Press Release
October 4, 2006


Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, fielding questions from the Senate media, said that the recent heated arguments between Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. has raised the issue of whether the so-called cloture rule of the Senate can be invoked in practice.

The Senate Rules of Procedure contains a provision for closing a debate. This is called the cloture rule. This is the law, but in practice it is never invoked, because senators do not wish to be muffled and they observe a quid pro quo on the matter, she said.

Santiago said the Sen. Enrile could invoke the cloture rule, thus effectively muzzling Sen. Pimentel and other senators who wish to extend the period of interpellation on the Anti-Terrorist Bill.

Sen. Enrile can invoke the cloture rule, but the result will probably be that the Senate President will call a caucus and try to effect a compromise between the two camps, she said.

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