Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is Senate’s top absentee

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is Senate’s top absentee

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:30 AM February 28, 2024

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB)

Senate records show that Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who once skewered President Marcos for his absence in the second vice presidential debate during the 2016 election campaign, is the chamber’s top absentee.

According to records from the Senate Legislative Journal Service, Cayetano, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, attended only 36 of the upper chamber’s 54 regular plenary sessions from July 24, 2023, to Feb. 21 this year.


On the days he was present, he came in late 16 times to their thrice-a-week proceedings, which usually start at 3 p.m. He was also absent four times as he was on an official trip abroad on those occasions.


READ: 12 senators maintain ‘perfect attendance’ from July 2023

In 2017, Cayetano had the most number of absences in the Senate, having only attended 31 session days from July 25, 2016, to May 31, 2017. He was also on official trips for more than half of the time.

When he did show up at the Senate, he arrived late or after the roll call over 10 times.

Former lawmaker and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao had also been cited as a leading absentee both in the House of Representatives as Sarangani representative and in the Senate.

Cayetano’s sister and colleague, Sen. Pia Cayetano, also turned up late 16 times in the Monday to Wednesday sessions. But she was absent only once during the second regular session of the 19th Congress.

The Inquirer sought the Cayetano siblings for comment, but both had yet to respond at press time.


Perfect attendance

Sen. Nancy Binay, chair of the Senate ethics committee, placed second to Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano with six absences, while Senators Francis Escudero and Juan Edgardo Angara both missed the plenary sessions five times.

Angara had to skip the session days thrice as the head of the Senate panel to the bicameral conference committee on the 2024 national budget.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri had perfect attendance, while two of his deputies, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda and Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, and nine other colleagues were also present in all 54 session days.

“In my long years as a public servant, I have learned this one important thing: True leadership starts by showing up for the important work for the people. And here in the Senate, we take that to heart,” Zubiri said in a statement.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who also had perfect attendance, said, “Our presence during plenary sessions is essential when expressing views, raising concerns and proposing amendments to bills and measures.”

Also having perfect attendance were Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Sherwin Gatchalian, Christopher “Bong” Go, Risa Hontiveros, Robinhood Padilla, Ramon Revilla Jr., Raffy Tulfo and Cynthia Villar.

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Rounding up the attendance list were Senators JV Ejercito (52), Imee Marcos (52), Mark Villar (52), Lito Lapid (51), Grace Poe (51), Aquilino Pimentel III (51) and Francis Tolentino (47), who skipped six session days because of official functions abroad. —WITH A REPORT FROM INQUIRER RESEARCH INQ

TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, Attendance, Senate

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