MANILA, Aug 20 (Mabuhay) – Senate President Franklin Drilon chided his partymate, Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali, on Thursday for interfering in the internal affairs of the Senate.
“I strongly urge my partymate Umali to observe inter-parliamentary courtesy and mind his own business. I am sure that my partymate knows better than to act like a blabbermouth,” Drilon, vice chairman of the Liberal Party, said in a statement.
“We must refrain from making statements which do not help the already toxic political environment,” he added.
Drilon was reacting to Umali’s statement that there should be a major overhaul of Senate committees once senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero decide to run for a higher office in 2016.
The Senate leader said the congressman’s statements “constitute a serious breach in the long-standing tradition of inter-parliamentary courtesy.”
As a fellow member of Congress, Drilon said Umali “would do well to stop meddling on the internal matters of the Senate.”
Besides, Drilon strongly opposed Umali’s assertion that Poe and Escudero, prospective candidates in the 2016 presidential elections, should be stripped of their respective chairmanships of Senate committees.
“Our legislative work in the Senate is immune from partisanship, and I will see to it that it stays that way,” he said.
“His suggestion is simply absurd, given that we still have to finish a lot of our legislative priorities in the 16th Congress. We have a close and healthy working relationship in the Senate as evident from a number of measures the chamber has continuously passed,” the Senate leader added.
With less than a year left, Drilon said he still expects the senators and their respective committees to continue working on pending reform measures of national importance that the Senate has promised the public.
Regardless of their political plans, the Senate leader said he is confident that Poe and Escudero will continue to effectively man their posts, given the crucial functions these committees to public interests.
Poe chairs three Senate committees — public information and mass media; public order and dangerous drugs; and the joint committee on the Human Security Act, while Escudero is at the helm of three Senate committees—environment and natural resources, and joint committees on the Clean Water Act and Chainsaw Act. He has quit chairmanship of two finance committees, citing delicadeza, as he considers running for higher post in 2016. (MNS)