By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA (19-Sept-2012/PNA) – Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. finally endorsed on Monday night his committee report on House Bill 4820 dividing Camarines Sur but the absence of Senator Antonio ‘Sonny’ Trilllanes IV derailed an attempt to approve it on second reading.
Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, enumerated all the 248 amendments including recommendation to separate the province’s fourth district that shall be known as the province of Nueva Camarines.
Trilllanes, a Bicolano senator, made reservation to interpolate but he failed to attend Monday session due to foot injury.
With this, Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada inquired Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III if they have to wait for Trillanes to interpolate before approving the bill.
Sotto explained that the Senate by tradition and practice, the chamber accedes to the request of a member who makes reservation to interpolate.
”That’s the normal case although every now and then, we do practice the fact in a case like we are having now, we may push through and go on with the procedures we have to do depending on the chairman of the committee that is being discussed and then without prejudice, to allowing the member of the senate interpolate in another time,” Sotto said.
Estrada said the absence of ‘just one senator’ should not prevent the Senate from approving a local bill, insisting the Senate should not deprive the people Camarines Sur from deciding to themselves the future of the province.
”So are we going to wait for him until he appears here in the Senate? This particular local bill has been languishing in the Senate for several months already. Are we going to wait for one senator, just for one senator, for this bill not to be approved and to deprive the people of Camarines Sur?,” Estrada said.
Estrada was supported by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile who said the bill will never go through if it will not be approved before Congress takes a break on September 21 to Oct. 8 to give way to the filing of certificate of candidacy.
”Are we ready to do that, to veto a people simply because a member of this chamber do not come here because he has hard foot or hard ego?” Enrile asked.
Upon hearing Enrile’s comment, Estrada moved to approve the bill in second reading but Marcos quickly took the podium to oppose the motion.
”I object to the motion. I think the general rule in this chamber that we allow everyone to say their piece at any length that they want to do so, to ask any question and so I think we should stay with that,” Marcos said.
Enrile attempted to divide the chamber but due to lack of quorum, Sotto decided to adjourn the session until Tuesday. There only six senators present that also include Senator Teofisto ‘TG’ Guingona III and Serge Osmena III.
In his committee report 387, Marcos recommended for the separation of the fourth district that will be called Nueva Camarines instead of dividing into two the whole province which is composed of four districts.
The Camarines Sur’s fourth district is composed of City of Iriga and municipalities of Baao, Balatan, Bato, Buhi, Bula and Nabua.
Representatives Luis Villafuerte of third district, Rolando Andaya Jr. of first district and Arnulfo Fuentebella of fourth district were present when the Senate failed to approve the bill in second reading.
Villafuerte’s son Gov. LRay Villafuerte opposed the division of Camarines Sur. (PNA)