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Villar’s non-appearance in Senate ‘a fatal mistake’


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:55:00 06/04/2009

Filed Under: Politics

SEN. MANUEL VILLAR IS NOT HELPING HIMself by not attending the hearings being conducted by the Senate, acting as a committee of the whole, to investigate allegations of unethical behavior against him. He is being accused of double-funding and diverting the C-5 road extension project. Sen. Jamby Madrigal has submitted documentary evidence to show that the projects benefited Villar?s real estate interests in Las Piñas and Parañaque.

Villar has accused his colleagues in the Senate?s majority bloc of constituting themselves into a ?kangaroo court? to find him guilty and destroy his plan to run for president in 2010. If found guilty, he can be suspended or expelled from the Senate. This will deal a mortal blow to his future political plans.

His non-appearance in the Senate hearings is a fatal mistake. He made a futile attempt to win over some media members by inviting them to an inspection tour of six sites to prove that there was no double-funding. Meanwhile, his allies in the Senate staged a walkout and continue to question the rules agreed upon prior to the first hearing session. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, as chair of the investigating committee, has shown experience and fairness despite accusations of partiality by Villar?s allies. Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. even went to the extent of raking up Enrile?s role during the Marcos dictatorship. This was uncalled for and has nothing to do whatsoever with the issue at hand. The public is not pleased with this unparliamentary conduct.

Villar should not shy away from the hearings. He should slug it out toe-to-toe with his adversaries and present hard facts in his defense. How can he face the electorate in his quest for the presidency when he cannot even face his colleagues in the Senate?

?APOLONIO G. RAMOS,
42 Mindanao St.,
Marikina City



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