By: Elena Grace Flores
PhilStar reported: “Senators-elect Manny Pacquiao and Leila de Lima failed to attend the orientation for new senators on Monday. Pacquiao’s Chief of Staff Kit Mercado explained that the outgoing Sarangani congressman had to fly to General Santos City to attend a meeting with local government officials. ”We don’t know the concern [that made him go] there, but he is supposed to be really here,” Mercado told the media. Pacquiao earlier promised to erase his tag as one of the members of Congress who missed the most sessions”.
On the other hand, De Lima explained that she was already previously briefed, on a one-on-one session, by a Senate official. New senators and their staff were briefed about legislative work, maintenance, salaries and security in the Senate – but prior to that, Pacquiao’s team already went through a nine-day course briefing including overviews on key issues in governance and nation building.
Perhaps, it’s just a matter of priorities as far as De Lima and Pacquiao are concerned. In their job, it’s not only attendance that matters – especially when other more important tasks are in the pipe line like providing public service to your constituents.