Lawmakers locked out for missing House roll call

By: Inquirer.net July 25,2017 - 10:18 PM

Lawmakers were locked out of the Plenary Hall of the House of Representatives for being late for Tuesday’s session, in an unprecedented move by the House leadership to instill discipline among its members.

Reporters spotted some lawmakers passing by the Plenary Hall after the doors were locked at 4 p.m. for the roll call, opting not to attend the day’s session.

The leadership made good its promise to lock out lawmakers late for the daily roll call for the second regular session of the 17th Congress.

A quorum was declared after the roll call showed that 226 members were present.

During the hearing, Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza lauded Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas for their resolve to prevent tardiness during regular sessions.

“We hope this display of leadership would continue to make us more productive,” Atienza said. “Speaker Alvarez and Majority Leader Fariñas should be commended for this.”

In the previous Congress, Atienza constantly called for a quorum check.

Members who made it to the 4 p.m. roll call gave themselves a hearty applause.

The session days during the the tail-end of the 16th Congress failed to meet a quorum due to the habitual absence of lawmakers, which stalled the passage of key bills. The quorum woes happened during the months before the 2016 elections.

The iron-fist style of leadership exercised by Alvarez is a complete turn-around of the style of 16th Congress Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who said he would rather give “estrellas” — stars — to present lawmakers instead of publicly shaming those who were absent.

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TAGS: call, House, Lawmakers, locked, missing, roll
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