Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Villar fears insults from peers, says Ocampo


“I advised him to show up during the hearings. However, Villar is not used to questioning, especially by his [political] rivals,” Ocampo, who is running as guest senatorial candidate of Villar’s Nacionalista Party (NP), said in Sta. Rita, Pampanga, on Sunday.

“Baka bastusin lang ako diyan. Ayokong mangyari ’yon (They might show me disrespect and I don’t want that to happen),” Ocampo quoted Villar as telling him when he brought up the idea with the senator.

He said Villar had resorted to submitting documents to the Senate to dismiss accusations of irregularities in the road extension project in the cities of Parañaque and Las Piñas.

A draft report by the Senate committee of the whole found Villar to have engaged in unethical conduct in connection with the C-5 project, which benefited his real estate companies. It seeks to censure Villar and demand the return of some P6 billion to the government.

“He submitted a thick documentation of the C-5 project to prove that there was no overpricing there,” Ocampo said. “I’m still convincing him to face and resolve the issue before the Senate adjourns for the campaign period.”

Voting on Wednesday
Senators are to vote on the committee report on Wednesday, the last session day of Congress before it goes on a three-month break.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who prepared Committee Report No. 780, wanted the vote to happen and had instructed him to set the date for the debate on the report and the voting, according to Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri.

“Senate President Enrile had also a blast text to majority members that this is a conscience vote and that he would not bind the members of the majority to vote either in favor or against. So it’s up to us,” Zubiri said on dzBB radio Sunday.

Villar’s running mate in the presidential election, Sen. Loren Legarda, said she would vote “according to her conscience” and the evidence.

“The others should not use the party stand to judge other people,” Legarda said in a statement.

Zubiri said he was proposing that the vote be held on Wednesday so that the Senate could be able to finish in the next two days all pending measures either for passage on third reading or ratification by the chamber.

He later said he may schedule on Tuesday night the Senate deliberations on the report. Debates could continue until Wednesday and would be concluded by holding a vote on the same day.

“I just spoke to Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and thankfully he agreed with me,” Zubiri said in a phone interview. Cayetano is a member of the minority bloc and a staunch ally of Villar.

Adverse affect
Ocampo said the controversy involving Villar could adversely affect the candidacies of other NP members and guest candidates like him.

While he was part of the NP ticket, he said he would not encourage Villar to run away from the controversies he was facing.

“Our political coalition Makabayan is independent. We are guest candidates [of NP] and we can issue comments on controversies involving Villar. This is our politics. We will not hesitate to tell the truth and stand by our beliefs,” Ocampo said.

He said he agreed to join the NP slate because he and Villar had the same platform on land reform.

Ocampo said the senator promised that he would implement programs to help farmers, workers and poor Filipinos should he win the presidential race.

Ceasefire extended
The scheduling of the vote for Wednesday effectively extended the “ceasefire” enforced by the senators since late last week when two groups of senators collided with each other over the committee report.

Sessions in the Senate had been tumultuous since two weeks ago when the chamber started to debate on the C-5 controversy, with some senators resorting to unparliamentary language in defending their positions.

Senators also were debating on Resolution No. 1472, which sought to clear Villar of any wrongdoing and dismiss the ethics case filed against him by Sen. Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal.

In the radio interview, Zubiri said senators would only vote on the committee report and not on the resolution because the latter contained the same topic, which is the C-5 controversy.

“Let’s just hold one vote so that the outcome of this debate would not be that acrimonious,” he said.

language Zubiri said he would take the initiative to request that unparliamentary language be stricken out of the record “so that this kind of insults won’t be on the records of the 14th Congress when the next generation looks them up.”

Before they could even start voting to approve or reject the report, they would have to decide on whether the penalty of censure or a strong reprimand would need the votes of two-thirds of the senators or just a simple majority, Zubiri said.

Enrile and majority members said the penalty of censure required the vote of a simple majority of the 23-member Senate or 12 votes, while Villar’s camp said it would require a two-thirds vote or 16 senators.

Zubiri shrugged off speculations that the majority bloc was pushing for the vote on Wednesday because it did not have the votes to censure Villar due to the absence of Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada and Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

Estrada had to go to the United States last week because of an emergency involving his wife but he told the Inquirer last Friday that he would be home by Monday.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. pushed for a caucus of all senators on Monday so that they could come up with the ground rules on the debate and the vote.

Via: http://lorenlegarda.com.ph/news_107_Villar_fears_insults_from_peers,_says_Ocampo.php

1 comment:

  1. This issues shows that senator loren legarda is a good and honest person. Yup thats htrue that this issue will much higher now coz senator villar is running for president.at gusto nilang siraan yung tao thats why our country hav nom improvement coz instead of discussing topic for the good of our country, senators are debating for that useless issue.