Press Release
August 28, 2013

RIP Pork: Cayetano bent on ensuring passage
of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4 abolishing Pork

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano is determined to push for the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4 which seeks to abolish the pork barrel system.

"I will not let anyone derail the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4. The Million People March shows that it is not enough to say 'We are listening to the people'. We need to act now," he said.

The Senator recently filed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4 amidst calls for a thorough inquiry into the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scandal, seeking an end to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and pushing to reveal, investigate, and prosecute those involved in the pork barrel scam (R.I.P. Pork).

Cayetano also called on fellow lawmakers to open their books to state auditors for greater transparency and accountability in the 16th Congress.

"The clamor for transparency is great. Let us be transparent. Those tagged in the issue should be willing to submit themselves to questioning during an investigation in the spirit of transparency, accountability and reform," he said.

"(Sa investigation, lahat ng lead kailangan mong sundan. So if it leads to the door of a senator or a congressman, whether pamilya niya o staff niya o kamag-anak niya o siya mismo ang ipatawag ng NBI, huwag silang matatakot at ang senador naman hindi niya dapat isipin na insulto ito kung hindi part of the investigation lang," Cayetano pointed out.

It was in line with his call for lawmakers to submit themselves to investigations on the PDAF scam that Cayetano slammed the decision of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee not to allow the questioning of senators tagged in the scandal in its hearings which will begin on Thursday.

The Majority Leader stressed that the first step the Senate should take in order to protect its integrity as an institution representing the people is for all Senators to allow themselves to be questioned and investigated during the Blue Ribbon hearings most especially those whose names have been linked to the Napoles scam.

Asked about senators' parliamentary immunity, Cayetano said : "Under the rules, we have the option to appear or not to appear before the investigating panel (and be questioned). But under the same rules, we also have the option to waive this rule."

The Senator said that moves to shield members of the Senate from the hearing will be unfair to the Filipino people clamoring for a thorough and transparent investigation.

Cayetano has already opened his books to the public and allowed state auditors to scrutinize his use of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the past years especially those not covered by the recently released Commission on Audit (COA) report. He likewise urged his colleagues from both houses of Congress to do the same.

The Majority leader further suggested that Senators be willing to sign a waiver declaring that they will disclose to the public all their transactions involving public funds during the ongoing investigations.

"The best way to resolve the issue is for everyone to come clean. No excuses. No exemptions. I am urging all lawmakers to open their financial records to the public in the spirit of transparency, accountability, and reform," he maintained.

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