Press Release
October 14, 2013

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

1. Subpoena to Napoles

If I were not on sick leave, I would vote to issue the subpoena to Napoles. In effect, the Constitution gives this power to the Senate. It might upset the delicate system of checks and balances, if the Senate itself dilutes this power by seeking an external agency such as the Ombudsman, to express a legal opinion.

On the one hand, if the Ombudsman opines that we should issue subpoena, then that would set a bad precedent. It would constitute the concession by the Senate to an external agency to determine how we shall exercise our power. On the other hand, if the Ombudsman opines that to issue subpoena would not be advisable, if we go ahead and issue the subpoena, then we show lack of comity (courtesy) to the Ombudsman.

At the start, I was against holding "an inquiry in aid of legislation" by the blue ribbon committee on the Napoles issue, on the ground that it would be a redundancy. But the committee chair exercised his discretion to hold the hearing. Following Senate tradition, the Senate should support the rulings of the committee chair.

2. INC Event Today

There is a message behind the INC event today. If you are a politician and you don't get it, you are a fool.

3. Postscript

At my recent meeting with him, US Ambassador Harry Thomas told me that he is familiar with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). One of his close friends, who is also a US ambassador, has a daughter, now 26, who has CFS. The friend took early retirement, so that he and his wife could take personal care of their daughter. This is the context of CFS, in the light of which, I hope the Senate and the public might extend the latitude of their patience with me.

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