BUHAY Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza criticized the manner with which the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has been conducting its investigation into the alleged wrongdoings of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
“It is obvious that the Senate investigation being conducted against Vice President Binay is politically motivated. They are hitting the frontrunner of the 2016 elections,” Atienza said during the Opposing Views program aired over 9TV.
“The Senate is not the right forum to investigate these allegations. We have institutions like the Sandiganbayan and the Ombudsman, which are the constitutional bodies tasked to handle investigations. Ang trabaho ng Senado ay ang gumawa ng mga batas at hindi ang mag-imbestiga. Kung meron kang ebidensya, meron tayong Ombudsman na may Constitutional mandate upang mag imbestiga sa mga ganitong kaso [The job of senators is to create laws, not to investigate. If you have evidence, there’s the Ombudsman which has the mandate to look into these cases],” Atienza added.
Atienza said that as a legislator himself, he respects “the right, nay, the duty, of lawmakers to investigate pressing issues impinging on public interest in aid of legislation.” However, he stressed, the blue ribbon inquiry being held by Senators Antonio Trillanes 4th and Alan Peter Cayetano is a “needless waste of resources, since the matter is already pending with the Office of the Ombudsman.”
“There are more important and pressing problems that need to be addressed right now such as the mass transport system, particularly the MRT which frequently breaks down and is in dire need of rehabilitation; the deteriorating peace and order conditions; the continuing congestion of our ports which are affecting the prices as well as the supply of basic commodities. The biggest issue, the misuse of funds under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) seem to have been forgotten,” Atienza said.
The lawmaker urged the public to be more discerning as they watch how these investigations are being conducted.
“We should not be carried away by what we see or hear during this investigation. We should also look into the motive of the people conducting the investigation. We should follow due process so that the rule of law will prevail. In this way, our democracy will be strengthened,” Atienza stressed.