Mr. President, I stand before you on a matter of personal and collective privilege.
During his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA), we heard President Rodrigo Roa Duterte loud and clear:
“You are free to investigate. I don’t take offense. If there is anything wrong in my department, the executive, you are free to investigate. Feel free to expose anything….”
In all of my years as a public servant and as a member of this revered institution, I have been unflinching in my fight against corruption and wrongdoings, blowing the lid off anomalous activities in the government – from the money-laundering scheme by one Jose Pidal; the diversion of P728 million in fertilizer funds engineered by one Jocjoc Bolante; Comelec Commissioner Virgilo Garcillano’s “Hello, Garci” tapes; the botched $329-million contract between the Philippine government and China’s ZTE for a national broadband network project; the “chopper scam” where secondhand helicopters were sold as brand-new to the Philippine National Police; the “Tara List” or Payola in the Bureau of Customs; and the cholesterol-rich pork barrel, to name a few.