MANILA - A member of the Commission on Appointments grilled Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. about a claim he told a media outfit, linking the questions on his citizenship to a destabilization plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Occidental Mindoro Representative Josephine Ramirez-Sato said she was "worried" that Yasay floated an idea that the questions thrown in the hearing was part of the "destabilization effort against the administration."
"It pains me that anything and everything that cannot be answered will be attributed to the destabilization plot. This is unpardonable, Mr. Chairman. The actuation of the honorable secretary at the very bliss is contemptuous of this commission," she said.
Yasay then apologized to the body, emphasizing that he was not referring to Sato or any member of the commission but to those "from the outside" questioning his citizenship through the lawmakers.
"When I said that questioning my citizenship before the Commission on Appointments, I did not refer to congressman, to the good and honorable Congressman Sato," he said.
"I was referring to the accusations made through Rappler and I personally believe that on that basis this accusation was made not only to embarrass me, but more importantly to embarrass the appointing authority and maybe perhaps this is part of the destabilization effort," he added.
Liberal Party President Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, who was also in the hearing, said Yasay should show proof of the alleged destabilization plot.
"We categorically deny that there are any destabilization plots. We appreciate the fact that the secretary has apologized, and if he has evidence, then he should submit it to this committee," he said.
"Otherwise, these reckless statements are not only unnecessary but unacceptable," he added.