Tit for tat: Miriam to snub Senate sessions
MANILA - Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said on Monday she will snub sessions this week to show her resentment towards colleagues who did the same during the probe she initiated against former Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno.
She warned, however, that they should expect her to attend if the Committee on Appointments will tackle the nomination of Transport chief Mar Roxas as the new Interior and Local Government secretary.
“If a Cabinet member who snubs my hearing is presented for confirmation this Wednesday, I will attend the confirmation hearing to cast a veto, to fulfill my promise that I shall veto all cabinet members who were invited, but snubbed me,” she said.
For her, it was obvious that Cabinet members and several senators conspired against the investigation she initiated.
During Friday’s hearing, Santiago read a letter sent by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. raising the issue of lack of resolution on the probe.
“This is exactly the same issue raised by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Panfilo Lacson. I have already pointed out, for their education, that several provisions in the Senate Rules and the Senate rules concerning inquiries in aid of legislation strongly imply that there is no need for a formal resolution, if the committee has competent jurisdiction,” she said.
Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino Pimentel III attended the probe on Friday.
She noted Ochoa also pointed out her committee did not send a set of questions that would be thrown at the invited Cabinet members. She said the same was echoed by senators Enrile and Lacson who appeared to be “reading from the same playbook.”
“My opponents appear to be intellectually challenged. The requirement for prior submission of questions applies only to the Question Hour under the Constitution. It does not apply to the committee hearings,” she said.
Nonetheless, she was advised to avoid going to the Senate because of her high blood pressure.
“Heart Evangelista called me early today to say that I should no longer go to the Senate if I will only lose my temper,” she said.
She added her only child, Archie, also advised her to do the same.
“Last Saturday evening, my son invited my husband and me to dinner at Greenhills. It turned out that he brought his entire family, including my grandkids so that they could all admonish me not to jeopardize my health. So I am under interdiction,” she said.