Speaker orders stricken from records 'unparliamentary' statements vs GMA in solon's privilege speech

August 3, 2010 11:03 am 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Aug. 2 – Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr. on Monday ordered the striking out from the records of the House of Representatives "unparliamentary" statements against a former president of Akbayan partylist Rep. Walden Bello in his privilege speech.

This was in response to Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco's move to strike out from the records the “unparliamentary” words that Bello uttered against a colleague — former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Stricken out from the record were the statements pertaining to alleged corruption committed by the administration of Arroyo.

The former president had to leave the plenary hall in her first session day to avoid being humiliated by a colleague who accused her of being a "role model" of corruption and plunder.

Mrs. Arroyo has just taken her oath of office along with other neophyte lawmakers and party-list representatives.

Bello, in his privilege speech, said he shares the public disgust with the Arroyo administration’s "record of orgiastic compensation, brazen manipulation of government agencies and funds for political purposes and massive waste of the people’s money detailed by President Benigno Aquino III during his state of the nation address (SONA) on Monday, July 26."

He cited President Aquino’s revelations in his first SONA of rotting millions of sacks of imported rice in the National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses, the National Power Corp.’s (Napocor) selling of electricity at a low price for electoral gains, and the alleged "amazing" privileges of the board and top executives of the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) gave themselves.

Arroyo’s allies tried to put out the fire with Siquijor Rep. Orlando Fua insisting that Deputy Speaker Raul Daza, the presiding officer stop the Akbayan party-list representative's privilege speech as his 10-minute limit had already lapsed.

Daza, however, ruled that Bello had one hour to speak because he rose during the privilege hour.

On the other hand, Davao del Sur Rep. Mark Douglas Cagas said that if a lawmaker had something to say against a colleague, this should be addressed to the House ethics committee. (PNA) LAP/LGI

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