Press Release
September 13, 2006


Senate President Manny Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party, says that the arrest of Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Chairman Camilo Sabio on Tuesday is in line with the Senate's duties and responsibilities in order to perform its legislative functions properly.

Villar signed the motion filed by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile seeking the arrest of Sabio and other key officials of PCGG who refused to attend hearings on the supposed anomalous losses of Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation or Philcomsat. The warrant of arrest was issued by Senate committees on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises and on Public Services chaired by Senators Richard Gordon and Joker Arroyo, respectively.

"It's our responsibility as elected officials to perform our functions and among which is to conduct inquiries or investigations when there are anomalies in the government. What happens though is there are government officials who repeatedly ignore our invitation for them to appear as resource persons in our hearings or inquiries. So we are left with no choice but to do what has to be done," says Villar.

According to Villar, "We are not doing these things for the sake of doing them only. Everything we are doing now was already done even during the time of Manuel Quezon. Nothing has changed in the legislative process. So it's not fair to accuse us of destabilizing or destroying the government. There are just government officials who are onion-skinned and are hiding skeletons in their closets." "The warrants are not issued just like that, we have repeatedly warned them and have sent them invitations but they have likewise repeatedly snubbed us. We are not violating any laws. As the Senate President, I also respect and support the recommendations of the committee chairmen," says Villar. Villar adds, "Chairman Sabio has legal remedies available to him and we will respect the due process. I am appealing to all the people who are being invited by us in the Senate. If you don't have anything to hide and if you want to clear your names and explain your side, then there is no reason for you to hide or to refuse to attend." Senate officers on Tuesday took custody of Sabio for repeatedly ignoring summons to appear before a Senate panel investigating financial anomalies at Philcomsat.

News Latest News Feed