Lagman: House majority railroading death penalty bill
An opposition lawmaker assailed the “unwarranted railroading” of the passage of the death penalty bill and the “gagging” of its opponents after Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas threatened to close the debates if they kept on questioning the quorum.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, a leader of an independent bloc in the chamber, said the House leadership was using the rules for their own benefit but was too touchy when opponents tried to do the same.
He insisted that questions on the quorum were a valid parliamentary tactic based on the rules, which state that: “The House shall not transact business without a quorum.”
“Past Congresses did not gag members who wished to interpellate just like in the debates of the bills on the comprehensive agrarian reform program, reimposition of the death penalty, abolition of the death penalty and the reproductive health bill, among others,” Lagman said in a statement.
Fariñas had argued that it was enough to establish the existence of a quorum at the start of the session, and House members were not obligated to stay to listen to the plenary debates. —DJ YAP