Senator JV Ejercito on Tuesday urged the Senate ethics committee to probe Senator Antonio Trillanes’ “disrespectful and unparliamentary” statement against his colleagues after he labeled certain senators as “puppets” and “cowards” of the Duterte administration.
“He should be reminded that as a democratic institution, we in the Senate debate issues instead of hurling insults; we vote instead of calling each other names when we disagree,” Ejercito said in a statement.
Ejercito said that he hoped that Trillanes stop ‘destroying’ the senate only because he “rabidly” hate the current administration.
“We have 23 independent minds duly elected in the Senate. But even when we disagree on a number of issues, we maintain our respect for one another. I hope Senator Trillanes would do the same. I hope he will stop destroying this institution simply because he is rabidly against this administration.” he said.
The senator believes that it’s already the right time that the Senate Ethics Committee discipline senator Trillanes which he labeled as ‘destructive to the country’
“Maybe it is high time that we refer to the Senate Ethics Committee Sen. Trillanes’ actions since he is becoming damaging to the institution, and becoming destructive to the country,” Ejercito said.
Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, chairman of the Senate ethics committee, earlier said Trillanes should be careful in calling names.
“I do not know his reasons for saying that. He should be careful in calling us names. Hindi ko siya papatulan sa ngayon,” Sotto said in a text message.
But Sotto said that he would wait for someone who would complain against Senator Trillanes’ statement.
“Motu propio is possible but it’s better if I receive a complaint. Hard to judge through media reports. I will entertain any complaint against any member of the Senate. Ngayon, ipaalala ko lang, when you point a finger at others, three others point at you,” Sotto said.
Ejercito said that he would consult his colleague first before filing a complaint against Trillanes.
Trillanes said that he welcomes any complaint against him, but he said that JV Ejercito seems not batting an eye against the comments of President Duterte.
“But here’s the thing, if Sen. Ejercito be believes that my statement that the Senate is becoming a lap dog of the Duterte administration is highly offensive yet sees nothing wrong with Duterte’s rape comments to the soldiers, then we really have a problem,” Trillanes said in a text message.
On Monday, Senator Trillanes blasted his colleagues in the Senate for not investigating the alleged abuses of the Duterte administration and called the other senators as ‘cowards’ and ‘lapdogs’
“Itong Senado na dati ay ‘yan yung last bastion of democracy eh ngayon, wala na, para na rin kaming mga tuta nitong administrasyon na ’to. Ni ayaw mag-imbestiga eh,” Trillanes said.
“‘Yung mga dapat sana na pumuna eh wala eh, sila yung mga bahag ang buntot,” he added.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson responded to the tirades of his colleague and he said that Trillanes is “so out of touch with reality, if not hallucinating too much.”
According to the section 11 of Republic Act No. 6713 also known as the “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.” Any public official or employee, regardless of whether or not he holds office or employment in a casual, temporary, holdover, permanent or regular capacity, committing any violation of this Act shall be punished with a fine not exceeding the equivalent of six (6) months’ salary or suspension not exceeding one (1) year, or removal depending on the gravity of the offense after due notice and hearing by the appropriate body or agency. If the violation is punishable by a heavier penalty under another law, he shall be prosecuted under the latter statute. Violations of Sections 7, 8 or 9 of this Act shall be punishable with imprisonment not exceeding five (5) years, or a fine not exceeding five thousand pesos (P5,000), or both, and, in the discretion of the court of competent jurisdiction, disqualification to hold public office.