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Special treatment for congressmen? Live modestly, Palace says

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and other Congress leaders earlier told the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to exempt lawmakers to accord them immunity whenever they violate minor traffic laws. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, File 

MANILA, Philippines — Members of the House of Representatives are encouraged to live a modest lifestyle without special treatment like President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Tuesday.

This comment was made following the suggestion of House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and other Congress leaders to exempt congressmen whenever they violate minor traffic laws.

"The president himself continues to observe a modest lifestyle and he seeks no special treatment whether inside or outside the Palace," presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.

Citing Section 11, Article VI of the Constitution, Fariñas said senators and members of the House have parliamentary immunity.

“A senator or member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while Congress is in session. No member shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in Congress or in any committee thereof,” Fariñas told the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority on Monday.

READ: Congressmen above traffic rules – Fariñas

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Abella, however, stressed that congressmen are not above traffic rules.

"Law is law... and it should be blind to all," Abella said.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said that lawmakers should be examples of following the law.

Zarate noted that employees and staff of lawmakers and other government officials are also affected by the traffic situation in Metro Manila.

RELATED: Other people get stuck in traffic too, Fariñas told

— Patricia Lourdes Viray

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