Solons’ request for immunity from traffic violations nixed
Quezon City Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista expressed confidence on Tuesday that the Metro Manila Council (MMC) would not grant the recent request of Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas to exempt lawmakers from being apprehended for traffic violations.
Speaking on the sidelines of the MMC on Tuesday, Bautista stressed that no one is above the law, regardless of their stature in government.
“[The law] does not distinguish any personality or individual. If you violate the law, you will be apprehended. There’s no [special treatment],” said Bautista, who himself was flagged down by a Quezon City traffic enforcer in 2010 for beating a red light.
During the House’s transportation committee hearing in September, Fariñas asked the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) that they be granted “parliamentary immunity” should they commit minor traffic violations. One example he cited was if they would run over a pedestrian.
“If he would introduce himself as a congressman, and it be proven that he really is a congressman, don’t bring him to the precinct. Because if you bring him to the precinct, he would not be able to perform his functions [as a lawmaker],” Fariñas said.
He added that under their rules, the erring member of Congress would be surrendered to the Speaker, “after our session.”
The MMDA, however, cannot unilaterally approve Fariñas’ request as it should go through the agency’s policymaking arm, which is the MMC.
While Fariñas has yet to send a formal request to the MMC, Bautista already nixed the possibility of it being approved by the mayors.
“Why would we allow it? Arrest them,” Bautista said, referring to both drivers and lawmakers who violate traffic rules and regulations. —Jovic Yee
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