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No rule vs computer games in Senate—Escudero

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 04:04 PM December 05, 2013

Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA,  Philippines –  Using unparliamentary language inside the halls of Congress is prohibited but playing  computer games while the session is ongoing , isn’t at least for now, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero  said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Juan Ponce Enrile was seen playing “Bejeweled” on his tablet while  Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was attacking  him in a privilege  speech.

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But Escudero said there was no rule yet against a legislator playing computer games while inside the session hall.

“I don’t think there’s parliamentary tradition or practice about it because the iPad’s just been invented. Maybe now would be the time if ever there will be a ruke that will prohibit games inside, if ever,” he said in a television interview.

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“But I prefer that instead of him arguing with her, adding to the conflict and prolonging the story and possibly a part three. Maybe that’s enough,” said Escudero in Filipino, referring to Enrile.

Unlike playing computer games, however,  using unparliamentary language  inside the halls  of  Congress is  clearly  prohibited by the rules.

“What unparliamentary means is established by tradition in Congresses all over the world. And surely, the liar, dumb amd those who speak in that manner, which are value judgments, cannot be considered parliamentary in any part of the world,”  he said.

A member  who will violate  the rules, Escudero said,  could be subjected to disciplinary proceedings through the committee on ethics.

“Penalties can range anywhere from reprimand to suspension to expulsion depending on the committee on ethics. But in the case of suspension and expulsion, you would need a 2/3 vote,”  he  said.

Some senators now want to review Enrile and Santiago’s speeches in a bid to strike out “unparliamentarywords” and “personal attacks” from the record of the chamber.

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TAGS: Francis Chiz Escudero, Juan Ponce Enrile, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Politics, Senate, Unparliamentary language
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