Chiz defends release of Blue Ribbon report
MANILA -- Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero sees nothing wrong with Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III's release of the draft report of the Blue Ribbon Committee on the pork barrel scam.
Speaking to ANC, Escudero said any committee chairman can release a draft report as long as it has his signature and especially if the issue is of public interest.
Escudero added that Guingona made it clear that the report had not been adopted by the majority in the committee nor the Senate plenary.
In the draft report, Guingona recommended the filing of criminal charges against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., and members of their respective staff.
"Trabaho ng chairman maglabas ng report, and in fairness to Guingona, he called it a draft comittee report... That committee report is open to the public. Kung nagtawag man siya ng press conference o hiningi ng media yung kopya pagkatapos, I don't see anything wrong with it given that it's a high resonance issue," Escudero said.
Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday said she was caught by surprise by Guingona's decision to call for a press conference.
"Sana kinonsulta muna kami dahil maaari naman po kaming ipatawag para sa mga importanteng desisyon tulad nito. Ni hindi pa po namin nakikita ang nilalaman ng report. Sana po ay nabigyan muna kami ng kahit summary ng draft report," she said.
Senator JV Ejercito, likewise, said Guingona should have informed his colleagues first before making the report public.
"It would have been better and fair if we were already given the copies so that we would already know what the content of the report was unlike now. At this time, I still do not have a copy of the report, so we're just basing on what the Blue Ribbon Committee chariman reported in his press conference," he told ANC.
Ejercito is the stepbrother of Estrada.
Ejercito said his decisions are based on his mandate as a lawmaker and not on his relationships.
"Even if my brother and my partymates, my colleagues are implicated, I have a bigger mandate to the Filipino people... When it comes to the time I have to make a decision, I have to give more weight to the responsibility given to me and the mandate given to me by the Filipino people," he said. -- ANC