7 senators angry at ‘prostitution’ of Senate resolution
Seven senators on Wednesday protested what one of them described as the “prostitution” of a Senate resolution that they did not sign and that urged the government to stop the spate of drug killings in the country, especially of children.
Except for Sen. Gregorio Honasan II who did not take the floor, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Manny Pacquiao, Cynthia Villar, Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri made it clear that they were not aware of Senate Resolution No. 516, which was signed by 16 of their colleagues.
For over an hour, the senators took to the floor to voice out their anger over getting bashed on social media for not signing the resolution, which they stressed they would have signed, as they supported it anyway, had it reached them.
‘Malacañang dogs in Senate’
In the end, the Senate tasked the committee on public information and mass media chaired by Sen. Grace Poe to investigate the matter after the complaining senators demanded to unmask the people behind the blog that bashed them.
Sotto said he was not taking issue with the resolution but with “how the resolution was projected [on] social media.”
He was incensed at #SilentNoMorePH, which identified the seven senators as “Malacañang Dogs in the Senate” for not signing the resolution, which also sought a Senate inquiry “to determine the institutional reasons that gave rise to such killings.”
Sotto was angry because the blog called him a “rapist, plagiarist and bigot.”
He called the people behind the blog “stupid idiots,” and said he would resign from the Senate if they could prove that he was rapist.
Sotto asked Pimentel to order an investigation into “the prostitution of the resolution.”
“The resolution is being used to destroy us,” he said, adding he would bring a cyberlibel case against those behind the blog.
Pacquiao said the resolution was apparently circulated to “select senators,” as it did not reach his office.
He called those behind the blog “bobo” (stupid).
Zubiri sought to “put the foul bloggers in their place” while Gordon slammed the blog as “cowardly.”
Villar said she and the six other senators “were not asked to sign” so “we did not refuse to sign.”
Villar said she had been warned earlier by social media users to be careful because “certain members of the Senate would destroy us” but she kept quiet until the blog came out and it seemed to be “the beginning of that warning.”
Later, Villar, quoting social media users, named Senators Bam Aquino and Risa Hontiveros as the ones out to destroy them.
Aquino did not directly comment on Villar’s accusation, saying that in practice, there was no need for a resolution to get the signatures of many senators.
He said they should really investigate the extrajudicial killings in President Duterte’s war on drugs.
Hontiveros denied that she was out to destroy the majority.
She said she was sad that the resolution was embroiled in the controversy, as it was a “beautiful” resolution that intended to get to the bottom of the killings of minors.
“This is not a start of anything at all,” Hontiveros said.
She sought an all-senator resolution on the killings of minors, as she expressed outrage over the bashing of her colleagues on social media.
She also decried the “death of civility [on] the social media.”
Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who admitted circulating the resolution, stood up to say there was “no intention to single out any senator.”
He apologized for his “failure to go the extra mile and have the resolution signed by the other senators.”
Those who signed the resolution were Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Pangilinan, Aquino, Joel Villanueva, Hontiveros, JV Ejercito, Antonio Trillanes IV, Win Gatchalian, Panfilo Lacson, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Francis Escudero, Sonny Angara, Loren Legarda and Leila de Lima.
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