Having served as Senate President Pro Tempore for six years (from 2007 to 2013) and presiding over countless plenary session proceedings, Estrada also said there should be “respectful conduct within our esteemed institution.”
“I have, as the presiding officer, handled instances where emotions run high during debates and we, officers of the Senate intervene to restore order and ensure that proceedings continue respectfully and productively,” Estrada said.
“I believe there are steps we can take to address these concerns and uphold the integrity of the Senate,” he added.
He noted there exists 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.
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.
Each member, he said, should take responsibility for their words and actions, taking into consideration the impact they have on the Senate’s reputation and public trust.
“We, senators, should strive to be role models of professionalism, and set an example for our colleagues and future generations of legislators.”
Amid criticisms of a lack of decorum within the Senate, Estrada also said this requires a collective effort from the leadership and individual senators.
“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 said.