AN official of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) blasted pro-administration legislators for sudden change in their demeanor in the Senate inquiry into the allegedly overpriced Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) that implicated Senate President Franklin Drilon and other government officials.
“Why the change in demeanor? [Is it because a Malacanang ally is in the hot seat]?” UNA interim president Rep. Tobias Tiangco of Navotas City (Metro Manila) asked over the weekend.
Tiangco said administration allies gave Drilon an easy time in a hearing last week, in contrast to the treatment of some resource persons in investigation of the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2. The ICC is supposedly Drilon’s pet project.
“Ang bait naman ng mga senador ngayon kumpara sa mga hearing tungkol sa Makati City Hall Building 2 [How kind the senators are compared with their behavior when they were probing the Building 2 case]. Senate President Drilon had an easy time on the chair,” he noted.
Tiangco earlier said UNA will be watching how the ICC investigation is conducted.
“We are also interested whether Sen. Drilon’s supporters will show the same rapid and aggressive stance in ferreting out the ‘the truth’,” he added.
Tiangco likened the Binay inquiry to a game of basketball where the senators are the referees, coaches and scorers.
The way the ICC hearing was conducted, he said, was in stark contrast to how Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th and Alan Peter Cayetano used the Senate panel to intimidate, harass and threaten resource persons in the Building 2 probe.
Tiangco added that people saw how the senators behaved and fawned in the presence of Drilon–and the reverential treatment of Drilon who was allowed to butt in, make snide remarks and interject.
He reacted to statements of Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, who said Drilon had set a good example by showing up at the hearing.
Vice President Jejomar Binay earlier declined the Senate’s invitation for him to appear at hearings on his alleged amassing of wealth.
Tiangco also hit Trillanes for his statements made during inspection of the Makati Science High School building, also a target of the ongoing Senate probe of alleged overpricing of buildings in the city during the term of then-Mayor Jejomar Binay.