MANILA, Philippines - Plagued by chronic fatigue syndrome, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago had the most number of absences in the Senate during plenary in the first regular session of Congress.
A total of 83 sessions were held from July 22 last year to June 11 this year and based on the official records of the Senate, Santiago was able to attend only three.
Santiago was recorded as being on indefinite qualified medical leave, something that she indicated in her previous communications with the leadership of the Senate in the current and previous Congress.
Following Santiago was Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, who was able to attend only 38 of the plenary sessions.
Based on data from the Plenary Affairs Bureau of the Senate, Guingona was on “official mission” during 37 of the sessions.
Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who was present in 82 of the 83 sessions, repeatedly pointed out that Guingona, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, was always absent during sessions.
Placing third and fourth behind Santiago and Guingona were Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Antonio Trillanes IV, who attended 53 and 59 plenary sessions, respectively.
Trillanes recorded a total of 15 absences, the most among the 24 senators.
He was followed by Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. with 11, Guingona with eight, Marcos with six and Manuel Lapid and Loren Legarda with five each.
Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, the oldest member of the Senate at 90, recorded the most number of sick leaves at seven, but was present in 72 of the plenary sessions.
Recording perfect attendance were Senate President Franklin Drilon, Deputy Minority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Nancy Binay and Gregorio Honasan.
They were followed by Senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Francis Escudero, and Estrada who attended all but one of the 83 plenary sessions.
Senators JV Ejercito, Sergio Osmeña III and Grace Poe attended 81 plenary sessions.
The senators who had the most number of absences while on official mission after Guingona were Marcos with a total of 24, Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano with 14, Pia Cayetano and Aquilino Pimentel III with 11 each, Trillanes and Cynthia Villar with nine each, and Lapid with eight.
Based on the records, Trillanes had the most number of official missions abroad at nine, followed by Legarda with seven and Marcos, Alan Cayetano and Villar with six each.