Congress 'damaged' by pork scam: lawmaker

  • 5 years ago
MANILA - Some lawmakers are divided on whether the Senate should continue probing the pork barrel scam when sessions resume next month. For House Assistant Minority Leader Silvestre Bello, the investigation does little to the image of Congress and only hampers the progress of the pork-related cases. "Anong nangyari? Puro press release, puro investigation, investigation, walang nangyari sa mga investigation na yan except to delay, na lalong napa-delay eh. Everybody has been convicted by publicity. Meron ka nang natanggap na ebidensya, you think there's enough evidence, file the case in court! And let those involved answer it in court," he said in an interview on ANC's Talkback. But for Senators Serge Osmena and Alan Peter Cayetano, there is wisdom in continuing the Senate inquiry. "The Blue Ribbon investigation always opens to the public what would normally be done in secret by the Department of Justice. We believe that it's always better to be transparent than to be secretive," Osmeña said. "Ruby Tuason and Dennis Cunanan - if we didn't have a hearing, people will have to take their word that they're credible witnesses. But with the hearing, people in their living room were able to judge na credible ba ito o hindi," Cayetano added. These lawmakers agree on one thing: Congress has taken quite a beating from the controversy. Osmeña said: "The entire Senate image has been damaged. The damage is to the credibility of the Senate, the honor of Senate. We lost the moral high ground there for a while and hopefully we'll get it back." Marikina Representative Miro Quimbo said Congress has to show it will hold people accountable, put and implement reforms in the system, and pass necessary laws to earn back the people's trust. "It's wounded. It's a damaged institution. Speaking from the standpoint of being a second-termer, there's a difference from what it was in the 15th Congress starting 2010 when we had the highest approval rating in the history of Congress, September of 2012, and now we are probably one of the lowest." ANC DATELINE PHILIPPINES, June 17, 2014