Aquino relayed to Drilon Binay's request to stop probe
MANILA, Philippines – What did President Benigno Aquino III do with the request of Vice President Jejomar Binay to stop the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee probe into allegedly overpriced infrastructure projects in Makati City?
He told his party mate in the Liberal Party, Senate President Franklin Drilon.
Drilon couldn't recall the date, but he told reporters on Monday, November 10, that the President called him to "relay" Binay's request.
"Tumawag po sa akin si President Aquino at ni-relay ang request ni Vice President Binay na itigil na ang investigation," Drilon told reporters. (The President called me to relay the request of the Vice President to stop the investigation.)
He added: "Ang sagot ko (My response was), 'Sir, you were part of the Senate before. Alam 'nyo na (you know that) nobody can dictate on the senators what to do, especially when the matter of when to start and to stop an investigation is addressed to the chair and members of a committee. Not even the Senate President can tell them to stop.'"
Drilon clarified that Aquino didnt give an order or asked for a favor. He said the President, as a former senator, was aware of Senate rules.
"No, it did not get that way. It was just a plain and simple [relaying of message]. The President relayed to me in plain and simple language the request," Drilon said.
Drilon said decisions like that would be up to the chairman and the members of the committee. "The President can’t also dictate on the Senate when to start or stop a hearing," Drilon said.
Binay snubbed last week the invitation of the Senate blue ribbon committee to answer a string of corruption allegations raised in the probe being conducted by a subcommittee.
The Senate is expected to refrain from holding committee hearings when Congress resumes session next week, November 17, because the Senate will begin plenary deliberations on the 2015 budget bill.
"As a tradition, no committee hearings while the session is ongoing whether it’s a budget or any ordinary session. Even if it’s not the budget. If you notice, there are no committee hearings if there is a plenary session. The point is the senators should be in the plenary session, not in the hearing. There should be no committee hearings during the plenary session," explained Drilon. – Rappler.com