Estrada on decorum comments: Feedback essential in democratic process

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Sunday said that comments on the “lack of decorum” in the Senate must be taken as constructive feedback and must be addressed collectively by its members.

Estrada made the statement after former Senate president Franklin Drilon appealed to some senators to mind their conduct during sessions and hearings, pointing out their “lack of decorum,” which could affect the chamber’s credibility and prestige.

Estrada, a former Senate president pro tempore from 2007 to 2013, acknowledged “the importance of maintaining professionalism and respectful conduct within our esteemed institution.”

“I believe there are steps we can take to address these concerns and uphold the integrity of the Senate. There exist some provisions in the Rules of the Senate governing unparliamentary acts and language, and needless to say that a senator may also be called to order for a transgression of the Rules,” he said in a statement.

“The current Senate is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds, ideologies, and experiences. It is crucial to understand that the dynamics within the Senate reflect the diverse backgrounds and convictions of its members,” he added.

Estrada said senators should strive to be role models of professionalism and should be mindful of their words and actions, which may affect the public’s trust and the Senate’s reputation as a whole.

“Addressing the criticisms of a lack of decorum within the Senate requires a collective effort from the leadership and individual senators,” he said.

“Constructive feedback is an essential part of our democratic process, and the lack of decorum in our chamber has been a cause for concern. As public servants entrusted with the responsibility of representing our constituents, we must demonstrate the values we hold dear,” he added.

Aside from Estrada, Senator Robinhood Padilla also responded to Drilon’s remarks saying that the “new Senate is not taking its job lightly,” adding that the senators who seem to be “noisy” are only doing their jobs and are not violating any law or defying any rules of the Senate.