Quantcast
Latest Stories

‘Courtesy a victim in Senate row’

By

Broken tradition, broken vows.

The controversy that resulted in the Senate’s loss of two of its top leaders appears to have also claimed a long-standing tradition of the majority and the minority smoking the peace pipe as a session of Congress bows out with its sine die adjournment.

While both the majority and the minority in the House of Representatives showered Speaker Feliciano Belmonte with credit at the close of the 15th Congress, senators didn’t even have resigned Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile preside over the upper chamber’s adjournment.

“The Senate before was a picture of courtesy. That is a long-standing tradition—the minority leader praising the Senate leadership,” said Sen. Joker Arroyo, who attended what could be his last session as a senator on Thursday.

“I think that tradition has been shattered,” added the 86-year-old Arroyo, who served two consecutive six-year terms in the chamber.

The closest thing to a celebration of the Senate’s achievements was made by Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III when he placed on record the number of laws, bills and resolutions passed by the chamber in the 15th Congress, which he did when there were just nine senators on the floor.

Sotto said the Senate passed 42 nationally significant bills while 42 other measures were awaiting President Aquino’s signature. He said the Senate committee on rules sent to the floor more than 700 bills while the Senate processed 145 resolutions.

Shortly after, Sotto informed the Senate of his resignation as majority floor leader effective on June 30.

“Collateral damage,” said Sen. Francis Pangilinan, when asked how he finds the absence of congratulatory resolutions for the productivity and performance of the Senate leadership and individual senators in the past three years.

Pangilinan is also bowing out of the 15th Congress after serving 12 years, covering two consecutive terms in the Senate.

“Yes, it’s a time-honored tradition in the Senate, which I observed as majority leader for some five years. Although, if you ask me, no one really bothers to read these resolutions anyway,” Pangilinan said.

Enrile presided over the Senate when it tackled and passed 42 laws of national significance, including the controversial yet historic reproductive health law, sin tax reform law and the amendments to the antimoney laundering law and the juvenile justice act.

Enrile resigned on Wednesday, still hurting from the questions of impropriety raised by some senators over his release over the Christmas season last year of millions of pesos for the upkeep of the offices of selected senators and as gifts for all his colleagues.

He ended his Senate presidency by calling on each senator to account for the millions of pesos given to their respective offices and committees. He also opened himself to public scrutiny.

Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, who questioned Enrile’s release of the P250,000 per senator supposedly as Christmas gifts before the congressional break on December 2012, failed to attend the last session.

Cayetano, on Wednesday, said Enrile need not resign to explain how the Senate funds are spent and liquidated.

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, the acting Senate President, and Sen. Gregorio Honasan took on the presiding chores on Wednesday and Thursday.

Among the measures that became enrolled bills waiting for President Aquino’s signature during the two so-called “lame duck sessions” this week were the amendments to the juvenile justice act, the modernization of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration and the bill seeking to require schools to take steps to prevent bullying.

The Senate, however, failed to ratify the country’s extradition treaties with Spain, India and the United Kingdom after only 15 senators showed up on the last session day. A treaty needs 16 votes or two-thirds of the chamber’s membership to be ratified.

“It’s rather embarrassing not only to Malacañang but also to the diplomatic corps because of the treaties,” said Sotto, who acted on the remaining measures before resigning his leadership of the majority.

“Our countrymen should have a list of those who rarely show up,” Sotto said.

The senators present on the last session day of the 15th Congress were Estrada, Sotto, Arroyo, Pangilinan, Honasan, Loren Legarda, Pia Cayetano, Edgardo Angara, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Teofisto Guingona III, Sergio Osmeña III, Manuel Villar, Aquilino Pimentel III, Antonio Trillanes IV and Panfilo Lacson.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 15th Congress , Francis Pangilinan , House of Representatives , Juan Ponce Enrile , Philippine Senate , Senate leadership , Senate of the Philippines , Speaker Feliciano Belmonte




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  2. Name names, Lacson told
  3. Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  4. Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  5. Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  6. Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  9. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  10. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
Advertisement

News

  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Man found dead in Quezon City, alleged victim of summary execution–report
  • Aquino to lead Air Force turnover rites
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement