MANILA - Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said the legislative process will not be affected by the absence of 3 senators who are now detained on plunder charges.
He said the absence of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. may be felt if there are controversial or highly political bills.
“But having said that, hindi natin pwedeng i-sacrifice ang integrity ng Senado just because we need people who are very knowledgeable here. Ang susi kasi sa Senado, hindi yung technical wisdom kung hindi ang credibility,” Cayetano said.
He said even if the Senate is composed of the brightest people but who are corrupt, it will not be able to address the needs of the people.
He said a speedy trial is a must for the 3 senators in order to determine if they are guilty or not.
He said, however, “the evidence is also overwhelming.”
“That is why I am still fighting for a live coverage because napakahirap na tumagal ang kaso na ito na matagal masyado. Pangalawa, napakahirap na hindi tanggapin ng tao ang magiging verdict. Guilty man o ipawalang-sala sila, kung hindi naman mapapanuod ng ating mga kababayan ang reasoning ng prosecution at defense, walang mangyayari,” Cayetano said.
“I can assure our people 100 percent na hindi maapektuhan yung legislation sa kawalan nung tatlong senador. With 20 senators, we have more than a quorum, maganda ang attendance lately. Ang challenge hindi yung quorum, ang challenge less politics and more issues relevant to the people,” Cayetano said.
The second regular session of the 16th Congress opened on Monday morning.
Senate President Franklin Drilon, in his address, vowed to bring back the public’s faith in the Senate.