Statement of Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Sen. Leila De Lima’s participation on teleconferencing Senate sessions

May 5, 2020
Sen. Kiko Pangilinan with Sen. Leila De Lima

We appeal to the sense of compassion and understanding of the Senate leadership and our colleagues to allow Senator Leila de Lima to participate in plenary sessions through teleconferencing, which has a bipartisan support during this period of COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Leila will be an added voice of knowledge and wisdom in discussions of measures. As can be attested by Senate records, she continues to file bills and resolutions and constantly issues hand-written statements on pressing issues of the day even while in detention.

Sen. Leila should be allowed to continuously perform her mandate and serve the Filipino people.

What the Supreme Court earlier ruled against is the physical presence of the person in detention in sessions and committee meetings. It did not prohibit a person from participation in sessions and hearings through electronic means.

May mga naihain nang resolusyon noong 17th at 18th Congress kaugnay nito ngunit lahat ay hindi naaprubahan. Madalas ay inihahambing ito sa kaso ni dating Congressman Jalosjos at Senator Trillanes kung saan hindi sila pinayagan ng Korte Suprema makadalo sa mga Senate at House session nung sila ay nakakulong pa. 

Iba ang kaso ni Senator Leila. Una sa lahat, walang teleconferencing sa Senate Rules nung panahon na nakakulong sina Sen. Trillanes. Nais natin dumalo si Sen. Leila sa mga Senate session sa pamamagitan ng teleconferencing na aprubado na bilang bahagi ng Senate Rules. Ibig sabihin ay hindi nya kailangang lumabas mula sa Camp Crame para makinig, magsalita, at bumoto. May teknolohiya na tayo ngayon para maging posible ito. 

Kahit nasa kulungan ay masipag pa ring nagtra-trabaho si Senator Leila. Kung bibigyan sya ng pagkakataong makalahok sa mga Senate session via teleconferencing, mas marami pa ang kanyang magagawa. 

Hayaan nating matupad ni Senator Leila ang kanyang mandato bilang Senador. 

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