MANILA -- Suspended lawmakers do not enjoy salaries and benefits, a senior House of Representatives official told media after the chamber suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. for disorderly behavior for failing to come back from his unauthorized overseas travel.
"The Rules of the House of Representatives provides that 'Any Member legally barred by competent authority from attending sessions and performing such other functions as a Member of the House of Representatives shall be denied salary, other compensation, office space and other privileges to which Members are entitled as of the date the bar becomes effective. However, upon the lifting or cessation of such bar, the salary and other entitlements that were denied shall, forthwith, be restored.' (Section 10)," House Secretary General Reginald Velasco explained after the historic vote that suspended the lawmaker.
Velasco however explained that their precedents refer only to the implementation of orders of preventive suspension.
"There is no recent precedent on the imposition of suspension as a penalty for disorderly behavior. In this past, when a Member is suspended, the salaries of the Member are withheld. The staff continue to serve," Velasco explained.
The Secretary General also maintained that it is up to the plenary to decide if it will name a caretaker for the affected district for the duration of the suspension.
"There is no hard and fast rule on the appointment of a caretaker during the period of suspension. This is within the full discretionary authority of the plenary." Velasco said.