Live modestly. This was Malacañang’s directive to its allies in the House of Representatives in light of a congressman’s petition seeking traffic-violation immunity for lawmakers.
In a news briefing on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto C. Abella said lawmakers should take a cue from President Duterte, who, he said, leads a simple life in spite of being the highest leader of the land. “The President himself continues to observe a modest lifestyle and he seeks no special treatment, whether inside or outside the Palace,” Abella said.
The statement was in response to Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas’s petition for parliamentary immunity from minor traffic violations. Fariñas on Monday called on the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to grant legislators immunity from traffic violations, saying interruption on the road delays their attendance in sessions in the lower chamber.
To this, Abella said, the “law is law” and “it should be blind to all”. “We hope our colleagues in Congress, especially our allies, can bring themselves to do the same [modest lifestyle],” Abella said.
However, there was no instruction yet from Malacañang to the DOTr to junk the traffic-violation immunity petitioned by Fariñas.
An instruction from Malacañang seems to be necessary, as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is keen on granting the immunity. The MMDA said since it is the request of the House, then the chairman of the MMDA would back it.