Press Release
March 31, 2008


Opposition Senator Chiz Escudero today said if Malacañang is using as an excuse publication of rules of the senate or the lack of it for its cabinet men to skip senate probe, then the Palace should send its men to any and all hearings of his committees since these committees have long published their respective rules last year.

"Secretary Ermita should check his facts before issuing a sweeping statement. If he insists that rules should be published first before any Senate inquiries can be done, why then, I challenge him and all the cabinet officials to attend hearing conducted by both the Senate Committees on Ways and Means and Justice and Human Rights as the rules of these committees have been duly published in the official gazette of the University of the Philippines last year."

Escudero however clarified that these rules were published only because changes were made from the then existing rules. "Secretary Ermita is stretching too far their interpretation of the court ruling on publication of rules. He cannot generalize his interpretation of the court ruling and deem cabinet men immune from inquiries."

He reiterated his colleagues' stand that the Senate is a continuing body because of its staggard term unlike Congress who gets to be elected every three years thus the need to publish and republish its rules should be brought back to the court for clarification .

"My challenge to Secretary Ermita and the Palace is totally independent and different from their stretched interpretation of the SC ruling on Senate in general. We at the Senate will take our due course at the court when we file the motion for reconsideration to clarify the ruling. Meanwhile, all Palace officials are obliged and compelled to appear before my committees in any and all of our hearings since they have no excuse anymore to do otherwise", Escudero said.

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