Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has announced she will deliberately snub all Senate sessions until Wednesday just to get even with her colleagues, who ignored a hearing she spurred last week.
“Tit for tat. If they snub my hearing, I will snub their session,” Santiago said.
She explained this is to show her resentment against senators, who were absent during her panel’s hearing on former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Usec. Rico Puno.
But Santiago clarified she will be present when the Committee on Appointments tackle the nomination of Department of Transportation and Communications Sec. Mar Roxas as the new head of DILG.
“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.
She alleged there was an obvious conspiracy between the cabinet and certain senators to ignore her panel’s hearing on the alleged jueteng ties and anomalous P1-billion arms deal involving Puno.
Citing an excuse letter from Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Santiago noticed the same arguments that senators raised regarding the legality of Santiago’s panel to look into
“The Malacañang letter raises the issue of a lack of resolution passed by the plenary session. This is exactly the same issue raised by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Panfilo Lacson,” Santiago said.
“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 added.
Santiago reiterated that Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Revision of Codes and Law she chairs has jurisdiction over the matter under “revision of laws.”
The legislator even cited certain provisions of the Administrative Code that seem to have been ignored in the appointment of Puno, such as the need for a prior recommendation in favor of an undersecretary issued by the secretary.
Santiago added she is avoiding going to the Senate "because she is so nettled that her blood pressure might rise again.”
Only Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel Jr. were present on Friday’s hearing.
The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …