Lawmakers Call for Peace; Members of Congress Stop Issuing Incendiary Statements

Manila Bulletin, March 5, 2005 | Go to article overview

Lawmakers Call for Peace; Members of Congress Stop Issuing Incendiary Statements


Byline: JUDE C. GALFORD III, FERDIE J. MAGLALANG, BEN R. ROSARIO & E.T. SUAREZ

After days of bickering by legislators, members of both chambers of Congress have now come to their senses by opting to stop issuing further incendiary statements and instead appeal for sobriety and peace.

The congressional word war started when some members of the House of Representatives bad-mouthed the Senate by calling for its abolition simply because of misunderstandings over the 2005 budget approval.

This time, however, a number of legislators belonging to the Senate and the House appealed to their colleagues to support the plea of Senate President Franklin Drilon for a "ceasefire" and then work together again as one unified legislative body.

In an open letter by members of the Liberal Party to their colleagues in Congress, Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senators Francis Pangilinan, Mar Roxas, and Rodolfo Biazon entreated their colleagues to immediately end their feud.

"During these trying times, we must assure our people that national interest will reign supreme above everything we do as a legislative body," the letter said.

Senator Pangilinan said members of the Liberal Party signed the manifesto to express their unwavering cooperation to the party leadership.

"We must assure our countrymen that national interest will reign supreme above everything that we do as a legislative body," he said.

The appeal letter or manifesto that the senators and 34 representatives signed explained that the impasse between the two chambers would only increase the "ill feelings that our countrymen have towards politics and the legislature."

"Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are at the losing end in this word war and the national interest is compromised. This manifesto is a testament of commitment to the people that we serve, the people that elected us to office," said the legislators in their manifesto.

On this note, Sen. Ralph Recto described the "interparliamentary name-calling" destructive and called for the immediate repair of ties between both chambers.

Recto explained that if the rift were not mended immediately, then the legislature would be weakened from within. He then called for peace and sobriety to reign supreme.

"The House and the Senate are natural allies," noted Recto, explaining further that any fissure between the two should be repaired immediately or other parties can come in with their divide and rule tactic.

The senator observed that internal squabble between the two chambers would only serve one purpose and that is to become vulnerable to degeneration from ill-meaning people or parties.

Senator Richard Gordon, on the other hand, urged for the unity of both Houses as he called for statesmanship to prevail in Congress and not partisan politics.

"We do not have the luxury of time to sit around and engage in endless debates while our country faces a possible meltdown," he warned.

With national debt amounting to P3.81 trillion, Congress must set aside partisan politics and work for the country together.

Senate, House members asked to reconcile

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday called on Senate and House leaders to patch up their differences and not lose the momentum in passing vital legislative measures, notably those aimed at enhancing the governments revenue to put the countrys fiscal position in right order.

The President made the call as some Congress leaders have traded barbs at each other over the abolition of their respective chambers precipitated by the Senates adoption of this years P907.6-billion national budget to prevent congressmen from restoring their original congressional allocations.

"I urge Congress to maintain unity and synergy with the Executive as well as push forward in the legislative and administrative reforms to put our fiscal house in order. …

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