BUHAY Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Tuesday said he welcomes the challenge posed by former senator Rene Saguisag’s filing of a complaint in the House ethics committee against him and fellow congressman Jonathan dela Cruz.
“We have never been easily intimidated by court cases and complaints, especially when it comes to fighting for the truth, what is in accordance with the Constitution and what is good for the country,” Atienza said in a statement.
The complaint stemmed from the case of treason and inciting to sedition that Atienza and dela Cruz together with former ambassador Jose Romero Jr. and lawyer Jeremy Gatdula filed with the Manila Prosecutor’s Office against the government peace panel that crafted the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
Saguisag is the lawyer of the government peace panel.
“It saddens me because Rene Saguisag is a good friend and he is also known as a patriotic Filipino. We fought together against the Marcos dictatorship. Even if we were imprisoned by the military, it did not deter us from fighting for democracy and the truth. What is unethical about protecting our sovereignty and territorial integrity? What is unethical about upholding our Constitution? I don’t understand what he meant about prosecutorial terrorism,” Atienza said.
He pointed out that the peace panel gave in to all the demands of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, including having their own police force, their own budget of P75 billion and their own constitutional bodies such as Commission on Elections and Commission on Audit, among other questionable and unconstitutional provisions in the BBL.
Atienza said there is nothing unethical about filing a complaint in court about the peace negotiations that he deemed to be unconstitutional and tantamount to a declaration of war against the government.
“This BBL puts us in jeopardy and they threw it on our laps to tackle. We think that as lawmakers we should ensure that it will be constitutional. More so, we cannot rely on some of our fellow lawmakers who have seemingly changed their stand after meeting with the President in Malacañang. We are confident that the House leadership led by Speaker [Feliciano] Belmonte [Jr.] will not give this complaint any importance,” he added.