Chiz: No ethics panel yet in Senate

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 07 2014 05:21 PM | Updated as of Apr 08 2014 01:21 AM

MANILA -- The possibility of senators being disciplined by the upper house for their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam would have to wait as the Senate ethics committee has yet to be constituted.

"Well, number one, to begin with, before any expulsion or suspension can be initiated, dapat maporma muna yung ethics committee na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa napoporma. Hiniling na namin noon 'yan na dapat na maporma para madinig mang lang 'yung kaso at mabigyan ng venue 'yung mga kapwa naming senador na mailahad yun panig nila," Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero told reporters.

But Escudero said disciplinary proceedings may no longer be needed in case the Sandiganbayan orders the suspension of the senators from office.

"Pangalawa, on that issue, under the law, under the plunder law, automatic ang suspension 'pag sampa o paghain ng kaso sa Sandiganbayan, so 'yung aspeto ng suspension ay hindi na marahil kailangan pagpasyahan ng senado by operation of law, ang Sandiganbayan na mismo ang mag uutos niyan," he said.

Senator Sergio "Serge" Osmeña III, meanwhile, said a lawyer should chair the Senate ethics committee if it is constituted.

"Actually it would be good to have a lawyer there because it would be highly legalistic in nature, rules of the Senate and then all criminal laws," he told reporters.