By Hannah Torregoza
Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Thursday urged incoming neophyte senators to first learn the ropes of lawmaking.
Drilon, a former Senate leader, made the call amid concerns over the struggle of some senior members of the upper chamber over incoming neophyte senators who are competing against them for certain posts.
The minority chief said it is the usual procedure that senior members of the Senate get a first equity on committees as part of their tradition.
“I’ve been in the Senate for more than 20 years; tradition and seniority are always respected,” Drilon told reporters in an interview.
“Major committees are always given to senior senators: blue ribbon, health, education, etc. The senior ones would have preference and that’s the tradition,” he added.
Nevertheless, he said, it is up to the incoming Senate majority bloc to decide whether or not they should break from the tradition.
“Of course, as I’ve said, it’s up to the majority whether or not they follow this tradition,” he said.
“But the incoming senators, maybe they should, as we say, learn the ropes first of how lawmaking in the senate runs,” he stressed.
Earlier, Senate President Vicente Sotto III admitted that he is having a problem over four committees that are up for grabs—the blue ribbon committee, health, education, and public services.
Sotto said it is important to build a consensus among the members and “talk to those who would be willing to forego their committees and offer another committee.”
But Sotto said that in deciding the chairmanships, the majority bloc will maintain the tradition in the Senate which they call the equity of the incumbent.
“They are here for the next six years, so we call them the incumbents and there is a tradition in the Senate that we call the equity of the incumbent in choosing the chairmanships,” Sotto explained in an interview.
“They have work that they have started, they have to continue most of the bills that they started hearing or filed, therefore, that is the reason for that, the equity,” he stressed.