• Senate is not self-destructing

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    We write to shed light on certain issues raised by Rigoberto Tiglao in his August 25, 2014 article titled “Senate is self-destructing.” While we respect and defend Tiglao’s right to air his assessment and political opinions, we wish to set the record straight on the context of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing held last August 20, 2014.

    The Senate’s investigation into the issue of overpricing of a P1.56 billion was prompted by Senate Resolution No. 826 filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, and adopted by the upper chamber. The resolution was clear that the hearing’s sole intention and purpose is “to investigate, in aid of legislation, the alleged P1.601 billion overpricing of the 11-storey new Makati City Hall Building at the average cost of P240,000 per square and related anomalies purportedly committed by former and local officials.”

    The investigation on an issue involving potential abuse of public funds, allegedly made possible by frailties in both law and government regulation, is a legitimate exercise by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee – whose exact mandate is to probe and share with the public possible cases of “malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance in office by officers and employees of the government.. and any matter of public interest on its own initiative or brought to its attention by any member of the Senate.”

    As reflected in SRN 286, “it is the duty of the Philippine legislature to ensure bidding and procurement policies and procedures are adequate to prevent the abuse and misuse of public funds for illicit personal gain, as well as to ensure that public funds are used to benefit the Filipino people.”

    We stress that during the Blue Ribbon Committee hearings, ample time was and will be provided to both panels in the spirit of full transparency. All senators are equally provided opportunities to flesh out facts and to seek the truth from the invited resource persons.

    The Senate has acknowledged that its much treasured public image has taken a hit due to recent controversies, and that the institution needs to win back the nation’s trust through performing its duties. The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, as proven in the past, has always been on top of efforts to expose and end corruption in our democratic set-up, devoid of partisan influence. The August 20 hearing is no different, as the Filipino people will always have the right to demand truth and accountability about graft, corruption and plunder committed by those supposed to serve this nation and its people.

    Sincerely,
    SAMMY SANTOS
    Print Media Director
    Senate of the Philippines
    Republic of the Philippines

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    8 Comments

    1. Those who had connived with the President along with his cabinet members and who had sold their soul to receive illegal funding called “DAP” to impeach a sitting CJ for personal vendetta at the expense of many aggrieved poor has altogether damaged their credibility ,period.

    2. mr santos: whatever you say, i only see that this investigation is only a demolition job. the timing and manner the investigation was done, it’s very obvious. so sad.

    3. bago pa ang hearing, sinabi na ni Trillanes (na naka-tsambang maging senador) na kaya magkakaroon ng hearing ay dahil sa tatakbo nga sa 2016 si VP Binay. From the proceedings of the hearing, very obvious naman na politika lang lahat ito. Ayoko rin kay Binay. Pero kung ganyan sila kumilos out of desperation, kay Binay na lang ako kaysa sa kanila. Mag-isip sila mabuti dahil baka tumaas pa lalo chance ni VP Binay na maging presidente.

    4. I think it’s a sign of political maturity and vibrant democracy. I would appreciate the exposition being made by Senators on any corruption. It shows strenght of character of Trillanes and Cayetano to confront the Binays whose family are very influencial in Makati. Remember the Makati incidence of Junjun Binay when he arrested the 3 Security Guards in Dasmarinas. I would not be concerned if I have not done anything wrong. But so far the people who have been accused are shooting the messengers. Thanks we have people who are wise to go through the investigation process and have gathered strong evidences. The policy of “innocent unless proven guilty still prevail in our country. This is not the case in other country, “you’re guilty unless proven otherwise”. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

    5. Halos lahat na miembro ng Congresso ay lasing sa salapi at kangyarihan. Ang mga TRAPOs ay ginawang negosyo at bigasan ang kanilang pwesto. Ang nagaganap ngayon imbistigasyon sa senado sa issue ng mga Binays vs Trillanes, Cayetano at iba pa, ay tulad sa awayan na mga Hyenas at mga tigre. Politika, salapi at kapangyarihan ang tunay na dahilan kung kaya mahigpit ang paghihimok ng mga magkatunggali. Samantala’y patuloy ang sa sambayanang pagtitiis dahilan sa palpak at ‘di wastong pamamalakad sa mga agencia ng gobyerno. Kailan maginging matino o magbabago ang ugali ng mga tumitimon sa bawat agencia ng gobyerno para sa ikauunlad ng lipunan?

      • The senate hearings, although being made a venue for grandstanding by the senators, are good in the sense that they expose the wrongdoings of our public officials. Without the senate hearings, the people will not be made aware of excesses of the binays. If the cases against binay were not publicized, they could have been easily whitewashed like the previous cases filed against him and his wife which were easily dismissed by the Sandiganbayan even in the presence of strong evidence. Now that the public’s eyes are on them, a case dismissal is unlikely. I hope they fast track the case. And If binay is guilty (as the evidence, the Makati Parking Building, is standing there for everyone to see) let’s put him to jail soon before he can run in the presidential elections which he could easily win by virtue of the PICOs machines.