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Go reminds colleagues in Senate: I am not your student

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 6/4/2020 DONA MAGSINO,GMA News
Christopher Go in a suit holding a flower: During President Duterte's speech Feb. 6, 2020 Screencap: RTVM During President Duterte's speech Feb. 6, 2020 Screencap: RTVM

Neophyte Senator Christopher "Bong" Go on Thursday reminded his fellow lawmakers in the chamber that they are all equal and that he is not a student, after he delivered a privilege speech and declined to entertain any question.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon raised a parliamentary question on the practice of not allowing any interpellation.

"I just want to place on record that prior to this Congress, there was no such practice of not accepting or not allowing interpellation. Because historically and by tradition, the Senate has always been known to be the arena where the policies of the national government are debated whether through law, resolutions or privilege speeches," Drilon said.

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Senate President Vicente Sotto III agreed with Drilon but noted that a senator cannot be forced to yield the floor to another.

"Usually the practice is that when you rise, you have to answer the questions or you have to have allow yourself to be interpellated... We cannot force anyone to yield the floor to anyone once he rises, unfortunately," Sotto said.

After the veteran senators exchanged experiences in the past Congresses, Go welcomed the reminder but also gave them a piece of advice.

"The observation of the Minority Floor Leader is well noted. Thank you very much for the reminder but it depends on the issue, I'm willing to be interpellated eh itong issue na ito is my privilege and siguro kung baka matatagalan tayo, mauubos ang oras natin dito," Go said.

"Remember that we are colleagues here, we are elected by the people and we are all senators. I am not your student, and you are not my proctor," he added.

Drilon, nonetheless, placed it on record that he respects the privileges of his fellow statesmen and that he is just curious on the matter of entertaining questions while on the floor.

"I recognize parliamentary rules, I recognize privileges of the senator on the floor. We do not question that. I just want to know if this in the new normal in this Congress," he said.

"I don't think it is. Definitely not," Sotto responded.

Go delivered a privilege speech on Thursday slamming the government's slow distribution of the death and sickness benefits to the health workers affected by COVID-19. —LDF, GMA News

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