- About Us
Admin neglecting priorities over Corona trial - lawmakers
In The Press Posted on January 31st, 2012.
MANILA, Philippines -- Lawmakers on Wednesday said the administration’s preoccupation with the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona was distracting it from other urgent matters, such as addressing poverty and ensuring the passage of priority legislation.
Gabriela party-list Representative Emmi de Jesus said the common reaction of ordinary people when asked for their views on the impeachment trial is: “Nakakain ba ‘yan (Can you eat that)?” "
I am reminded of a quote attributed to Albert Einstein: ‘An empty stomach is not a good political adviser’,” De Jesus said.
“It is not enough that the Aquino administration has fed the Filipino public the ongoing Corona impeachment case. It has to create more jobs and rescind its anti-people economic policies so as to allow the increasing number of hungry Filipinos to feed themselves," she stressed.
A recent survey of the Social Weather Stations showed that in the last quarter of 2011, 22.5%, or an estimated 4.5 million families, experienced involuntary hunger at least once in the past three months.
In a separate statement, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, the former House Minority leader, said the government’s focus on the trial has taken its toll on the economy and legislative work. “The collateral damage of the impeachment proceedings on governance and legislation is becoming inevitable,” he said.
“The implementation of national polices to address poverty and hunger may be stalled and the bailout of the fledging economy may fall at the roadside as all guns of the Aquino administration are aimed at the Chief Justice’s head.”
He noted that legislative work in the House of Representatives has stagnated because of the number of congressmen involved in the impeachment trial.
Lagman’s observations were shared by several members of the minority bloc, who called on the House leadership to do something about attendance.
"We've never had a quorum since we opened last January 16,” Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, who replaced Lagman, told a news conference.
“I made that predication that this (impeachment trial) is totally counter-productive. Now it’s happening," he added.
At the same news conference, Zambales Representative Ma. Milagros Magsaysay said few committee hearings have been scheduled since last month. “Even if you look at the schedule of committee hearings, we hardly have committee hearings. Like today, we only have one technical working group meeting on energy and two other committees. That's it,” she said.
“In plenary, if you look at the order of business of the day, we barely tackle bills … We always adjourn prior to 6 p.m. I think,” she added. (Lira Dalangin-Fernandez)