• Senate panel postpones Malampaya probe anew

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    THE Senate blue ribbon committee has postponed the inquiry into the P900-million Malampaya fund controversy set for September 25, further raising suspicions that it is trying to shield allies of the administration who may be implicated in the fund mess.

    Committee chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd said the hearing had to be delayed because two resource persons–Commission on Audit Chairman (COA) Grace Pulido-Tan and COA Assistant Commissioner Susan Garcia– are not available.

    “We believe that it is best to start the hearing with the official government report, in this case the official report is the report of the Commission on Audit,” he said in a radio interview.

    This prompted opposition lawmaker Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito to criticize Guingona, saying the Malampaya probe has been pending for almost a year.

    It was Ejercito who filed a resolution calling for a Senate inquiry into the alleged Malampaya fund scam last year.

    “Once again the committee has shown us that if the subject of the investigation is an ally of this administration, it can come up with an excuse not to pursue the probe,” he said.

    Opposition lawmakers and militant members of the House of Representatives have been calling for the probe of the Malampaya fund mess, prompting Guingona to announce last month that he will open the inquiry on September 25.

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