Bong: The truth will come out
MANILA (UPDATED) - Detained Senator Jinggoy Estrada branded as a "well-scripted and rehearsed production" the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) on Thursday.
"It was quite observable that with the present composition of the committee and the chamber in general, the hearing looked like a well-scripted and rehearsed production," Estrada said in a statement on Friday.
Estrada, who is detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame for plunder and graft charges over the pork barrel scam, said he was able to watch the proceedings in its entirety.
He said the proceedings were similar to the Blue Ribbon Committee's investigation into the multibillion-peso pork scam where some members showed "obvious bias and partiality."
"Unfortunately, the Senate has lost another chance to redeem itself and to rise above partisan politics," he said.
Likewise, Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., who is also detained for plunder and graft charges over the pork barrel scam, criticized the Senate Finance Committee for the way it handled the hearing on the DAP.
"Kung gaano nila kami katinding binatikos at dinikdik sa mga alegasyon laban sa amin tungkol sa Pork Barrel Scam ay ganun din nila ka-buong pwersang dinedepensahan ang Palasyo sa nagsusumigaw na katiwalian ng Disbursement Allocation Program nito," he said.
Estrada, meanwhile, lauded neophyte Senator Nancy Binay, who, he said, studied the DAP issue and facts lengthily, and asked the tough questions.
Without her, "the Senate seemed like a rah-rah squad for the budget department," he said.
He said Budget Secretary Butch Abad was "lucky" to have members of the Senate help him explain the rationale and defend the implementation of the DAP.
"At times, all he has to do is to concur and merely agree with the defense prepared by the administration allies," Estrada said.
Nonetheless, Revilla said he remains hopeful that the "truth will come out."
"Sa kabila ng mga lantarang pagkakampihang ito, ako ay patuloy na nagtitiwala na mananaig pa rin ang tama at ang katotohanan. At ako ay umasa at patuloy na nananalangin na hindi madudungisan ng anumang pamumulitika o pananakot ang mga husgado dahil ang tunay na hustisya ay hind nabibili," he said.
"Kung gaano nila ka minadali ang pagpapakulong sa amin ay ganun din sana kabilis ang kanilang pagtugon sa mga kasong kinasangkutan ng administrasyon at mga kaalyado nito," he added.