Miriam irked by 'snub' of Puno probe

By Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 15 2012 09:42 PM | Updated as of Sep 17 2012 12:54 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is done with her probe on former Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno.

But she can't help but take another swipe at Puno and cabinet officials who snubbed her investigation.

In her speech at the University of the Philippines on Saturday, Santiago used one of her famous pick-up lines to express dismay over Friday's Senate inquiry.

“Gusto ko na sabihin nu’n sa katunggali ko doon sa imbestigasyon, ‘Sana birthday candle ka nalang, para habang pinapatay kita, pumapalakpak sila,'” said Santiago.

Santiago grilled Puno on several controversies that hounded him, like “jueteng”, an allegedly overpriced firearms deal for the Philippine National Police, and his attempt to enter the condo unit of the late Secretary Jesse Robredo a day after he died in a plane crash.

While Santiago appreciates Puno's appearance, she was irked by the absence of several cabinet officials who were invited to the hearing.

Malacañang says the cabinet officials should have first been given details of the probe and a list of questions to guide them.

But the Senator disagrees.

“Walang cabinet members, nandoon lang ang cabinet undersecretary na lahat ng sinasabi niya, ‘Hindi totoo ‘yan, hindi totoo ‘yan, hindi totoo ‘yan.’ Eh ayaw ko lang sanang ma-heart attack kahapon dahil may hypertension ako eh. Pero gusto ko nang hamunin ng suntukan kahapon,” she said.

With the inquiry on Puno done, Santiago's priority now is the passage of the Reproductive Health bill, despite what she calls the delaying tactics of the measure's critics. -- ANC