Fariñas wants immunity from minor traffic violations for lawmakers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2017 04:06 PM | Updated as of Sep 18 2017 04:12 PM

Northbound traffic along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Fariñas is asking the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to give lawmakers "parliamentary immunity" from minor traffic violations. 

This immunity, Fariñas explained Monday, may be invoked during session hours, wherein a violating lawmaker may be allowed to proceed to the House of Representatives but will be surrendered to the proper authorities after the session. 

"Pag nagpakilalang congressman siya at maipakitang talagang congressman, huwag niyong dalhin sa presinto. Kapag dinala sa presinto, hindi na siya makakapag-perform ng kanyang functions," he said during a hearing by the House transport committee.

"Halimbawa nakasagasa. Nasugatan 'yung tao. Pag nagpakilalang congressman yan, e di saka na hulihihin. Ang aming rules po, pag natapos ang session, isu-surrender ni Speaker 'yung member," he added. 

The panel was drilling down on the causes and effects of traffic woes when Fariñas brought the issue up, insisting that even the President has immunity from lawsuits and arrests.

Fariñas, who admits to being strict on late-comers at the House of Representatives, said heavy traffic has been limiting representatives from carrying out their mandate.

"Bakit, nasa Constitution na 'tong mga taong 'to, di mo puwedeng arestuhin habang nagse-session? Kasi po kami ang representatives ng people," he explained. --report from Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News