Editorial mistaken on Senate as ‘diminished institution’ | Inquirer Opinion

Editorial mistaken on Senate as ‘diminished institution’

01:11 AM February 11, 2014

This refers to your editorial, “Rice and circuses,” which appeared in your Feb. 6 issue.

So much media attention has been given to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s remark about “killing controversial trader David Tan aka Davidson Bangayan,” that we have lost sight of the real purpose of the Senate hearing.

The hearing on rice smuggling, conducted by the Senate committee on agriculture and food, was not about uncovering the identities of rice smugglers. Neither was it about Mayor Duterte. Rather, said hearing was conducted to look at possible changes in government policies that will curb, if not totally eliminate, rice smuggling in the country.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, chair of the committee on agriculture and food, said that her committee was not concerned whether Davidson Bangayan and David Tan were one and the same person. In fact, she said, the Department of Justice could take care of establishing Tan’s identity. Her concern, however, was to get to the root of the problem and to craft laws that would stop rice smuggling in the country. The amount of time spent in pursuing this end is never considered wasted.


Senate President Franklin Drilon, Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Villar did not try to make excuses for Mayor Duterte when he said he would “kill” David Tan. The senators, who know Mayor Duterte, were aware of his flamboyant personality and “colorful” language. They know that the Davao mayor was not serious when he made the remark.

To describe the Senate as a “diminished institution in the wake of the so-called pork barrel scam” is unfounded. The Senate has remained a vanguard of democracy and a beacon of truth and justice. It has conducted investigations since last year to uncover the truth behind the pork controversy and has implemented reforms to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.


Senate print media director,


Public Relations and

Information Bureau,


[email protected]

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TAGS: letters, pork barrel scam, Rice Smuggling, Senate

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