MANILA -- The House of Representatives won't be a haven for disorderly conduct among its members under his watch, Speaker Martin Romualdez assured the public on Wednesday.
The House Chief made the remark after a historic vote that adopted the Committee on Ethics and Privileges recommendation to suspend Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr for 60 days for disorderly behavior.
"An equally pressing matter that warranted this chamber’s urgent and sound response was the call for disciplinary action against Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. The House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, observing due process and fully cognizant of Rep. Arnie’s rights, conducted an investigation and submitted its report and recommendation for plenary action. Under our leadership, the House of Representatives will never ever countenance any conduct unbecoming of a House member," Romualdez said during his speech before adjourning the last plenary session before a 6-week congressional break that will last until May.
Romualdez had repeatedly advised and eventually ordered Teves Jr. to return to the country after his travel authority expired March 9. The panel convened and ruled without his side because he failed to personally explain himself before his colleagues.
The lawmaker had cited unspecified threats to his security after the death of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo in refusing to come back.
In the same speech, the House chief also flexed his leadership's response to the high price of onions in the country. The House Committee on Agriculture and Food had launched a series of investigations on the matter.
"The chamber gave careful attention to the public outcry against the exorbitant prices of onion and through House Resolution (HR) No. 681, conducted an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the anti-competitive prices and cartel in the onion industry. The series of hearing has produced immediate positive results, with the price of onion returning to previous level and personalities involved in the hoarding and price manipulation being slowly unmasked," Romualdez said.