Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Fariñas has proposed to give lawmakers ‘parliamentary immunity’ if they commit minor traffic violations.
In a report by ABS-CBN News, Fariñas explained that the immunity may be invoked during session hours, allowing the violating lawmaker to proceed to the House of Representatives but will be surrendered to the proper authorities after the session.
“Pag nagpakilalang congressman siya at maipakitang talagang congressman, huwag niyong dalhin sa presinto. Kapag dinala sa presinto, hindi na siya makakapag-perform ng kanyang functions,” Fariñas said. “Halimbawa nakasagasa. Nasugatan ‘yung tao. Pag nagpakilalang congressman yan, e di saka na hulihihin. Ang aming rules po, pag natapos ang session, isu-surrender ni Speaker ‘yung member.”
In a report by GMA News Online, Fariñas explained that lawmakers are covered by parliamentary immunity, which states that no member of Congress may be held liable for any offense punishable by not more than six years in prison while in session.
“Bakit? Kasi kami ay representatives ng Filipino people. Nai-impeach si Presidente, magbobotahan kami sa committee whether he will be impeached or not,” Fariñas said. “E bibitinin nila ako, titiketan mo, hindi ako makakaboto o hindi kami makakaboto.”
Privilege from Arrest is one of the Parliamentary Immunities that a member of Congress enjoys, citing Section 11, Article VI, of the Constitution:
A Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session. No member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in Congress or in any committee thereof.
This privilege is intended to insure representation of the constituents by the members of Congress.
In a report by Manila Bulletin, MMDA assistant general manager for planning Jojo Garcia said that MMDA chairman Danilo Lim would back the proposal but will be studied first by the MMDA. The proposal will then be sent to the Metro Manila Council (MMC) for approval.
The MMC is the governing board and policy-making body of the MMDA and is composed of the Metro Manila mayors of 16 cities and one municipality.
sources: ABS-CBN News, GMA News Online, Manila Bulletin, Senate.gov.ph