SEVERAL members of the Senate majority bloc viewed the plan of Senator Richard Gordon to file an ethics complaint against colleague Antonio Trillanes 4th as the proper approach in dealing with his behavior in the upper chamber.
Majority leader Vicente Sotto 3rd said that the current situation may not be addressed though intervention and that parliamentary procedures should now be followed.
“I don’t think any intervention can work. We just have to follow parliamentary procedures, period!” Sotto said when asked about his views on the issue between Gordon and Trillanes.
Gordon, chairman of the blue ribbon committee investigating corruption at the Bureau of Customs (BOC), said he would file an ethics complaint against Trillanes for his behavior and would not back out even if the senator apologized to him.
“No way. The time for talking is over,” said Gordon when asked if there was a chance for him to withdraw his plan to file a complaint against Trillanes before the ethics committee.
Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, for his part, said it was time for the Senate to deal with this actuation in order to maintain order in the chamber.
“We practice parliamentary courtesy to avoid occurrence of such incidence. This is very unparliamentary,” Ejercito added.
The senator added he has been voicing out his concerns regarding Trillanes’ actuations towards some senators and was unfortunate that it happened again during the blue ribbon hearing.
“I feel that these kinds of actuations have to be dealt with accordingly. It’s about time so that it doesn’t get out of hand. Senators should practice proper decorum at all times,” he added.
Sen. Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian raised the need for the leadership of the Senate to step in the resolve the matter.
Gatchalian said it would be better if the two concerned senators would be given time to settle the issue among themselves first.
“After this long weekend, heads will be cooler and it’s a good time for the leadership to get both parties to sit down as honorable senators,” he added.
Gatchalian said conflicting opinions would always be present in the Senate, but senators, as honorable members of the chamber must always treat each other with utmost respect.
The two senators were engaged in a heated argument on Thursday at the resumption of the blue ribbon committee investigation on the P6.4 billion “shabu” shipment where Trillanes accused Sotto of lawyering for Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and brother-in-law Manases Carpio, husband of Mayor Sara Duterte.
Trillanes during the meeting moved that Duterte and Carpio be invited in the next hearing for them to be able to clear their names.
Their names were mentioned by Customs “fixer” Mark Taguba as part of the so-called Davao group involved in the “tara” (payoff) system in Customs.
Trillanes said Duterte and Carpio should be investigated and given the chance to clear their names. He added that
the committee should stop “lawyering” for the two.
The senator issued the statement after he overheard Sotto telling Gordon about the need to further study Trillanes’ request since the alleged involvement of Duterte and Carpio in the Customs operation was hearsay.
Sotto clarified that he was not objecting to the motion to invite Duterte and Carpio but that the allegations against them should first be studied.
Trillanes then made a statement about badgering the witness, to which Gordon reacted and asked Trillanes to stop making general statements, which he could not prove.
Gordon then warned Trillanes that he would be cited in contempt for his statements. Trillanes objected and the two started trading insults to each other.
Sotto then stepped in and asked that the hearing be suspended in order to prevent the situation from worsening.