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Sen. Santiago walks out over C-5 row

By Maila Ager
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 16:33:00 01/26/2010

Filed Under: Politics, Congress, Government

MANILA, Philippines ? The Senate?s resumption of session on Tuesday was marred by a walkout from Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who expressed dismay over how some of her colleagues conducted themselves during Monday?s session.

?I?m now very, very tired of politics. And with all humility and all respect, I will now walk out of these proceedings,? Santiago said after she delivered a speech.

Talking to reporters before the session, Santiago said she would stage a walkout to send a message that ?I don?t like what is taking place.?

?We have split into two groups. And if that is so, we can still be civil to each other and observe the language of the likeness in the legal profession. We should not call each other name s because that does not help to educate or illuminate the issue to the Filipino public,? she said.

At the start of her speech, Santiago lamented the behavior of some of her colleagues during Monday?s session, saying their conduct ?did not constitute the brightest moment of the Philippine Senate.?

?Our language and behavior did not serve the nation,? said Santiago.

She also took offense to Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile?s comment against her opinion that a two-third votes was needed to adopt a committee report that recommended the censure of Senator Manny Villar for his alleged unethical behavior in connection with the C-5 road project.

?In itself, that already was unparliamentary behavior. And there goes the hope that we in this chamber ? I now hesitate to call it august ? could debate the issue in a civilized manner,? Santiago said.

?I would have wanted to say that this chamber is beset by an honest difference of opinion. But if this is the kind of hostile, belligerent attitude we bring to our debate, then all of us should resign immediately because we do not deserve to be senators,? she further said.

Senator Francis ?Chiz? Escudero, in a separate interview, also expressed dismay, at how their colleagues conducted themselves during Monday?s proceeding.

?Hindi ba kayo nairita kahapon [Weren?t your irked yesterday]?? Escudero asked reporters.

When the question was thrown back at him by reporters, the neophyte senator said, ?Hindi. Nalungkot?kasi di napag-usapan yung issue eh. Nadala sa lebel na personalan [No. I was saddened . . . we weren?t able to talk about the issue. We were dragged into a personal level].?



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