Gordon reiterates importance of Senate as independent body
Senator Richard J. Gordon reiterated Monday the public's right to know the specific stance of its solons in topics of national importance such as corruption.
During his privilege speech, Gordon stressed the importance of putting into public record the committee report as it remains two signatures short of the minimum count of 11.
"We cannot shirk from our responsibilities by not signing, our duty to act on a committee report, either in agreement or disagreement. People of this country should not be denied a judgment or at the very least, a debate on whether there was malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance," remarked Gordon.
"Correspondingly, we have a responsibility to let the public know how we voted, to protect the Senate and the integrity of its proceedings. We have to let our peers know how we voted. We are all in the pursuit of truth, fighting all this time for a government of the people, for the people, by the people," he continued.
The months-long investigation had captivated the nation when it was revealed that the government entered an anomalous procurement deal with an upstart company, wasting billions of pesos in pandemic relief funds.
Pharmally, which is directly linked to former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang, was revealed to have questionable legal, financial, and technical capabilities, having only Php 625,000 in capital.
Despite its shortcomings, it was able to enter a multi-billion peso deal with the Procurement Service of the Dept. of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) in record time.
He also underscored the vital importance of putting into public record the report as the investigation has set a legal precernt in the Senate as a constitutionally-created institution to assure the separation of powers in the three branches of government.
"The authority, powers, and prerogatives of the Senate are constitutionally granted. The Blue Ribbon Committee is invested with power and duty to investigate cases of malfeasance, misfeasance, or non- feasance committed by public officers. This has been the very basis of our authority for calling the motu proprio investigations on Pharmally," explained Gordon.
"Those things said, I urge you - all of you - to continue to ensure that the Senate remains independent; to remain the bastion of rule of law; and to remain resistant and free from undue constraints imposed by the Executive," he added.