Enrile: Senate probe on Puno may be questioned

Posted at 09/12/12 6:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile wants the upper chamber's committee on rules to study the validity of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago's upcoming probe on resigned Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno, considering she has not filed a resolution supporting it.

Santiago earlier said she does not need to file a resolution calling for an investigation because it will be referred to her committee anyway. She chairs the committee on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws.

Enrile pointed out, however, that calling for a hearing without filing a resolution or delivering a privilege speech first is unprecented. He fears it might be questioned.

"Wala kaming precedent na gano'n eh. I have been a chair of several committees in the Senate. Kaya ko pinag-aaralan, hindi dahil pinagbabawalan ko," he said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson shares Enrile's concern.

"Ang pagkaalam ko, based on our rules, only the Blue Ribbon Committee and Committee on Rules ang puwede magtawag ng meeting or hearing motu propio, maski walang resolution, maski walang privilege speech, maski walang referral," he told reporters. "Pero all other standing committees, kailangan may basis, may panggagalingan."

Despite this, Enrile and Lacson said the hearing can still push through on Friday.

But Lacson said Santiago's committee may have a problem compelling resource persons to attend if any of them does not heed the invitation.

"Ang pagkaalam ko, Senate President lang nagsu-subpoena," he added.