Tolentino defends senators’ accomplishments in gov’t response to COVID-19 pandemic

Published May 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Francis Tolentino has defended the Senate against criticisms that its members were doing nothing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Francis "Tol" N. Tolentino (Senator Francis Tolentino official Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Francis “Tol” N. Tolentino
(Senator Francis Tolentino official Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

Tolentino delivered on Wednesday a privilege speech addressing anew claims on the Senate’s supposed inaction while the country grapples with the novel coronovirus outbreak.

“Mr. President, ‘yong sinasabi po nila na walang ginagawa ang Senado, ang sagot diyan ay, ‘No’ (on their allegations that the Senate is doing nothing, the response is ‘No’). The Senate has not remained silent, nor has it succumbed to inaction,” Tolentino, speaking in the Senate session hall, said.

In his speech, the neophyte senator lamented the “unjust and disheartening” statements from local government officials and social media users against the Upper Chamber and its members.

“Amidst all the chaos and confusion, amidst the seemingly gloomy search for an antidote, and despite the resounding call for national solidarity and cooperation, there are those who still manage to malign the integrity and commitment of the Senate,” he said.

Negating their critics, he said the Senate has conducted inquiries about the COVID-19 and its effects as early as February. He also cited the special session held last March 23, when they passed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act which gave President Duterte the special powers to augment the government’s COVID-19 response.

Senators, he added, also “braved” the COVID-19 threat, and pushed through with reopening their sessions, and adopting a hybrid set-up, last Monday.

Tolentino then enumerated each of the senators’ efforts with regards to the health crisis.

Senators, who participated in the plenary session thru video conferencing, thanked and supported their colleague in speaking against critics.

One of them was Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, who, in an emotional address over Facebook last April, hit national leaders, including senators, for their supposed inaction on the COVID-19 crisis.

He also claimed that lawmakers were politicking during the coronavirus outbreak.

Senators led by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, hit back at Domagoso, who has not responded since.#