House, Senate agree on ceasefire over People’s Initiative

House, Senate agree on ceasefire over People’s Initiative

Congressmen, including former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, rallied behind Speaker Martin Romualdez on Saturday as Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and other senators agreed to calls for a ceasefire on the heated exchange between the two chambers of Congress, but not to stop the Senate probe of the bribery allegations in the people’s initiative (PI) campaign.

The former president led members of the ruling Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats as well as lawmakers from the Bicol region in signing a manifesto decrying as “unfounded and baseless” allegations against Romualdez that “do not reflect the true nature of his service to the nation.”

“Senate President [Juan Miguel Zubiri] told us that we should have a ceasefire because the [word war] between the House and the Senate has become too intense,” Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said in a radio interview.


Sen. Ronald dela Rosa said he also agreed to temporarily set aside his differences with House leaders, a day after he joined a Senate inquiry on alleged irregularities in the signature drive for PI.


Other priorities

He said Sen. Imee Marcos, who presided over the inquiry, also agreed to attend to the needs of those who were displaced by the torrential rains and landslides in Davao provinces.

“[Senator] Marcos is actually going around the flooded communities in Davao City to deliver relief goods,” he said.

But Dela Rosa took exception to the claims of House Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales and Quezon Rep. David Suarez that the Senate probe was just a waste of public funds and that it had turned into a “witch hunt.”

READ: Imee Marcos tells Bongbong: ‘Stand firm and put an end to PI’

“We need to conduct the hearings to ferret out the truth,” Dela Rosa said.

Sen. Francis Escudero also shrugged off the calls of the House leaders for the Senate to stop their investigation.


He said it was established during the first two hearings of the Marcos-led Senate committee on electoral reforms and people’s participation that some House members had directly participated in pursuing PI.

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TAGS: Congress, House, People's Initiative, Senate

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