Senators urge Gordon not to monopolize congressional hearings


Posted at Dec 15 2017 05:48 PM

Senators on Friday urged Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair Richard Gordon to give other lawmakers a chance to ask questions without being interrupted during congressional hearings.

"Hopefully we will have a chance to ask our questions thoroughly when another hearing is called," Senator Francis Pangilinan told reporters a day after the Senate questioned former high-ranking officials, including President Noynoy Aquino, over the procurement of P3.5 billion worth of dengue vaccines.

Senator Risa Hontiveros echoed Pangilinan's call to give other senators their fair share of time during committee proceedings.

The minority senators voiced their criticisms a day after netizens roasted Gordon on social media for supposedly monopolozing discussions during the Dengvaxia hearing where former president Benigno Aquino III, former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and former Health Secretary Janette Garin attended as resource persons.

The nearly 7-hour hearing was supposed to be a joint hearing between Gordon's Blue Ribbon Committee and Senator JV Ejercito's Health and Demography Committee, but Gordon dominated discussions and was still not done with his piece past noon. Three and a half hours into the hearing, other senators started to leave.

Gordon said he does not plan to change his "style" when sitting as chair of congressional probes.

He said he gave his colleagues a chance to ask questions, and netizens who slammed his "monologue" simply did not understand Senate rules on proceedings.

Gordon said he does not intend to recall Aquino, Abad, and Garin to the Senate.

He said Thursday's hearing showed that the former president procured the vaccines in good faith, and was just uninformed about its risks.

- report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News.