The House committee on constitutional amendments on Wednesday failed to vote on the mode of changing the Charter, after Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert "Ace" Barbers and Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay nearly came to blows.
During the hearing, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia moved for the committee to propose that Congress should convene itself as a constituent assembly, which was met by several opposition, including one from Pichay.
Instead of immediately voting, Pichay suggested that a resolution be made first inviting senators to the House of Representatives before deciding on what mode to use in amending the Constitution.
Pichay stressed that Congress should decide as a body of two chambers.
Pichay, however, was interrupted by Barbers, who called his colleague's suggestion as "stupid and senseless."
While the committee went into a short break, Barbers stood from his seat and went over to Pichay, who was seated across the room.
Barbers confronted Pichay and reiterated his remark that his colleague's suggestion was "stupid" before hurling an expletive at Pichay, who, while still seated - also fired back with an expletive.
As shown on GMA News' Tina Panganiban-Perez's Facebook post, Barber pointed a finger at Pichay and the latter parried Barbers' arm.
Pichay stood up, ready to engage his fellow lawmaker. The two continued hurling expletives at each other, while their colleagues restrained them from futher going after each other.
At this point, Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque Jr., who was also opposed to the voting, moved to adjourn the hearing.
Barbers stormed out of the room, while Pichay remained seated. House committee chairman Rep. Roger Mercado eventually decided to adjourn the hearing.
Barbers apologizes to public, but not to Pichay
Speaking to reporters over the phone, Barbers later admitted his actions were "uncalled for."
He said he was not apologizing to Pichay, but would like to apologize to the public for his behavior.
"Sorry sa taumbayan. Uncalled for iyong ginawa ko. Kasi syempre it was just a verbal altercation. Wala namang physical na nangyari," he said.
"Kung may nasagasaan ako, humingi ako ng patawad. My apology is not to him (Pichay). Mali ko doon ay nagsalita ako ng masama na dala rin ng pagsasalita niya," Barbers added.
This was not the first time Barbers and Pichay ended up at loggerheads with each other. In October 2005, Pichay earned Barber's ire after the former moved to have the latter evicted from their party, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD).
Pichay wanted Barbers out of the party after the Surigao del Norte lawmaker supported an impeachment complaint against their party-mate, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Source: GMA, News5 Everywhere