Press Release
August 20, 2015

Drilon to Umali: Don't interfere with the affairs of the Senate

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today chided Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali for interfering in the internal affairs of the Senate.

Drilon's statement came after Umali proposed a major overhaul of the Senate committees once Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero choose to run for a higher office in 2016.

Drilon, also the Liberal Party's vice chairman, said his partymate Umali's statements "constitute a serious breach in the long-standing tradition of inter-parliamentary courtesy."

Drilon said that Umali, as a fellow member of Congress, would do well to stop meddling on the internal matters of the Senate."

"I strongly urge my partymate Umali to observe inter-parliamentary courtesy and mind his own business. I am sure that my partymate knows better than to act like a blabbermouth," said Drilon.

"We must refrain from making statements which do not help the already toxic political environment," he added.

Drilon said he is strongly opposed to Umali's assertion that prospective candidates in the 2016 presidential elections Poe and Escudero should be stripped of their respective chairmanships of Senate committees.

"Our legislative work in the Senate is immune from partisanship, and I will see to it that it stays that way," Drilon stressed.

"His suggestion is simply absurd, given that we still have to finish a lot of our legislative priorities in the 16th Congress. We have a close and healthy working relationship in the Senate as evident from a number of measures the chamber has continuously passed," said Drilon.

The Senate chief said that with less than a year left, he still expects the senators and their respective committees to continue working on pending reform measures of national importance that the Senate has promised the public.

The Senate leader said that regardless of their political plans, he is confident that Poe and Escudero will continue to effectively man their posts, given the crucial functions these committees to public interests.

Poe chairs three Senate committees--public information and mass media; public order and dangerous drugs; and the joint committee on the Human Security Act, while Escudero, is at the helm of three Senate committees--environment and natural resources, and joint committees on the Clean Water Act and Chainsaw Act.

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