• Miriam files complaint vs. Enrile

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    SENATOR Miriam Santiago on Monday formally filed a complaint against Senate minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile for disorderly behavior in connection with the personal attacks made by the latter in his privileged speech delivered last month.

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    However, since the Senate has not yet organized the Committee on Ethics, Santiago forwarded her complaint to Senate majority leader Alan Peter Cayetano who also heads the committee on rules.

    In her complaint letter, Santiago said Enrile violated sections 93 and 94 of the Senate rules.

    Section 94 states that no senator under any circumstances shall use offensive or improper language against another senator or against any public institution.

    Section 93 on the other hand states that “acts and language which offend a senator or any public institution shall be deemed unparliamentary.”

    She noted that the Senate may punish any member for disorderly behavior. With the concurrence of two-thirds of the entire membership, a member may suspend or expel a member based on section 97 of the Senate rules.

    Enrile said that the charges hurled against him by Santiago is the work of a “deranged mind.”

    Santiago has said that Enrile was the mastermind of the pork barrel scam.

    Last week, the feisty senator also took the floor and called Enrile a smuggling king and a womanizer.

    In a separate letter to Senate President Franklin Drilon, Santiago asked the Senate leadership to organize the Senate Ethics Committee in order to look into her complaint against Enrile.

    The senate ethics and privilege committee handles all matters relating to the conduct, rights, privileges, safety, dignity, integrity and reputation of the Senate and its members.

    Drilon said senators are reluctant to accept chairmanship of the ethics committee.

    “The Ethics Committee is a discipline court, so that is how difficult this issue is, but we will not shirk away from our obligation to prosecute,” he told reporters.

    The Senate president said he already asked Cayetano to inform the members of the chamber on the need to organize the committee.

    Senator Vicente Sotto 3rd, has expressed willingness to head the committee, but he has no intention to volunteer for the position.

    Drilon said that although Sotto is qualified for the post, the public may question his partiality because of his close association with Enrile.

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