Press Release
April 29, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today challenged Malacañang to show transparency and prove that it is not hiding the truth by not restraining officials and employees of the executive branch to testify on controversies and transactions being investigated by the Senate even if the Supreme Courts decision invalidating Executive Order 464 is on appeal.

Pimentel said that the Palace is within its right to appeal the courts adverse ruling on EO 464 which requires Cabinet members and other executive officials to secure presidential clearance before appearing in congressional hearings.

However, he said that considering that the issue of EO 464 was decided by the high tribunal by a 14-0 vote, it is almost impossible to expect a reversal of the landmark ruling. Only one SC member, Senior Associate Justice Reynato Puno, was not able to cast his vote on the case due to his absence.

Reacting to Solicitor General Antonio Nachuras statement that he will file a motion for reconsideration with the Supreme Court, Pimentel voiced suspicion that this is nothing but a dilatory tactic to prevent Cabinet members and other officials of the executive branch from appearing before the Senate investigating panels.

They know that the possibility of the court reversing its decision is bleak. But they are doing this to delay the effectivity of the decision, he said.

Pimentel said that the Senate may again find itself helpless in summoning executive officials to its inquiry for as long there is a motion for reconsideration and the case is not decided with finality.

Given the Palaces insistence on appealing the verdict, Pimentel said it is very obvious that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her cohorts are scared of seeing the truth behind the P725 million fertilizer fund, 2004 electoral fraud and other scandals in her administration fully revealed.

Under judiciary rules, Malacañang can file a motion for reconsideration within 15 days from the time it received a copy of the high courts decision on the case.

Pimentel said the administrations apparent strategy is to foil the Senates efforts to reopen its probe on these scandals to prevent further embarrassment to the President.

He said the SCs unanimous decision on EO 464 leaves no doubt about the courts affirmation and recognition of the Senates power to conduct investigation in accordance with the constitutional principle of checks and balance among the three independent branches of government.

Given the extreme importance of the issue at hand, I hope that the Supreme Court will expeditiously resolve the case, Pimentel said.

News Latest News Feed