MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Friday, September 16, criticized Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for his demeanor during the probe into the extrajudicial killings.
Senators Trillanes and Alan Peter Cayetano, both members of the Nacionalista Party, had a face off on Thursday, with Cayetano crying foul over the latter’s “intimidation.” (READ: Senators face off at probe into killings: ‘Trash talk, out of order’)
It came to a point where Trillanes turned off Cayetano’s microphone while the latter was still speaking.
Pimentel said what happened was lamentable, because senators should not take the law into their own hands.
If Trillanes had a problem with Cayetano, he should have called Senator Leila De Lima’s attention, as she is the chairperson of the committee on justice and human rights spearheading the investigation, he said. “Nakakalungkot, kasi in the Senate you do not take the law into your own hands and when I say law, the rules. Kunyari may ginagawa ang isang senador na hindi mo gusto, kayo po ay i-a-address ninyo yung concern niyo sa presiding officer,” Pimentel said in an interview with GMA. (It’s lamentable, because in the Senate you do not take the law into your own hand and when I say law, the rules. Let’s say you don’t like what a senator is doing, address that concern to the presiding officer.)
Referring to Trillanes, Pimentel said: “Do not take the law or the rules into your own hands na ikaw na mismo ang papatay nung mikropono ng kapwa mo senador. Magkapantay po kayo. Respeto lang po. (that you are the one turning off the microphone of your fellow senator. You are of equal levels. Just give respect.)”
For Pimentel, Trillanes’ action is wrong as senators should not “heckle” each other. “Hindi po dapat ginagawa ‘to tsaka syempre you don’t taunt, you don’t heckle your fellow senator,” he said. (It should not be done. Of course, you don’t taunt, you don’t heckle your fellow senator.)
Pimentel and Cayetano are allies of President Rodrigo Duterte while Trillanes is one of the chief executive’s strongest critics since the 2016 campaign.
It was Trillanes who exposed the alleged millions in secret bank accounts of Duterte and his family.
Does Trillanes’ action merit a sanction? Pimentel is not quick to judge. He said there should be a complaint first before the body could act.
“Maghihintay po tayo ng reklamo kasi pwede namang all’s well that ends well na. Let us say naayos na dun, pinatawad na noong aggrieved party na yung isa. Hindi na po papalakihin ng senado,” Pimentel said.
(Let us wait for a complaint because it could be all’s well that ends well. Let us say it was fixed already, the aggrieved party already forgave the other one. The Senate won’t make it any bigger anymore.)
Pimentel said he would talk with the 3 senators involved, including Senator De Lima, and remind them of the chamber rules.
“I will talk to the chairperson, and then I will talk to the 2 senators, the 3 of them, to remind them about the rules,” he told ANC in an interview. “We are all grown-ups, so they should read the rules, and then try to conform our conduct and our language pursuant to our rules, our customs and accepted practices,” the Senate President added.
Despite this, Pimentel said that to have a clash of ideas in the Senate is healthy. It is, after all, “part and parcel of the investigative process,” he added.
It only goes to show that not all are “puppets of one ideology or discipline.” He, however, reminded senators that there should be no physical “intrusion” of spaces. – Rappler.com
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