OUTGOING Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero yesterday insisted that members of the Senate should be given committee chairmanships based on their abilities and not on seniority in the Upper Chamber.
“Ang pagtingin ko at dapat pagtingin sa bawat miyembro ay pantay. Susukatin na lang sa kakayanan, adbokasiya at sipag na magtrabaho,” Escudero said.
In making the statement, Escudero is going against the “equity of the incumbent” which other veteran senators are using as basis in the distribution of chairmanships.
The senator claimed that if the Senate will always follow the equity of the incumbent rule, it will create more problems and disagreements especially in the treatment of comebacking senators.
“Pare-pareho naman silang senador. Pare-pareho silang hinalal ng taumbayan,” insisted Escudero.
He further added that in his 21 years as a lawmaker, he has not experienced undergoing such tradition since each Congress has different processes.
But he agreed that being a chairman of a committee should be deliberated on and decided by the majority of the senators.
Current Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III has said that he will follow the time-honored tradition of equity of the incumbents if he continues to stay in his present position.
The incoming 18th Congress will have 17 incumbent members, including six who were re-elected in the May 13 midterm polls, most of whom have their own committees in the 17th Congress.