Amid ‘word war’, Cayetano dares colleagues to accuse directly and not insinuate
MANILA, Philippines — Instead of making insinuations, just make direct accusations.
This was the challenge offered by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to his colleagues in the House of Representatives and in the Senate amid the “word war” that followed between the two chambers after the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2) was approved by the bicameral committee.
Cayetano said that should there be any wrongdoing in the passage of the measure, such as lawmakers pushing for certain provisions for personal interest, both chambers have an ethics committee where a report can be filed.
Some senators supposedly insinuated that congressmen pushed for certain provisions of the Bayanihan 2 to suffice personal agenda.
“‘Yun ang problema when you call it insinuations, it is not direct allegations. So ‘yun ang advice ko sa kapwa ko members ng Congress, maging senador or representative, party-list or district congressmen and women, let’s make the accusations deretsuhan kung meron man,” Cayetano told reporters.
“At the same time, huwag naman tayong maging onion-skinned but of course because this is done in public,” he added.
According to Cayetano, he was able to personally talk to some senators who denied making insinuations against members of the House.
Cayetano said he was also able to hear the side of some congressmen who were hurt by the remarks made by the senators.
However, Cayetano said that it is up to the public to scrutinize and that the important part is that the Senate and the House “work well together.”
“Baka pwedeng birthday gift na lang natin kay Senate President Tito Sotto to just reset and start reclaiming ‘yung parliamentary courtesy, ‘yung inter-chamber courtesy,” Cayetano said.
Rather than making accusations against each other, Cayetano said lawmakers should just focus on the interest of the public.
Several members of the House have stepped up to express their disapproval of the supposed insinuations made by some senators.
During Monday’s House session, Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte, who is one of the principal authors of the House’s version of Bayanihan 2 and the head of the lower chamber’s contingent in the bicameral conference committee, insisted that no personal interests were pushed in the passage of the measure.
“I categorically state that all the salient features as provided in the House version which was approved by the bicameral conference committee are provisions that would really help our country recover. Wala pong (There’s no) personal interest dito (here) as insinuated by our counterparts,” Villafuerte said.
“Ang katotohanan tayo ang may malinaw na adbokasiya. Huwag naman sanang mag-insinuate ang ating mga kasama dahil kasama naman sila sa bicam,” the lawmaker added.
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