LP solon wants ethics probe vs Makabayan bloc members

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015. Filed under: Philippine News
President Benigno S. Aquino III, delivers his State of the Nation Address for the 6th and last time before the Joint Session of Congress on Monday, July 27. He stressed that the seeds of reform have been planted for the people and future leaders to water to full fruition. His two-hour annual report to the nation stressed the various programs of government that center on the principle of "Matuwid na Daan" by way of good governance. Attentively listening to the President are Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr, along with other lawmakers, guests and other dignitaries. Photo: Gilbert Engay, Media Relations Service-PRIB

President Benigno S. Aquino III, delivers his State of the Nation Address for the 6th and last time before the Joint Session of Congress on Monday, July 27. He stressed that the seeds of reform have been planted for the people and future leaders to water to full fruition. His two-hour annual report to the nation stressed the various programs of government that center on the principle of “Matuwid na Daan” by way of good governance. Attentively listening to the President are Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr, along with other lawmakers, guests and other dignitaries. Photo: Gilbert Engay, Media Relations Service-PRIB

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – A Liberal Party stalwart wants the House of Representatives ethics committee to investigate members of the progressive Makabayan bloc who flashed posters criticizing President Benigno Aquino III at the end of his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said he will consult with the House leadership on the possible liability of the seven party-list lawmakers who caused a ruckus inside the plenary hall by brandishing posters with phrases such as “Pahirap sa mga manggagawa at kawani,” “serbisyo palpak,” and “mapang-aping hasendero.”

“The act is totally outside accepted legislative behavior that warrants an investigation by the ethics committee. Their pattern of action should be looked into to avoid [a] similar recurrence in the future,” he said in a text message Tuesday.

The lawmakers who flashed the posters were Bayan Muna party-list Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate, Gabriela party-list Representatives Emmi de Jesus and Luz Ilagan, Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon, Anakpawis party-list Rep. Fernando Hicap and ACT-Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio.

Castelo, chair of the House committee on Metro Manila development, said that while he respects his militant colleagues’ rights to air their gripes against the President, they crossed the line when they held a protest inside the plenary hall Tuesday.

“There are other ways to do it (protest) without resorting to unparliamentary behavior. They could have just joined the rallyists outside, called for a press conference or even deliver a privilege speech. They are members of Congress and they should be bound by rules of the institution they belong,” he said.

In response, Tinio said he and his colleagues in the militant bloc are prepared for the possibility of facing an ethics complaint.

“Kung magkaka-ethics complaint kami dahil sinasabi namin ang katotohanan, then so be it,” he said.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. earlier admitted his embarrassment over the behavior exhibited by his colleagues after the SONA, saying he felt ashamed because they were his “own people.”

While Belmonte said he isn’t keen on filing an ethics case against the militant lawmakers, he said his colleagues have the prerogative to file a complaint against the members of the Makabayan bloc.

“If [this incident] is referred to the ethics committee, I guess the ethics committee has to do something about it,” he said. (MNS)

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