Press Release
July 25, 2012


Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III on Wednesday vowed that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will continue investigating anomalies in government as three of its reports were seriously considered by the Office of the Ombudsman in filing various cases against high profile government officials. "The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will continue to fulfil its mandate of investigating into unlawful acts and omissions committed by public officers and ensure that our future reports will be as credible and as comprehensive as previous reports which have already been given great merit by the Office of the Ombudsman. In the discharge of our functions, we have the duty to pursue serious investigations and release reports with extensive discussions of our findings," Sen. Guingona said.

The filing of plunder charges against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in relation with the misuse of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds stemmed from the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Reports that it submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman last December 2011.

"The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has recommended the filing of several cases against former PCSO officials for irregularities committed during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The filing of one of these cases is a signal that the Ombudsman is carefully taking into consideration the results of the investigations made by the Blue Ribbon Committee," Sen. Guingona said.

However, the Good Governance advocate stressed that Senate is looking forward to the filing of graft cases against members of the former board for highly disadvantageous contracts entered into by the PCSO which continue to drain the coffers of government with significant amounts of money.

"The call for accountability must continue from Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the other officials involved in the series of widely orchestrated irregularities in the PCSO," he added.

Another Senate Blue Ribbon Committee recommendation that was considered by the new officials of the Ombudsman is the plea bargaining agreement case in which the case is now filed in Sandiganbayan.

"Today, there is a pending motion filed by the Office of the Solicitor General before the Sandiganbayan to allow the Government to intervene for the purpose of voiding the plea bargaining agreement. On the legislative front, the bill introducing amendments to the plea bargain rules, authored by myself, is ready to be brought to the Senate floor for debates," he said.

Lastly, another Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Report that was seriously considered by the Ombudsman is the chopper case involving former First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo and Philippine National Police (PNP) officials.

"The case is already moving which involved personalities have already been removed from the PNP and/or deprived of their retirement benefits. We have started to purge our institutions of its unwanted elements," Sen. Guingona said.

The senator added that since the Ombudsman has filed cases consistent with the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Committee, it showed a positive indication that the Committee has been doing comprehensive and thorough investigations that have legal merit.

"For a legislative committee's Report to result to a positive action from the branch of government tasked to evaluate and prosecute cases sends a strong message: we've been doing our job right," he stressed.

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