Pangilinan chief of staff: No intention to exclude senators in ‘controversial’ reso
(Updated 4:01 p.m., Sept. 29) There was no attempt to exclude certain senators from signing a resolution that calls for the government to stop the spate of drug killings, especially children, the chief of staff of Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said on Friday.
Lawyer Herminio Bagro III, of the Office of Sen. Francis Pangilinan, clarified that Senate Resolution No. 516, which denounces the spate of killings in the country, was made publicly available to senators and was even emailed directly to the official mailing addresses of Senators Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan, Cynthia Villar, Miguel Zubiri, and Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Sept. 21.
Gordon even acknowledged the receipt of the email on the same day.
“This was done to inform them about the resolution and to show the number of signatures, and to ask them if they want to sponsor it,” Bagro said.
The measure was filed on Monday, Sept. 25, more than three days since it was emailed to the senators, Bagro noted.
He also said that when the measure, including the names of the 16 co-authors, was read on the floor on Sept. 26, “no one manifested desire” to be its co-sponsor. Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III then referred it to the committees of Hontiveros and Lacson, or the committees of women, children, family relations, and gender equality, and public order and dangerous drugs, respectively.
“Clearly there was no attempt to keep or withhold the resolution from the seven senators. The Senate rules were followed,” Bagro added.
The chief of staff issued the statement two days after the six senators—Pimentel, Sotto, Gordon, Villar, Zubiri, and Sen. Manny Pacquiao—expressed anger on the Senate floor on Wednesday after being bashed on social media for not signing the resolution, which they said they would have signed or supported had their offices received it.
The senators also condemned a blog post branding them as “Malacañang dogs in the Senate.”
Bagro said that the resolution, which seeks to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, to determine institutional reasons that gave rise to the killings, showed that it “cares to find justice for victims of all extrajudicial killings.” /jpv
(Note: An earlier version of this story quoted the statement to have been said by Sen. Francis Pangilinan instead of Atty. Herminio Bagro III. We apologize for the error.)
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