Duterte’s attacks vs Senate could lead to constitutional crisis, warns De Lima

Duterte’s attacks vs Senate could lead to constitutional crisis, warns De Lima

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima filed a Senate
Resolution urging the President to refrain from making statements
intended to diminish the respect due to the Senate or any of its

De Lima filed Proposed Senate Resolution (PSR) No. 898 expressing the
sense of the Senate that the President should show courtesy to a
co-equal institution following Mr. Duterte’s recent verbal attacks
against Senators and the institution.

“It behooves each of the branches of our government to treat each
other with courtesy in the performance of their respective
constitutional mandates,” she said.

“Petty, inflammatory, and personal statements by the President against
the Senate or any of its members only lead to the erosion of public
trust and confidence in our democratic institutions,” she added.

Last Aug. 18, the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public
Officers and Investigation (Blue Ribbon Committee) chaired by Sen.
Richard Gordon commenced an investigation on the possible misuse of
COVID-19 funds.

In response to the investigation, Duterte, in a public address, ranted
about Gordon for supposedly “show[ing] off” and went on to mock his
looks, as well as that of Sen. Ping Lacson. He also recently vent his
ire against Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, by resurrecting
old issues which the latter dismissed as “false intrigues”.

Duterte went as far as saying that the Senate should not investigate
ongoing programs of government agencies as it purportedly causes
delays in their progress, and further called on the public not to
believe its investigations claiming that they only result in “nothing”
– a claim debunked by Senators themselves.

De Lima stressed that as the leader of the nation, the President must
set a good example in allowing democratic processes to run their
course without undue interference, much less cheap political attacks
that do not aid in uncovering the truth behind anomalous government

“Transparency and accountability are cornerstones of our democracy and
our institutions must work together, rather than hindering each other,
in making sure that our people’s money is well spent and that the
public officials are being held accountable for the funds entrusted to
them,” she said.

“Any public attempt at discrediting the Senate and preventing the same
and any of its committees from performing its mandate could result in
a constitutional crisis that serves to weaken our republic to the
detriment of our people,” she added. (ai/mtvn)

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