Senator Richard J. Gordon filed on Monday night an ethics complaint against Senator Antonio Trillanes over his repeated display of unparliamentary conducts and disorderly behavior, the latest of which was exhibited during last Thursday's hearing on the smuggling of P6.4-billion worth of shabu from China.
Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee which is conducting the investigation on the shabu shipment, requested the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges to conduct an investigation to the end of penalizing Trillanes accordingly.
"The continuing, schematic and incorrigible abrasive conduct of Sen. Trillanes should be dealt with accordingly, maybe censure is not even enough. He is devoid of proper bearing and demeanor and continuously exhibits unbridled immaturity. It is a series of many acts of defamation, slurring the Senate institution, offensive language, disorderly behavior and conduct which disrupts committee hearings that has caused damage to the institution and its members..." he said.
"It has become a litany of transgressions of people and of calling them names. He has used the Senate as a forum, used his agenda against his enemies and to satisfy his megalomaniac desire for his own self...Truly, it is now opportune to arrest this despicable pattern of behavior which is trifling to this institution," the senator added in the 23-page letter complaint.
Gordon pointed out that all Senators are expected to be the embodiment of competence, integrity, and diligence. He added that as Members of the Senate, they are also expected to conduct themselves in accordance with accepted standards of behavior, and not exhibit abject ignorance of both the Rules of the Senate and proper decorum.
"Mutual respect is paramount if we are to function well. We can disagree, but we cannot afford to be disagreeable and, worse, show the public that the disagreement is based on puffery and pique. Rather, it must always be based on important matters of State," he explained.
Aside from tagging the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee as "Comite de Abswelto" and using offensive and insulting language against Gordon and other senators, several instances when Trillanes displayed unparliamentary acts and conducts were also enumerated in the letter complaint. (Please see attached list)
"This complaint...is, therefore, of primordial importance. It is neither frivolous nor is it being filed out of spite. Rather, this is about maintaining the dignity of the Senate, because all Senators owe the people a public institution that, among others, deserves their respect. The Senate is an assembly of elected officials who meet to discuss policies, investigate in aid of legislation, and make the laws of the State. It is not a forum for chaos and jiggery-pokery," the Blue Ribbon Committee chair stressed.
The Senate, as well as the House of Representatives, is expressly authorized by the Constitution to "punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member." This authority is granted by the Constitution not merely to punish an individual Member, but to protect the institutional integrity of the Senate, its proceedings, and its reputation.
Since 1924, at least five members of Congress have been sanctioned, namely: 1) Senator Jose Alejandrino, 1924; 2) Senate President Jose Avelino, 1949; 3) Congressman Sergio Osmena, Jr., 1960; 4) Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, 1988; and 5) Senator Heherson Alvarez, 1996. (Please see attached list for additional details)
Source: Senate of the Philippines