlier position to rescind approval of the bill.

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