Senate buckles down to full-time legislative work beginning Wednesday

May 29, 2012 10:38 pm 

MANILA, May 29 – The Senate buckles down to full-time legislative work beginning on Wednesday until the sine die adjournment on June 7 as it shifted back to its regular afternoon session to give more time for the pending committee hearings in the morning.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III made this announcement a couple of hours before the Senate, sitting as impeachment court, handed a 20-3 verdict to convict Chief Justice Renato Corona on Tuesday.

”Yes, we will return to the 3 p.m. session starting tomorrow (Wednesday),” Sotto said.

In a previous interview, Sotto admitted that the almost five-month historic impeachment trial of the highest magistrate of the land had affected the legislative works of the Senate.

”But despite the impeachment trial, we still performed well and I hope we can do more after the trial,” Sotto clarified.

With the regular session moved back in the afternoon, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has set the confirmation hearing on Wednesday for 10 ambassadors appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The hearing to be conducted by the committee on foreign affairs of the Commission on Appointments (CA) will be held from 11 a.m. to 12 noon at the Senate Session Hall.

The foreign affairs officials who are up for confirmation as ambassadors by the CA include: Olivia Palala to Jordan and Palestine; Benito Valeriano to India and Nepal; Nestor N. Padalhin to Syria; Alejandro B. Mosquera to Russia, Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine; Oscar G. Orcine to Libya, Algeria, Chad, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Niger and Tunisia; and Alex V. Lamadrid as ambassador to Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The CA will also discuss the confirmation of Patricia Ann V. Paez, ambassador to Poland; Jocelyn S. Batoon-Garcia to the Kingdom of Thailand; Henry S. Bensurto Jr. as Chief of Mission, Class II; and Sonia C. Brady, as ambassador to the People’s Republic of China with concurrent jurisdiction over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Mongolia.

Earlier, Senator Loren Legarda said the Senate is looking forward for the approval of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and Australia.

Senator Teofisto Guingona III is also hoping for approval of the measures amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) as required by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) before the sine die adjournment. (PNA) scs/jfm

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