Press Release
February 4, 2022

Dispatch from Crame No. 1215:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on Sen. Gatchalian's Privilege Speech on Malampaya


In Dec. 2021, I was among those who, early on, called out the irregularities surrounding the Malampaya agreement. It had to be done, and it had to be said lest these unscrupulous con-men behind this deal continue to suck our coffers dry and, worse, forever and irretrievably compromise the preservation of our national security and natural resources to the detriment of ourselves and our posterity.

The other day, Feb. 2, in a privilege speech, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian gave a glimpse of the findings of his Committee on its investigation of the most recent Malampaya deal by Udenna Corp.

I stand with him on this matter.

It is in these pressing concerns that we should all set aside our political colors and affiliations, and stand side by side to decry collusions that are most prejudicial to the interests of the Filipino people. Tumitindig ako kasama ni Sen. Win at iba pang mga kasamahan ko sa Senado upang aksyunan ang kwestyonableng kasunduan na ito na walang ibang makikinabang kung hindi ang mga kaalyado at crony ni Duterte, kasama na ang kanilang mga kasabwat na dayuhan.

I repeat what I said last year, the sale of Malampaya to Dennis Uy is not only brimming with irregularities, it is an affront to the Filipino people who have been left struggling with the worst socio-economic impacts these last few years. Kasuklam-suklam na, sa kabila ng labis na paghihirap ng milyun-milyong Filipino, heto muli ang isa sa mga crony ni Duterte na nakinabang sa isang questionableng kontrata.

Add that to DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi's blatant refusal to recuse himself from the matter even when he has already been called out for having become an instant billionaire through a 2017 transaction with the same most blessed Duterte crony. Lahat ng iyan ay isiniwalat at inilantad na sa mga naganap na hearing sa Senado, ngunit talagang patuloy pa rin ang pagmamatigas, kakapalan ng mukha at kawalan ng hiya ng mga sangkot.

Sen. Win called for Cusi's resignation and a prompt investigation by the Ombudsman.

I couldn't agree more. We simply cannot watch these officials facing serious allegations of malfeasance slink away from public view and let the passage of time wash away their sins. We, as duly elected Senators of the Republic, are compelled to demand so much more. We call for accountability. We demand that they answer for all their sins against the nation. Sa lahat ng panahon na inuna nila ang kanilang sariling interes bago bayan, kailangan nila itong pagbayaran.

Energy - a very crucial resource - is at the heart of this controversy. What does the future hold for our people? Duterte and his cronies would know because they are once again front and center of yet another controversy laced with their personal interests.

Ang mga susunod na araw ang magtatakda kung paano natin ilalaban ang kinabukasan ng enerhiya sa ating bansa upang siguraduhing may sapat na akses dito ang sangkatauhan, partikular na sa mga maralitang taga-lungsod at mga nasa kanayunan. We cannot just watch as Duterte pays his debt of gratitude to his campaign contributors turned cronies, to his minions turned officials drunk on power.

We are witnessing one of the worst cases of cronyism in the history of the Philippine Republic, reminiscent of how, during the Marcos regime, Meralco was taken and handed over to the then President's brother-in-law, Kokoy Romualdez, during which time the public utility company somehow never turned a profit, as documented in, among others, an article by the Chicago Tribune.

Duterte, who once promised that he would not tolerate even a whiff of corruption, is, ironically, at the center of it all. Or is it really ironic? One cannot help but wonder whether this is a case of the allure of power that comes with his position and the nearly absolute control he accumulated over all the branches and institutions of government being his downfall, or if that was the plan all along from the very inception of his candidacy. History would say that it's the latter, especially given who he has emulated from day one of his presidency, but that's just my opinion.###

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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