THE Palace on Tuesday told administration allies in Congress to refrain from seeking special treatment and to remain “modest,” like President Rodrigo Duterte himself, one day after Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas urged traffic authorities to go easy on legislators if they violate traffic rules.
“The President himself continues to observe a modest lifestyle and he seeks no special treatment inside and outside the Palace. He hopes our colleagues in Congress, especially our allies, can bring themselves to do the same,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said.
He also said nobody is exempted from traffic laws.
“Law is law and it should be blind to all,” he said.
The President himself has expressed his disapproval over special car plates given to Cabinet secretaries and the use of sirens by government officials.
Fariñas drew flak after he asked Metro Manila Development Authority officials to cut lawmakers some slack because they had important work to do.
“If they introduce themselves as congressmen, don’t bring them to the station because they won’t be able to perform their functions,” Fariñas said in Filipino during a hearing Monday on possible traffic solutions, particularly duringthe upcoming holiday season.
“For example, he runs over and injures someone. If he introduces himself as a congressman, he shouldn’t be arrested immediately. Our rules state that as soon as the session ends, the Speaker will surrender him to you,” Fariñas said.
Fariñas said immunity from suit is written into the Constitution, particularly for presidents, and this was why lawmakers were seeking the same privileges when it came to traffic rules.