MANILA - Former Negrense rebel leader-turned Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Stephen Paduano yesterday slammed the Makabayan bloc lawmakers for staging a walk out of the House of Representatives plenary hall, while President Benigno Aquino III was about to deliver his State of the Nation Address Monday, saying it was “disrespect” to the institution they are serving.
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, also a Negrense, led the group of left-leaning party-list solons, who walked out of the plenary hall after the singing of the National Anthem. They are the lawmakers who filed the impeachment complaints against Aquino, in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program controversy.
Paduano, former national commander of the Revolutionary Proletarian Amy-Alex Boncayao Brigade, said the House of Representatives, where the Makabayan bloc lawmakers are serving, and the Senate, had invited Aquino to deliver his SONA.
“He (Aquino) should be given a little respect,” Paduano stressed.
If they did not want to hear the SONA, then, they should not have shown up, he said.
Colmenares said the walkout was in unity with the Filipino people in the fight against corruption. The Makabayan solons joined the protest outside the Batasang Pambansa complex.
He called it a dignified walkout, done before the President started his SONA.
They don’t deserve to be called members of Congress, said Paduano, whose proclamation as partylist representative was vehemently questioned and criticized by leftist lawmakers and progressive groups. The New People’s Army in Negros also condemned his proclamation, and called Abang Lingkod a bogus party-list group.
The Makabayan bloc is composed of partylist groups Bayan Muna, Anak Pawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers.
Asked if they could be sanctioned by the House leadership, Paduano said “while there is no clear cut policy on their actuation, it is high time for Congress to review its House rules”, pointing out that the SONA was attended by foreign dignitaries and diplomats.*GPB
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