Press Release
April 21, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said the Supreme Courts decision upholding the right of Congress to summon officials of the executive branch to shed light on matters under investigation has strengthened the hands of the Senate in demanding full disclosure of the Mayuga report on the military generals implicated in the Hello Garci tape scandal.

Pimentel said the top brass of the Armed Forces of the Philippines could no longer argue that they cannot release the complete investigation report on the case by citing Executive Order 464 following the high tribunals ruling that it is unconstitutional to curtail the power of Congress to conduct investigation in aid of legislation and summon executive officials in accordance with the principle of checks and balance.

In view of the Supreme Courts ruling on EO 464, I believe that there is no more legal obstacle to the release of the complete report of the Mayuga panel, Pimentel said.

With the SCs ruling on EO 464, Pimentel said Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, Chairman of the Senate Defense Committee, has a point in planning to seek the intervention of the high tribunal to compel Malacañang and the AFP to release the complete investigation report on the purported involvement of some generals in the alleged rigging of the results of the 2004 presidential election in some Mindanao provinces.

Opposition lawmakers sought the release of the entire Mayuga report after they voiced skepticism over the conclusion of the report clearing the generals in question from any participation in the alleged electoral fraud.

They suspected that the report has been tampered with or sanitized in the wake of grumblings from military officers assigned in Mindanao who were privy to the alleged poll anomalies that the military fact-finding panel did not bother to summon them and to get their testimonies.

The report was prepared and completed in December, 2005 by then AFP inspector general, Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga, now flag-officer-in-command of the Philippine Navy.

Pimentel said the continued defiance of the AFP leadership in complying with the request of the Senate for full disclosure of the Mayuga report is deplorable because it smacks of disregard for the fundamental rule of transparency and investigative authority of Congress under the constitutional rule checks and balance.

He said the refusal of the AFP top brass to release the complete copy of the report constitutes an improper, if not an unlawful act, considering that it is considered a public document which the people have a right to know and which the military is duty-bound to disclose.

What the AFP leadership seems to have overlooked is that unwittingly, their objection to reveal the full contents of the report has only heightened the suspicion about an orchestrated attempts to whitewash the case. And this is damaging to the image of the AFP, Pimentel said.

Pimentel also reminded the AFP leadership against resorting to acts that would undermine the principle of civilian authority over the military that is enshrined in the Constitution as one of pillars of a republican democracy.

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