Cong. Jose Teves to Gatchalian: Senators, House members are co-equal
Cong. Jose Teves to Gatchalian: Senators, House members are co-equal
Cong. Jose Teves to Gatchalian: Senators, House members are co-equal
by Ellicia Del Mundo14 February 2024

Talino at Galing ng Pinoy (TGP) Party-List Rep. Jose Teves Jr. on Wednesday, February 14, said lawmakers in the lower and upper house are co-equal as stated under the 1987 Constitution.

This was Teves Jr.'s remark a week after Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva reportedly belittled party-list representatives.

In an interview during DZRH Damdaming Bayan, Teves said hierarchy does not exist as senators, district congressmen, and party-list representatives are all voted by Filipinos.

"Doon sa Article 6 of 1987 Constitution, walang binibigay o nakasaad na ang Senado at ang mababang kapulungan ay magkaiba ng estado. Hindi ko malaman kung saan niya nakuha yung sinasabi niyang magkaiba ang estado ng Senado at mababang kapulungan. Dahil napakaliwanag naman sa Saligang Batas na equal ang House at Senators," he added.


The congressman also pointed out that party-list representatives are not second-class in the House of Representatives.

Teves said Villanueva, who was a former representative of Citizens' Battle Against Corruption, would not be a senator today without the help of his fellow party-list members.

A manifesto condemning Villanueva's earlier pronouncement was issued by the TGP Party-list, according to the congressman.

"Dahil napakasakit hindi lamang sa party-list. Talagang hindi lang party-list ang medyo nagtampo kay senador. Halos pati ang congressmen ng distrito. Sa part namin, masama ang loob namin. Tinamaan kami sa sinabi ni Sen. Joel Villanueva nang di namin alam kung bakit binanggit niya ang tungkol doon. Kung ang pinag-uusapan lang naman ay ang pagbabago ng Saligang Batas," Teves stressed.


In a statement forwarded to media last February 5, Villanueva said party-list should be "judged by its merits" amidst heated discussion on charter change or amending the Philippine 1987 Constitution.

"Other than the fact that Charter change will be a hard sell, especially before the 2022 elections, the party-list system will have to be judged by its merits because I’ve personally seen how the system has allowed the poor and underrepresented to participate in decision-making," he said.

“I agree and believe that there’s a lot of room for improvement, but the party-list system has reinforced a culture of accountability and provided another layer of checks and balances in our government, that I think cannot be simply ignored and overlooked,” Villanueva, whose father Bro. Eddie Villanueva is part of ACT-CIS partylist.

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