Press Release
November 3, 2006


When the Senate resumes session on Nov. 6, Sen. Panfilo Lacson will push for an investigation into a multibillion-peso textbook contract scam.

Lacson said Friday he will explore all avenues to push through with the probe, which he sought through a resolution he filed before the Senate went on recess last month.

When we resume session Monday I intend to talk to Senate President Manuel Villar Jr. to name a chairman to the education committee so the investigation can start. I already filed a resolution on the matter because the scam involved even teachers manuals. This involves a very big amount and authorities allowed disqualified bidders to bid. This is not possible if there is no syndicate already operating in the Education Department, he said in an interview on dzXL radio.

Lacson said he will likely ask for the chairmanship of the Senate education committee if none of his colleagues are interested in taking the post.

He said the post had belonged earlier to Senate president pro tempore Juan Flavier, who quit the post and offered it to other senators but there were no takers.

If no committee chairman is named, Lacson said another possibility is to have a Senate subcommittee take up the matter.

Ill talk to the Senate president to name a chairman for the education committee. If that doesnt happen Ill ask to head the committee. Another option is for a subcommittee to handle the investigation, he said.

The textbook scam involves a group of publishers that cornered three-fourths of textbook contracts with the Education Department worth billions of pesos.

Lacson said it was puzzling how a group of publishers allied with the Vibal Group could have cornered the contracts.

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