Letter to the Editor: Lacson's role in Senate probe clarified [Manila Times]

October 11, 2021 - To The Manila Times: We wish to set the record straight regarding The Manila Times editorial of Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021 ("Senate probe could harm public interests"), where it tried to link politics to Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson's participation in the ongoing Senate probe into irregularities in the government's procurement of medical supplies to deal with the pandemic.


Lacson's role in Senate probe clarified

By The Manila Times, October 11, 2021


WE wish to set the record straight regarding The Manila Times editorial of Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021 ("Senate probe could harm public interests"), where it tried to link politics to Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson's participation in the ongoing Senate probe into irregularities in the government's procurement of medical supplies to deal with the pandemic.


First, Senator Lacson has been actively participating in investigations involving corruption and other wrongdoing long before now, and the records will bear this out. This is because he does not want taxpayers' money to go to waste, especially now in a pandemic where ordinary Filipinos are suffering in terms of health and the economy.


Second, Senator Lacson's move to cite resource person Linconn Ong in contempt and detain him is in accordance with Senate rules as Mr. Ong was being evasive in answering questions. We thus wonder where the claims of human rights violations are coming from.


As to the editorial's claim that confessions or other evidence gathered through the Senate hearings are likely to be inadmissible in court, the Senate hearings are in aid of legislation, not anything else, although the Senate can provide evidence it has gathered if relevant agencies like the Department of Justice ask for them, as in the case of the irregularities at PhilHealth.


Speaking of timing, we marvel at the timing with which insinuations of politicking, along with accusations that the Senate supposedly overstepped its legislative boundary and violated the "human rights" of resource persons who are cited in contempt, were brought up in more than one opinion page this weekend. Nevertheless, we hope this clarifies matters.


Joel Locsin

Media Relations Officer

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