Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves described on Monday (October 5) as “null and void” the proceedings of the House of Representatives on September 30, after the House plenary did not recognize the point of order he raised during the voting on the offer of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to resign amid the raging Speakership ter-sharing dispute.
He said by not recognizing his move to raise a point of order, his colleagues in the House were not following the parliamentary procedures, and in effect, disrespecting the lower chamber as an institution and whole nation as well.
“I raised a point of order. they did not recognize the point of order. You know in parliamentary procedure, when you raised a point order, you should be recognized bakit hindi nila ako nirecognize (why they didn’t recognize me), so it means null and void ang proceedings na yun (the proceedings are null and void), dahil foul ‘yun (because that’s foul).
During the online press conference, Teves presented a video of plenary proceedings on September 30 showing that he was raising a point of order, as the plenary was about to count the votes of House members who rejected Cayetano’s offer to resign.
“It is not about numbers, it is about the process. Mali ang proseso, hindi naman puwede natin magickin ang process, dapat resputuhin natin ang Kongreso as an institution and the process itself. (The process is wrong, they cannot just work their magic on the process) Para sa akin, bastos ang ginawa nila (For me, what they did is disrepectful), parang binabastos natin ang bansang Pilipinas (it seems that they are disrespecting our country),” he said.
Teves was among the lawmakers who joined the plenary session through Zoom videoconferencing.
“That is why there is parliamentary procedure to put order, kaya hindi puwedeng magic na lang mangyari ang gusto nila (they cannot just make magic to cater to their interest). Kung nananalo sila sa bilangan, walang problema yun, [pero] hindi naman [dapat] dayain yung proseso. (If they won during the voting, there’s no problem, but they should not manipulate the process). Ang ginawa nila sa aking pandadaya ng proseso ‘yun at hindi ako ang dinadaya nila kundi ang bansang Pilipinas (By manipulating the process, they were not cheating me, but the Philippine country),” he said.
He said after his motion was not recognized, he phoned up House Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez, who told him, that the “system is not perfect.”
“Nevertheless the Filipino should not suffer for the inadequacies of the system, A point of order is a point of order whether you are in Zoom , whether magkaharap kayo or not (you face each other or not), parliamentary procedures should be followed. Kung hindi mafollow ang proceso , null and void ang proceedings (If the process was not followed, the proceedings were null and void.),” Teves said.
In a media interview, Teves showed a video showing that those attending the Sept. 30 session were muted, including himself.
He even questioned the attendance during the voting last week, saying that the all 299 House members cannot be presumed or deemed present every time.
Teves said “he did not agree” that the plenary will automatically record the presence of all House members, saying that it is not just.