Press Release
March 28, 2008

Statement of Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. in response to Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap's denial that his father-in-law is engaged in the cereal business


Nagtanong lang ako kung ang kanyang father-in-law, Jimmy Gaw, ay sangkot sa rice trading. Sapagkat ayaw ko na imbestigahan kaagad ng Senado ito. If it is not true, why will we bother investigating? That will be a waste of time.

And so, I don't see anything for me to apologize because of that.

(Nakakasira sa reputasyon) Baka ganoon ang dating sa kanya. That is why he is given a chance to explain. Ano ang sama noon? He has already explained na wala, eh di wala.

(Sec. Yap demanding an apology) Wala akong dapat i-apologize. Kung sa tingin ni Sec. Yap, he belongs to the royalty of this country, baka. Pero this is no longer the Middle Ages.


My question raised towards Secretary Arthur Yap, whether or not, his father-in-law, Jimmy Gaw, is involved in the cereal business, was designed to remove any doubt that he is acting without any conflict interest. It was a legitimate question. I am only surprised that in a TV interview this morning, Sec. Yap said I should apologize. There is nothing to apologize. It was a legitimate question and all he had to do was answer it.

We are no longer living under medieval times, where ordinary people who tended to criticize those in power will wind up losing their heads. That is no longer happening. If Sec. Yap does not know that, I am sorry for him and for the people.

One of the things I don't want to do is start a Senate investigation on nothing. In other words if Jimmy Gaw is not involved in anyway, directly or indirectly, in the cereal business, then that issue is dead.

But the rice problem still has to be looked into by the Senate. And I think there are other senators who are already doing that.

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