Sponsorship Speech: Trabaho Center in Schools Act

Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” A. Aquino IV
17th Congress, Senate of the Philippines
Sponsorship Speech, December 13, 2016


Good afternoon, Mr. President and my distinguished colleagues.  Mga kaibigan, mga kababayan, magandang hapon sa ating lahat!

I am honored to address you today as I sponsor a policy that seeks to empower every Filipino graduate with gainful employment by bridging our schools and industries.

 Senate Bill No. 1278, Under Committee Report No. 20 entitled: An Act Establishing Job Placement Offices in Public High Schools to Provide Career Services to the Youth also known as the Trabaho Center in Schools Act seeks to ensure that every high school graduate in the Philippines can join the workforce and build a successful career by institutionalizing job placement offices in our public schools and State Universities and Colleges.

 “Nag-aral. Nag-apply. Nabigo.” Isa po ito sa mga sikat naming post sa Facebook.

 Marami po ang nag-like, nag-share, at nag-comment ng kanilang karanasan sa paghahanap ng trabaho. Marami po ang nagsikap sa pag-aaral, gumaan ang loob sa pagtatapos at pag-graduate, ngunit nahirapan pa ring makahanap ng trabaho. Marami po ang naka-relate sa pagkabigo sa job hunt.

 Unfortunately, Mr. President, graduating from high school – even earning a college degree – is not a guarantee of finding a job and kickstarting a career.

As you know, one of the promises of the K to 12 Program is that even high school graduates should be ready and able to seize employment opportunities right after Grade 12. Ngunit marami pa rin po tayong maaaring gawin para masigurado ang pangarap na ito.

 Mr. President, in data released by the Philippine Statistics Office, the unemployment rate is at 4.7% with over 2 million jobless Filipinos. The number of underemployed Filipinos is also quite staggering – 7.51 million Filipinos. Clearly, there is a need, not only to generate employment opportunities, but also to address the jobs mismatch in the country.

 Let’s make sure that all the hard work of our students, their parents, and their teachers do not go to waste. Let’s ensure that there are suitable jobs waiting for students – and that our students are ready to take them on once they graduate.

 Mr. President, the Trabaho Center in Schools Act will serve as that bridge between the job market and the supply of graduates. It mandates the establishment of a Trabaho Center in every public high school and SUC with main services that include: 1) Industry Matching, 2) CareerCoaching, and 3) Employment Facilitation. The key to success of the Trabaho Center is its relationship with – and knowledge of – potential employers and industries in their area.

 The Trabaho Centers will link with industries to create a functional academic-industry partnership so there can be continuous checking and updating of curricila and courses offered to our students, especially on the tech-voc track in our K to 12 system. They must maintain an updated database of employers, contacts, and job opportunities in the locality and use this data to provide students coaching on what fields of study are available and what specific jobs they can expect to apply for upon graduation. With an updated database and a deep understanding of the needs of companies and employers, these Trabaho Centers can move beyond the usual aptitude tests and vague, conceptual career advice. Career coaching in our Trabaho Centers must be well informed and practical.

 Knowing the needs of the job market and being aware of the skills and knowledge of students, Trabaho Centers can also go beyond job fairs and pre-employment seminars when it comes to employment facilitation. Our responsive Trabaho Centers can address the skills mismatch from within our schools, giving feedback for teaching modules and even working with TESDA to better develop the skills of graduates and ensure employability upon graduation. These Trabaho Centers will not only provide information on the available jobs, but also help schools improve their approaches and regularly update their lessons.

This simple intervention can strengthen the link between education and employment, and can build a steady bridge for our graduates to cross over to stable jobs and sustainable livelihood. With Trabaho Centers in every school, a diploma will be more than a symbol and a graduation will be more than a milestone. With Trabaho Centers in every school, graduates are ensured gainful employment and can look forward to a secure future.

Nag-aral at nagtapos. Nagtrabaho at umasenso. ‘Yan po ang pangarap natin para sa bawat Pilipino!

Siguraduhin po natin na may trabahong naghihintay para sa bawat graduate. Siguraduhin natin na may sapat na kaalaman at kakayahan ang mga bagong graduate na punuan ang mga job vacancies. Siguraduhin natin na maipapasa ang Trabaho Center in Schools Act!

 Mr. President and distinguished colleagues, let’s come together and rally for the future of every Filipino student! Let’s bridge that gap between free, quality education and a secure career so that we can finally beat poverty and bring forth prosperity for every Filipino! Maraming, maraming salamat po! Magandang hapon sa ating lahat!

Sponsorship Speech: Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy Act

Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” A. Aquino IV
17th Congress, Senate of the Philippines
Sponsorship Speech as delivered, December 13, 2016


Magandang hapon po sa ating lahat! Mr. President and my distinguished colleagues, good afternoon!


I stand before you today as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education to sponsor Senate Bill No.1279 in substitution of Senate Bill Numbers 23, 123, 160, 220, 406, 416, and 694, Under Committee Report No. 21 entitled: An Act Creating a National School Feeding Program to Combat Hunger and Undernutrition for All Public Basic Education Students, and For Other Purposes, otherwise known as the “Pagkaing Pinoy Para Sa Batang Pinoy Act”.

Mr. President, yesterday, we lost an exemplary Filipino and a true advocate for prosperity – Mr. Manny Perlas of Lifebank – that’s him right there with the white hair. Manny Perlas was one of the first benefactors of GK’s Kusina ng Kalinga and the group credits his leadership in the establishment of this feeding program back in 2014.

 Mr. President, this is a photo of Mr. Manny Perlas during the opening of the first ever Kusina ng Kalinga in Alang-Alang Leyte. Manny’s Kusina ng Kalinga or KnK has always been a program that brings smiles to people’s faces – whether students, teachers or volunteers!

 Mr. President, nagsimula po ang KnK sa Leyte bilang relief effort para sa public school na apektado ng Typhoon Yolanda – ang Alang-Alang I Central School, kung saan po itinayo ang unang kusina.

 Mr. President, nalaman po nila na ang numero-unong dahilan kung bakit hindi pumapasok ang isang mag-aaral ay dahil sa gutom – gutom na madali namang pawiin sa simpleng feeding program. Noong nakita nila na dahil sa KnK ay mas masigla at mas bibo sa klase ang mga estudyante, itinuloy po nila ang proyekto!

 Kumuha ang KnK ng tatlong regular na kitchen staff at nakakakuha rin sila ng sampu hanggang labinlimang volunteer na magulang sa bawat araw ng pagpasok. Kinausap ho nila ang mga lokal na magsasaka upang mag-supply ng mga ingredients, tulad ng malunggay.

 And Mr. President, thanks to Kusina ng Kalinga in Alang-Alang, Leyte, thanks to parent volunteers, and thanks to local farmers, about 2,600 students are fed nutritious meals in 4 schools (in Leyte) – Alang-Alang I Central School, Binongtoan Elementary School, M Casaus Elementary School, and San Roque Day Care Center.

 Based on their data, the number of severely malnourished children in their schools dropped from 268 to 47, that’s 11% down to 2%, spanning one school year, 2015 to 2016 (Start of Year Report vs. End of Year Report, SY 2015-2016).

 Since they started the project in Leyte in 2014, Kusina ng Kalinga now covers 61 schools and feeds over 18,000 Filipino children around the country. And, Mr. President, I’m happy to learn that Kusina ng Kalinga is not the only successful feeding program in the country.

 There are smaller movements like our friends from Navotas High School with a current program that feeds 120 students. Advancement for Rural Kids or ARK also has a feeding and livelihood program that has helped 10 communities and over 2,400 kids. There are also larger movements like Jollibee Foundation’s Busog, Lusog, Talino School Feeding Program that has covered 1,500 schools, feeding over 140,000 students from 2007 to 2014. And Mr. President, there are even more feeding programs around the Philippines!

 But unfortunately, all of these efforts are still not enough. In The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 study conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization or FAO, it was revealed that 16 million Filipino children are considered undernourished. Mr. President, labing-anim na milyong batang Pilipino ang undernourished. Iyan po ay isang numero na napakalaki at nakakabahala.

 Sa kabilang dako naman po, ang ating mga mangingisda at magsasaka ay patanda ng patanda at pabawas ng pabawas. The average age of the 11 million Filipino farmers and fishermen is 57 years old and the average annual income of a farmer is only 20,000 pesos.

 In fact, if you look at these 3 sectors – our fishermen, farmers, and children – you will find that these sectors have the highest poverty incidence. For fishermen it is at 39.2%, for farmers it is 38.3% and 35.2% for children, according to the Philippine Statistics Office. All of this is in 2012, Mr. President.

 Kailangan nating gawan ng paraan na matulungan ang mga batang Pilipinong nahihirapang mag-aral dahil sa kumukulong tiyan. Kailangan rin po natin bigyan ng sapat, regular, at pangmatagalang kabuhayan ang ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda.

 Mr. President and honored colleagues, aren’t these two problems pieces of the same puzzle that fit perfectly together?

 On one hand, we have children who need nutritious food and on the hand we have farmers and fishermen producing food without the means to sell. Today, we’re given the opportunity to bridge this gap and fulfill our duty to uplift the lives of our poorest countrymen. The Pagkaing Pinoy Para sa Batang Pinoy Act can be that link between hungry young Filipinos and anxious farmers and fishermen.

 The Pagkaing Pinoy Para sa Batang Pinoy Act will bring the progress we’ve seen in Alang-Alang, Leyte of Kusina ng Kalinga to more and more students and more and more communities across the country. The Pagkaing Pinoy Para sa Batang Pinoy Act will institutionalize an effective feeding program, sustained by local gardens, farmers and fishermen, and powered by community engagement and volunteerism.

 Through this policy, school children in the kindergarten and elementary levels will enjoy free access to nutritious food with the DepEd ensuring that students from kindergarten to grade 6 are provided with proper meals.

 In addition, this measure includes a Gulayan sa Paaralan program to promote gardening in schools and households, which will help augment the food needs of the program and instill a sense of appreciation for food production within the community. Sa programang Gulayan sa Paaralan, matututunan po ng mga mag-aaral na pangalagahan ang pagtatanim ng pagkain at ng pagsasaka. The goal of this measure is not just to feed our hungry Filipino children but to nourish them with healthy food sourced from the community, sourced local farmers, and fishermen.

 Mr. President, when our students are healthy and fed, they grow even hungrier for knowledge and learning! Thanks to the nutritious meals, they joyfully go to school and gladly participate in the classroom.

 Sa Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy Act, lalaki ng malakas, matalino at malusog ang kabataang Pilipino habang umaasenso naman po ang buhay ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda!

 Suportahan po natin ang pagpasa ng Pagkaing Pinoy Para Pa Batang Pinoy Act para sa kabataang Pilipino, para sa ating mga mangingisda at magsasakam para sa ating komunidad, at para sa ating bayan! Maraming, maraming salamat po!

Bam on Duterte’s statement on policemen involved in Espinosa killing, VP Leni

Transcript of media interview in Iriga City


Q: Reaction sa ginawa ni Digong na hindi niya ipakukulong (ang mga pulis na involved sa Espinosa killing)?


Sen. Bam: Alam mo, pabagu-bago ang statements niya tungkol diyan. I think, binago na rin ng Malacanang ang sinabi niya.

But definitely, kung talagang may nakita tayong mga pulis na gumawa ng masama, dapat silang makulong.

 That’s the rule of law. Hindi puwedeng mapawalang-bisa iyon nang basta-basta na lang.

To be frank, may sinabi siya kahapon. Binago today. Alam niyo, hindi ko na rin alam kung ano ang mga ibig sabihin talaga.

 Siguro, iyong panigan na lang natin is kung may sala na ginawa, na mukha namang meron. The NBI has said it, internal affairs, iyong medico legal, iyon rin po ang sinabi na rubout ito, dapat talaga managot ang mga pulis na iyon.


Q: Kumusta po ang Liberal Party?


Sen. Bam: Lahat kami ay nakasuporta kay VP Leni. Ang mahalaga po ay matuloy niya ang kanyang misyong tumulong sa ating bayan.

She said it many times in the past na hindi naman kailangan ng gobyerno upang makatulong sa ating bayan.

If you remember, medyo late na rin siyang nakapasok sa Gabinete at nakaplano na rin kung paano makatutulong sa mga nasa laylayan kahit walang government agency.

 Ngayong wala na siya sa Housing, I think what’s important is tayong sumusuporta sa kanya, we help her to be able to do her mission na tumulong sa nasa laylayan ng lipunan.

The party is solidly behind her sa kanyang desisyon at sa mga susunod na hakbang na matuloy ang kanyang misyon na tulungan ang mahihirap kahit wala na sa Gabinete.


 On bill against “no permit, no exam policy


Sen. Bam: Masyado yatang grabe na hindi mo papa-eksaminin ang bata dahil hindi lang makabayad. We want to make this illegal, gusto nating pagmultahin ang mga guro, administrador at mga eskuwelahan na gumagawa nito. We want to make sure na ang hindi makatarungang gawain na iyan ay matigil na. We’re hoping na mapasa natin ito sa ating committee para matigil na ang practice na ito na hindi makatarungan sa mga kabataan.


Q: Ang problema po ng ating mga estudyante sa high school, elementary at nursery ay ang mga field trip, film showing, among others. May magagawa ba kayo para ito’y matigil na dahil ito’y lumalabas na anti-poor dahil nasa public school na nga, papagastusin pa ang mga magulang?


Sen. Bam: We’ll try to find a way na mabalansehin po iyan. Ang ganyang extra-curricular activities, maganda rin iyan for the development ng mga bata pero kung hindi na siya ma-afford, hindi na siya maganda.

Narinig na rin namin iyan na maraming bata ang hindi nakakapunta. We’ll try to find a way to balance that out kasi pag in-outlaw naman natin o tinanggal natin completely, hindi naman iyon maganda rin.

We’ll try to find a balance. Magandang mabigyan ng subsidy ang ating mga eskuwelahan para mas marami ang maka-avail nito.


Q: Kanina sa program ko, may nag-text. Baka puwede mo ring sabihin kay Sen. Aquino na ang public schools, baka puwede maging free, as in free, sa mga bayarin. Bukod sa PTA dues, marami pa ring hinihingi sa mga pupils like homeroom projects, tours, sarsuela, tickets etc. Baka puwede rin silang maglaan ng funds per student sa mga public school.


Sen. Bam: Iyong mga sarsuela at non-essential matters, dapat hindi na ituloy o di na gawing requirement. Ang public school system natin, gusto ho natin libre iyan. Ang alam ko ho ngayon, ang mga gastusin na lang ngayon ay iyong uniform.

 Ang iba pang fees gaya ng field trip at film showing, gusto ho nating ma-minimize natin iyan at mabigyan ng tsansa ang bata na maka-experience niyan nang hindi malaki ang ginagastos.

 But again, it’s about finding a balance. Most of the expenses sa ating schools, subsidized na po iyan. I would even say, more like 90 percent or 95 percent may subsidiya na po. Ang palagay ko, maganda pong tingnan iyan.

Ang sinisikap naman natin ngayon, maging free rin ang tuition fee natin sa state universities and colleges. Iyon ang next natin na binibigyan ng pansin. We’re hoping to pass that by next year.

Transcript of Sen. Bam’s media interview re Marcos’ sudden burial in LNMB

Sen. Bam: Marami nang nasabi. marami nang statement na naibigay natin. Hanggang dulo talagang hindi pinakinggan iyong hinaing ng napakaraming biktima ng Martial Law.

 Alam naman nila na maraming magagalit kaya ginawa nilang patago ang paglibing kay former president Marcos. 

 So halatang-halata na ang isyung ito ay hindi nailibing sa araw na ito. Marami pong nagagalit. Marami pong naiinis, pati po ako.

We are at a loss for words. Lahat ng nasabi na, lahat ng nangyari na, itinuloy pa rin at ginawang patago ang paglibing kay former president Marcos.

Mahirap paniwalaan pero nangyari po iyon. Ang isang tao na nagdala ng napakaraming kasamaan sa ating bayan, ngayon po nakalibing sa Libingan ng mga Bayani.

 Kung gaano po ka-unbelievable po iyon, iyan na po ay part ng ating kasaysayan.


Q: Nagagalit kayo sir?


Sen. Bam: Iyong mga abogado natin, nagsasabi na dapat hindi itinuloy dahil may pending MR pa but we leave it to courts to decide on the legality. More than the legality, ang tinitingnan natin ay ang kasaysayan ng ating bansa, kung paano tayo in the last 40 years, magmula sa Martial Law, nagkaroon ng human rights abuses, nagkaroon ng People Power, bumalik ang ating demokrasya at ngayon ililibing natin ang isang diktador ng ating bansa sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. 

At ginawa ito sa isang paraan na patago, ginawa ito sa isang paraan na panakaw so talagang mahirap paniwalaan na nangyayari ito pero nangyari ito sa ating bansa.


Q: (Inaudible)


Sen. Bam: Matagal ko na pong sinasabi iyan. Iyong mga nagre-react po ngayon, di naman namin mga kamag-anak at hindi namin kaibigan lahat.

 In fact, marami sa mga grupong nag-re-react ngayon ay tao ring katunggali ni former President Aquino.

 Again, hindi lang po ito tungkol sa iilang pamilya. Ito po’y tungkol sa ating bayan, tungkol po sa ating kasaysayan, tungkol po sa ating hinaharap.

 Palagay ko, ito’y isang pangyayari na hindi natin ninanais, hindi natin ginugusto pero nag-decide si President Duterte at Marcos family na gawin po ito sa ating bansa.


Q: The President should be held accountable?

 Sen. Bam: Of course, because it’s his decision to do this.

Q: (Inaudible)

 Sen. Bam: Siya po ang nag-decide nito. Iyong mga panawagan natin dito ay para magbago ang kanyang isipan pero klaro naman po na itinuloy na rin po niya.

At the end of the day, marami ang nagsasabi dito sa Senado na divisive ito. E sino ang nagsabi na nag-decide na mangyari, sino ba ang naghiling na gawin ito, kundi ang Marcos family din.


Q: Naniniwala kayo na aware ang Pangulo (inaudible)


Sen. Bam: Palagay ko. Kailangan siguro tanungin ang Malacanang pero siguro ang ganitong kabigat na bagay, palagay ko naman siguro kailangan tanungin muna sa commander in chief nila kasi AFP at PNP ang nagsasagawa ng aktibidades.

I would guess but you can confirm that with the spokesperson or the executive secretary.


Q: Personally sir, ano po ang nararamdaman niyo? Nagagalit po ba kayo?

Sen. Bam:  It’s so unbelievable. I mean, to be very honest, parang unbelievable na sa kabila ng pinagdaanan at pinaglaban ng ating bansa, mangyayari pa rin ito in 2016.

Parang hindi talaga natin malibing-libing iyong isyu na ito dahil pabalik-balik po siya. Hindi natin matuldukan ang isyung ito dahil patuloy pa rin ang mga grupo at mga opisyales na nagtutulak na si former president Marcos naging hero, mabuti ang ginawa sa ating bansa at ngayon nga, inilibing pa sa Libingan ng mga Bayani.

 Parang napaka-unbelievable niya. Instead of moving forward, embracing democracy, ipagtatwa ang corruption, itigil ang cronyism, iyon po, ililibing natin ang simbolo niyan sa Libingan ng mga Bayani kaya napakahirap pong paniwalaan.


Q: (Inaudible)

 Sen. Bam: Alam ko today may protest action na mangyayari. More than the protest action today, nandiyan na iyan sa ating kasaysayan. Tingnan niyo na lang ang history ng Pilipinas. Kung saan tayo nanggaling at saan tayo ngayon. That’s already in our history.

In privilege speeches of Sen. Hontiveros, na-mention niya na sa ibang bansa, napaka-grabe ng kanilang pagtrato sa mga former dictators, kung saan nilibing,  nasa history books kung ano ang mga nangyari.

Sa atin po, ipinaglalaban pa rin natin kung paano ipo-portray ang Martial Law sa ating bansa. Ganyan po kalabo ang mga pangyayari po ngayon.


Q: (Inaudible)

Sen. Bam: Palagay ko parehong mga Pilipino at mga dayuhan, magtataka kung paano ito nangyari sa ating bansa.

Kung tutuusin, after everything that’s happened to our country, ang Martial Law po nangyari, sa dami-dami ng napatay, sa dami-dami ng nakulong, sa dami-dami ng na-torture, ngayong araw ililibing natin ang diktador natin sa Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Hindi lang po dayuhan ang magtataka diyan, pati kapwa Pilipino magtataka kung paano ito nangyari.


Q: (Inaudible)

 Sen. Bam: Yes, because ngayon lang ito nangyari. I mean, tsaka again, desisyon ito ni President Duterte at ng Marcos family. This is a campaign promise, sabi po niya, campaign promise ito.

Nakapagtataka talaga kung po paano ito nangyari sa ating bansa. I’m sure, marami po sa atin, somewhere between disbelief, anger, inis iyong pakiramdam ngayon.


Q: (Inaudible)

Sen. Bam: May mga nagsasabi po niyan. Kailangan po talaga maging vigilant. Kung mga ganitong bagay kaya nang mangyari sa ating pagkasalukuyang panahon, siguro po kailangan talaga lahat ng bantayan natin. Ang nangyayari sa Supreme Court, nangyayari sa ating kapulisan, kahit po nangyayari sa ating Senado at Kongreso, kailangan po talagang bantayan.

Ito po’y wake-up call for our country na hindi na po normal ang nangyayari sa ating panahon. Talagang kakaiba na ang nangyayari, siguro kahit sa buong mundo kakaiba na.

Tayo pong may kagustuhan na manatili ang ating demokrasya, kailangan talaga gising tayo at alam natin ang nangyayari.


Sen. Bam’s manifestation during the Senate vote on Resolution No. 86

(A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the crimes of the former President Ferdinand Marcos to the Republic, and the human rights violation committed under his regime, render him unfit to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani)


Earlier we had the gentleman from Sorsogon talk about the Libingan issue as if it is  framed by just two families, and to be frank, Mr. President, nahihiya ako kapag sinasabi na ito’y issue lang ng Aquino at Marcos.

Nahihiya ako sa libu-libong namatay, sa libu-libong nawala, sa libu-libong na-torture.

Nahihiya po ako sa pamilya ng Senate President at sa tatay ng ating Senate President.

Nahihiya po ako sa PDP Laban na binuo para labanan ang diktadura.

This is not just an issue of two families.

This is a problem that has plagued thousands of families in our country – families that have been destroyed, families that have been broken apart until today.

Ang epekto po niyan ay nandiyan pa rin hindi lang po sa mga pamilyang biktima ng martial law, kundi sa ating kasaysayan.

 Gusto ko lang igiit muli:

Ang isyu po ng Libing ni Former President Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani ay hindi lang isyu ng ilang pamilya. Hindi lang po ito isyu ng mga biktima ng Martial Law, kundi isyu ng ating bayan at ng ating kasaysayan.

At tama lang po na may sabihin tayo tungkol sa isyu na ito.

Maraming salamat po.

Transcript of Sen. Bam’s interview re SC decision on Marcos burial

Sen. Bam: Hi Karmina, Ron and Barry. Magandang hapon po.

Q: How did you take this decision – the Supreme Court voting 9-5 allowing the burial of the late dictator at the LNMB?

Sen. Bam:  Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that we’re quite disappointed with this decision. Alam mo, Karmina, we were hoping that they wouldn’t just vote on technicalities but they’d take into account how this would affect our history. Now, iyong nabasa kanina ni Atty. Jose regarding how they decided really focused on technicalities, specific provisions na wala naman daw specific provisions na nagsasabi na hindi puwedeng ilibing si Former President Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani.

But I think the petitioners and a lot of people wanted them to go beyond the technicalities and look at how this would affect our history. Napakasayang, napaka-disappointing na ganito ang naging desisyon nila.


Q: The Marcoses, they’re saying that with this decision they’re going to be moving on but how are you Senator Bam going to move forward from this decision?

 Sen. Bam: Well, alam mo, matagal na rin itong napag-uusapan. Moving forward is fine. Pero kung titingnan mo naman, wala naman [silang] perang binalik. Wala namang pagpapapatawad na hiningi. Ganun-ganon na lang.

 The Marcoses are really looking at this decision as vindication for them. On one hand, the Supreme Court is looking at technicalities. On the other hand, the Marcos family is looking at vindication. At the end of the day, look at the darkest time in our history kung saan napakaraming humans rights abuses ang nangyari. Napakaraming nakulong. Napakaraming pinatay.

This is the result.

 It’s really disappointing and on our end we had those hearings on how martial law is taught in schools. I guess we will continue to push that. The DepEd has said that they will do their best to teach Martial Law properly in our schools. Mayroon pa rin tayong batas pagdating sa reparation ng mga Martial Law victims na hindi pa napapatupad completely. We’ll focus on that even with this decision. That is how we will move on.


Q: As you dissect what happened here, Senator Bam, who dropped the ball here? We’re talking about 27 years of the Marcoses really wanting for this day to come and 27 years as well of sort of miseducation for the younger generation as to the place of the Marcoses in our history. Senator?

 Sen. Bam: Well, this was a campaign promise delivered at the expense of history. If you look at it, inamin naman ni President Duterte na campaign promise niya ito sa mga Marcoses. But it was a campaign promise delivered at the expense of our history.  Because of this decision, ililibing ang isang diktador sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. How crazy is that?

It’s disappointing. It’s against our history kung tutuusin. We’ll see what will happen next, kung ano ang mangyayari sa mga susunod na mga araw.


Q: We were talking to Mon Casiple awhile ago, Sec. Gen of the Humans Rights group Claimants 1081. He says this decision can be seen as a dimunition of the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. Your thoughts on that?

Sen. Bam: Of course we still have to respect the [code and] core values of government and I made a statement before that we’ll be banking on the Supreme Court to make the right decision on this matter.

 Maybe it would be too much to say that this lessens their power or their authority but I’ll go as far as saying I’m quite disappointed with this decision.


Q: Thanks for joining us.


Sen. Bam: Maraming salamat.

Sen. Bam on staying in the majority

(Transcript of media interview)


Q: What do you think of the situation of Sen. De Lima because nalabas iyong phone number niya, her address, and sabi nga hindi siya makapasok today because she’s looking for a house actually?

 Sen. Bam: Well, it’s very unfortunate na nailabas iyong kanyang telephone number at saka iyong address niya. We’d like to hope that in the halls of Congress and the Senate, mayroon pa ring parliamentary courtesy. Mayroon pa rin pagkiling towards someone’s right to privacy.

Now we understand na ongoing iyong mga hearings sa kongreso. I think a resolution has also been filed already here that we also tackle these cases so the Senators can have a chance to question these witnesses as well and to check the veracity of their stories. We’ll probably take it from there. Doon na namin sila haharapin mismo.

 But again, you’d like to see some type of parliamentary courtesy. Noong tinanggal si Sen. De Lima bilang Chairperson on Justice, biglaan iyon sa amin. As we said in our statement the other day, kasama kami sa majority and yet no dialogue transpired. Walang consultation na nangyari. So, we felt that, at the minimum, some level of consultation or dialogue should have happened. Kaya kung napansin niyo, at the start of the hearing, Sen. Drilon was calling for a caucus. The reason for that was mapag-usapan. And, I truly believe that the concerns of our fellow Senators, kung pumayag sila na magkadiyalogo, ma-re-resolve naman na hindi kailangan tanggalin [si Sen. De Lima] doon sa Committee on Justice.

 And to be very frank, we were talking to Sen. De Lima yesterday, sabi namin “Kung ni-request sa iyo na ipaubaya mo ang pagiging chairperson for these hearings on extrajudicial killings, papayag ka ba?” 

 Sabi naman niya “Kung ni-request iyon sa akin ng colleagues ko, ba’t naman ako hindi papayag?”

 So we really believe that it was unncessary. It was too much. And kung pinayagan kaming mag-usap muna at magdiyalogo, puwede naman ito ma-resolve.


Q: What was behind the decision for you to stay in the majority?

 Sen. Bam: Well, you know, in the beginning, the reason for this supermajority is because each of us in our block, mayroon kaming mga repormang gustong maitulak. I’m Chairman of Education, so our Trabaho Centers, the Free Tuition Fee for SUCs, iyong ating programs for out-of-school youth – marami iyan.

 We all agreed yesterday that the reason for us being in the majority is because of our ability to push for these reforms. Kung kaya naming itulak ang mga repormang mahalaga sa bayan, magtatrabaho kami dito sa aming mga kumite. Kung hindi na namin kayang gawin iyon, ibang usapan iyon. If we are not allowed to push for these reforms, that’s a different take altogether. 

 And I think all of the members currently in the majority will stay in the majority because of that. At the end of the day, more than na-slight ka, more than nabastos ka, iyong mga repormang gusto mong itulak – iyon iyong mas mahalaga. And that was our decision. 


Q: Hindi ba sabi independent block under majority? 

 Sen. Bam: Well, may majority at may “medyo-rity”. Kami iyong “medyo-rity” diba. 

We’d like to think that in this supermajority, iba-iba rin iyong mga grupo diyan. Iba-iba din iyong mga pananaw sa mga iba’t-ibang issues. There are issues where we will all agree and there are issues where we won’t. And you will see that in our vote, and in our interpellations.  Ganoon lang talaga iyon.


Q: More criticisms? You will be more critical?

 Sen Bam: I think we’ve always had an independent stance in the Senate and in fact, I think that’s the role of the Senate in our history. Hindi lang sa current administration. Even during PNoy’s administration, GMA’s administration, even during Tita Cory’s administration, the Senate has always been an independent body. And I think iyon iyong pinakamahalaga, na ma-maintain – iyong independence. If we can maintain that independence, even while being in the majority and still able to push the reforms, ba’t kami aalis sa mayoria?

 Palagay ko, iyong pagiging independent, hindi lang iyan trabaho ng minority, trabaho iyan ng buong Senado.


Bam on Sen. De Lima’s ouster, LP in Senate majority

Transcript of media interview after the Senate hearing of the Committee on Education on Martial Law Education 

Q: What’s your take sa nangyari kahapon?


Sen. Bam: Well, I voted no because I thought it was unnecessary. Palagay ng ibang mga kasama namin na dapat mas maayos iyong pag-presinta ni Sen. De Lima. Puwede naman siyang kausapin. I don’t think it was necessary na palitan siya nang basta-basta. It was also unprecedented. Hindi pa nangyari iyan sa ating kasaysayan sa Senado. So, I’m hoping that Sen. Gordon who is now the new Justice Committee Chairman can lead the committee well, but I’m one of those who voted na hindi kinakailangan [palitan ang chairperson]. I felt that puwede pa naman mag-usap-usap iyong mga Senador bilang mga co-equals, bilang isang collegial body. 


Q: What will happen to the alliance between LP and PDP considering what happened na obviously, majority flexes its muscles. Will you stay in the majority given na ginawa nila ito?


Sen. Bam: We’re talking about that, to be very frank. We’ll be discussing it today and in the succeeding days. 

 Medyo nabigla kami kahapon na nangyari iyon so pag-uusapan namin iyan and I’m sure that will be the subject of our discussion for the next couple of days.

 We also want to check if the reforms that we want to push in the different committees can still be pushed in the current setup. 


Q: Sir, puwede i-consider na mag-join na kayo sa minority? 

 Sen. Bam: Well, again, iyan ang mga pag-uusapan pa. I’ll be very frank with you, nagulat kami kahapon sa mga pangyayari. We are part of the majority and usually, iyong mayorya, nag-uusap-usap muna iyan bago may gawin na ganiyan. 


Q: So hindi kayo nakonsulta?

Sen. Bam: Hindi kami na-consult, hindi ni-raise sa amin. Honestly, if it were raised earlier, probably that might not have been the outcome yesterday. Baka puwede pa pag-usapan ang mga bagay-bagay. But with regard to kung anong gagawin – anong mga next steps, I’ll have to admit to you, pag-uusapan pa iyon. 


Q: A little bit disappointed ba kayo? 

Sen. Bam: I was very disappointed with what happened yesterday, which is why I voted “No”.  

Usually, sa mga bagay-bagay na ganyan pinag-uusapan muna. If there were concerns about the way that she was sharing, that could have been raised in a caucus.

In fact, si Sen. Drilon was trying to call for a caucus yesterday noong nalaman namin na that would have been the subject matter of the privilege speech ni Sen. Alan.

There was an attempt. Baka puwede muna itong pag-usapan bilang isang majority.  We are part of the majority after all. But, mukhang a number of our colleagues, desidido na sila na tanggalin siya. So tinanggal na siya.


Q: Kailan iyong meeting?

Sen. Bam: It will happen over the next couple of days. We’ll have a series of meetings. Ayaw rin naman namin na rushed iyong aming mga desisyon tungkol sa mga bagay-bagay na iyan. Pag-uusapan. We’ll also consult with our other stakeholders, our other colleagues. We’ll talk about it. 

But definitely, I was very disappointed with the vote yesterday. I think it could have been a different outcome.

Bam on Martial Law Education, Historical Revisionism

Transcript of media interview after the Senate hearing of the Committee on Education on Martial Law Education

Sen. Bam: Unang una, iyong mga textbook mismo may problema na. The textbook we showed earlier, although ito iyong nire-replace ng bagong curriculum, talagang walang nakalagay tungkol sa pagnakaw ng panahong iyon, walang nakalagay tungkol sa tens of thousands na kinulong, the thousands na pinatay.

We’re happy that DepEd is undergoing the change in curriculum at sabi nga nila, ipapakita nila ang mas complete picture. Palagay ko kasi, ang lumang textbook natin, ayaw ipakita iyong mga masamang nangyari sa ating bansa.

Maybe it’s human nature that we don’t want to face the ugliness of our history. Ngayon, Secretary Briones herself said na itong curriculum change, sisikapin nila na buo iyong picture, mas makikita ng mga kabataan natin iyong downside ng Martial Law, which of course, is the corruption and human rights abuses.

Palagay ko, kung andiyan ang pundasyon ng kaalaman [ng kabataan], mas madali nilang susuriin ang nakikita nila online.

Kung mayroon silang foundation of what is right, what is wrong, ano iyong nangyari, ano iyong hindi nangyari, pag online na sila ay mas may kakayahan silang suriin kung ano talaga iyong nangyari o hindi.

It starts with our educational system. Palagay ko doon talaga magsisimula.

Maganda rin na nasabi ni Sec. Briones na hindi lang itong parte ng ating kasaysayan ang kanilang ni-review. The whole history ni-review. One of the other senators mentioned about the human rights abuses of the Americans. We talked about human rights abuses in other administrations and of course, iyong panahon ng Martial Law.

Magandang pangitain ito na mayroong mga pagbabago tayong makikita at iyong mga textbook natin na kulang-kulang, sana talagang palitan natin at mabago na talaga siya.

Q: After 44 years, alarmed ka ba na nakakalimutan na ang Martial Law?

Sen. Bam: Hindi lang siya nakakalimutan, nababago iyong ating kasaysayan. Iyon iyong mas nakakabahala na tila sinasabi na ang panahon ng Martial Law, walag namatay, walang kinulong, walang tinorture.

In fact, the textbook that I read from noong unang part ng hearing, kung babasahin mo iyon, parang napakasaya ng panahon ng Martial Law.

Nakakahiya sa mga tao gaya ni Sec. Briones. Siya mismo Martial Law victim. Siya mismo nahirapan noong panahong iyon.

It’s a disservice and a slap in the face for those victims na parang kinakalimutan natin ang masamang nangyari noong panahon.

Sometimes, we just have to face the fact na may masamang nangyari sa ating kasaysayan. Kung kinakalimutan natin iyan, we’re bound to repeat the same mistakes.

Q: Sabi ni Sec. Briones, the transition takes time. How soon you want to see the changes?

Sen. Bam: Technically itong curriculum change, 2013 pa ito. Ongoing pa iyong transition. This year, because of the transition, hindi maituturo gamit ang textbook ang Martial Law sa ating mga estudyante. It won’t be taught because it belongs in the old Grade 6 curriculum. Dahil may transition, hindi talaga siya maituturo this year.

Sa ibang mga eskuwelahan, iyong mga teachers ang nagkukusa na maglabas ng sariling learning materials. In fairness to those teachers, they’re doing their best to teach about it but with all of these transitions that are happening, may mga pagkukulang na kailangang punuan.

Alam naman iyan ng DepEd but we’re hoping that in the years to come, itong curriculum na mas kumpleto, mas naipapakita iyong masasamang nangyari din, iyon iyong gamitin sa ating mga eskuwelahan.

Q: Hindi po ba kayo naa-alarm sa efforts online to revise history, lalo na pagdating sa Martial Law?

Sen. Bam: That’s one of the reasons why na siniguro natin na mayroon tayong hearing about Martial Law education. May efforts online pero kung iyong mga eskuwelahan, kumpleto naman iyong tinuturo tungkol sa Martial Law, iyon ang talagang panlaban natin diyan. The NHCP, si chairperson Diokno herself said, historical fact na ang mga bagay-bagay na ito. Hindi na ito disputable. We have laws already talking about the atrocities of Martial Law. Natatakot ba tayo o nahihiya na pag-usapan ang masasamang bagay sa ating kasaysayan? Palagay ko, kailangan nating harapin iyan so we won’t repeat the mistakes of the past at iyong ating bayan din, makita natin na buo ang ating kasaysayan. Wala tayong kinakalimutan na mga bagay bagay.

Q: May efforts iyong online groups to make people aware na medyo niloko daw sila. Iyong mga tinuro sa kanila, like the Aquino family, change history in their favor…

Sen. Bam: Alam mo. Sabihin mo iyan sa mukha ng mga Martial Law victims. Tell it to them. Tell it straight to their face na hindi sila na-torture, hindi sila kinulong, hindi namatay iyong mga taong namatay, namatayan. Sila mismo. The list is quite long. Sabi nga ni Sec. Briones, baka hindi lang iyan 70,000. Baka more than 70,000 pa iyan because hindi pa nailalagay iyong mga victims in the Visayas and Mindanao. We owe it to them to be able to talk about these atrocities.

Q: Nabanggit po sa hearing sa Germany mayroong law to make sure na magtuturo ng holocaust…

Sen. Bam: Mayroon na tayong batas niyan. Iyon iyong isang bagay na ni-raise ko during the hearing. Our Martial Law Victim Reparation Act of 2013, Section 27, nakalagay doon na kinakailangan na iyong ating CHED at DepEd, pag-usapan iyong mga nangyari noong Martial Law, the atrocities para hindi na ito maulit uli.

It’s already in our laws, kailangan lang talaga itong i-implement nang maayos.

Bam on alleged impeachment plot vs President Duterte

Transcript of media interview


Firstly, there’s no such plot. I think a number of us said that already.

Para sa akin, the leader of our party is a member of his Cabinet. So it’s something I think that they’ll probably have to talk about.


Q: Magkakaroon ba sila ng private conversation about it?

Sen. Bam: You can ask the VP but alam ko, she’ll try to clarify things with him tomorrow.

 Nagulat din ako when he said that, obviously we’re here, we’re supportive of Sen. Pimentel and we’re supportive of the reforms that his departments are trying to push.

 So, clearly for me there’s really no plot. I don’t know where he got his information but more importantly, again, the leader of our party is a member of his Cabinet.

 Maganda siguro mapag-usapan din nila iyan bukas.


Q: Wala kayong alam na any member who is planning to file any impeachment complaint?

 Sen. Bam: No. Not at all. We never even talked about it. We were all kind of surprised when he said that statement so I think there really needs to be a clearing of the air with him.

 Kailangang klaruhin talaga sa kanya and if there’s any misinformation that he’s been getting, dapat maging malinaw iyon. I think it’s good kasi pag-uusapan nila ni Vice President Leni.


Q: Ano ang posisyon ngayon sa LP ni VP Leni?

 Sen. Bam: We’re undergoing some transitions but usually kasi after elections, there’s a new set of officials. That doesn’t happened yet but as the highest member in our party, she’s the leader of our party.

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