Press Release
February 24, 2011


On proposed remedial legislation

DRILON: A number of legislation must be produced. We must have a law which should regulate plea bargaining. I think there is also a need to amend the Anti-Money Laundering Act because we have seen massive withdrawals. We have seen how the financial institutions have totally ignored their own rule of Know Your Customer by allowing the general in the Armed Forces with no known income sufficient to justify his P740 million deposit in their banks, with these financial institutions. Not raising a flag or just allowing the deposits to be made and in effect making their financial institutions the haven for corruption. It is very clear that if they were not motivated by greed, they would have questioned these millions of dollars being deposited by people who have no known source of income, especially that the account holder is a general of the Armed Forces or a wife of the general of the Armed Forces. That is the second piece of legislation which I would recommend to the committee and the plenary.

The third remedial legislation that I would suggest is we take a second look at amending Republic Act 6770 or the Ombudsman Act of 1989. The records of the constitutional commission will show that the office of Ombudsman was never intended to be given prosecutorial process. It was envisioned that the Ombudsman will use its power to investigate regarding any impropriety in their action. The proposal to grant and to include in the Constitution a direct grant to the office of the Ombudsman the power to prosecute was in fact defeated. So it was very clear that the intention to grant the office of the Ombudsman the power to prosecute... the present power of the Ombudsman to prosecute is found in the Ombudsman's Act of 1989, which we believe is a power not derived from the Constitution but in fact is not consistent with the spirit and concept of the Constitution in providing for the creation of the office of the Ombudsman. We would present to the committee a proposal that the special prosecutor be made independent of the Ombudsman so that they can decide on their own. I am not talking about personalities here but I am talking about the institutions because to me this is what the Constitution intended.

Those are the 3 suggested legislative measures that I would propose to the committee. We propose to include that in the committee report if the committee wishes.

May I propose that given what we have seen today that Mrs. Erlinda Ligot and Edgardo Yambao be included in the watch list of the Immigration because we have seen Mrs. Ligot travel 42 times so we must put her on the watch list order so that we can be informed if she intends again to take 43rd trip. And also we would like to place Mr. Edgardo Yambao in the watch order list because we issued a subpoena today and he did not even honor us with his presence. We take note however of the commitment of Gen. Jacinto Ligot to bring his wife and his brother in law in the next hearing.

TG: Sen. Drilon your points are well taken. Thank you very much. We will include those recommendations in the committee report.

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