By Jelly Musico
MANILA, 28Aug2013 (PNA) – Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said instead of hiding behind rules and technicalities, senators should face the Senate inquiry head on and allow themselves to be questioned.
The senator also expressed his disagreement with the call of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago that all senators implicated in the PDAF scam should take a Leave of Absence from their duties as elected lawmakers.
“We have every opportunity to clear their names so I urge my colleagues to cooperate with the investigations of both the Blue Ribbon and the newly created Inter Agency Anti Graft Coordinating Council,” he said.
He said that subjecting themselves to questioning once the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee begins its inquiry into the alleged pork barrel scandal on Thursday is an opportunity for senators implicated in the case to prove their innocence.
“Senators should not hide behind the rules. While we cannot grill fellow senators during hearings, there is no rule stopping us from answering allegations thrown at us,” said the Majority Leader.
Cayetano said he would answer allegations if questions on his Priority Development Assistance Fund would be raised during the Blue Ribbon Committee hearing.
“I won’t wait for the Ethics Committee. If any of my fellow Senators raise questions about how I made use of my PDAF, I will answer. I challenge other members of the Senate to do the same. Stop hiding behind the rules,” he said.
Cayetano recently filed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4, calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system, and Senate Resolution No. 196 which seeks to appoint former senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson as independent investigator.
The Senator believes that it is time to scrap the PDAF to ensure greater transparency and accountability in government.
“We need to act now. Even the President has called for the abolition of PDAF. The Senate should heed these calls,” he said. (PNA)