Press Release
May 1, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today rejected the renewed administration call for a moratorium on congressional investigation into the controversies and anomalies in the Arroyo administration, saying this is like dropping ones guard against the despicable activities of scoundrels in government.

Pimentel said any suspension or termination of the Senates investigative functions will be tantamount to abdicating its constitutionally-mandated role to exercise oversight functions and check the activities of the executive branch.

To stop the investigations now would make the Senate a participant in the coverup of the misdeeds of the Arroyo administration, he said.

The minority leader said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her cohorts are obviously afraid that the inquiries may yield more findings that would embarrass and damage the administration, especially in the light of the recent Supreme Court ruling that voided the ban under Executive Order 464 imposed on executive officials who are summoned to congressional hearings without presidential approval.

Pimentel emphasized that perpetrators of anomalous and illegal transactions and practices in government should be made accountable for their actions. Moreover he said the people are expecting the results or completion these investigations.

According to Pimentel, the senators from both the majority and minority blocs have agreed to continue with the probe of the Bolante-fertilizer fund scam, and the North Rail Project. He said the Senate may also reopen the inquiry into the 2004 electoral fraud in the light of the reported break-in at the Batasan warehouse and alleged switching of election returns and other poll documents. The inquiry into the jueteng scandal may also be revived.

Pimentel allayed apprehensions that the Senate investigations may eat up the time intended for the passage of pending legislative measures.

They fear that the investigations will detract from our law-making functions. It will not. As before, we will conduct investigation outside of the period for regular session, he said.

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