Different in old Senate

/ 10:11 PM February 18, 2013

An urban legend in the Senate I dimly recall was that once Senator/Kuya Teroy Laurel and I had an exchange on whether our  merienda in the Senate comprised additional compensation under Section 10 of Article VII of the Constitution.

As chair of the Senate ethics committee I had to resolve the doubt or issue against myself. I stopped having  merienda  in the Senate where the parsimony of Uncle Jovy (then Senate President Jovito Salonga) was equally legendary. He would provide Sunflower biscuits, reminding me of how we would call the incumbent president then, Corazon Aquino, “Cory-pot.” [A play on the Filipino word for tightwad—Ed.] I brought my own  baon  in my bag.


I could only eat my heart out every time I would go to the Batasan where a quorum for succulent meals was never a problem.

Maybe our time is lost and gone forever. When I ran for senator and won in 1987, I did not have to spend a single centavo of my own. The people carried me.


The Constitution says all appropriation measures can originate exclusively in the House of Representatives.

Nothing gives the Senate President and the Speaker the power to be generous with taxpayers’ (not their) money.

I know underpaid lawmakers and their needy staff have holiday and other needs. Car-less Sen. Mike Tamano and I needed vehicles, but when the Senate so provided, the public howled, and it retreated. Needy but not greedy, I had to leave the Senate in 1992. I could not have Sunflower and rely on my wife’s Mondragon pay forever.



[email protected]

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Government, politics, Senate
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.