Lawmakers should not seek special treatment, says Palace

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2017 01:02 PM | Updated as of Sep 20 2017 12:36 PM

House Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas and President Rodrigo Duterte. File/Composite

MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday appealed to lawmakers to practice a modest lifestyle and avoid seeking special treatment, after one of the leaders of the House of Representatives suggested that lawmakers must be made immune from minor traffic violations.

House Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas on Monday said the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority should give lawmakers “parliamentary immunity” from minor traffic violations, noting that heavy traffic has affected the work of some of his colleagues.

Fariñas explained that the immunity 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.

Reacting to Fariñas’ suggestion, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said: “The President himself continues to observe a modest lifestyle and he seeks no special treatment whether inside our outside the Palace.”

“We hope our colleagues in Congress, especially our allies, can bring themselves to do the same,” Abella added.

The House transportation committee was drilling down on the causes and effects of traffic woes when Fariñas brought up the issue. He said 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.