Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said that the continued refusal of Vice-President Jejomar Binay to defend himself at the Senate hearing on plunder charges against him is tantamount to “forum shopping,” which is prohibited and penalized by the Supreme Court.
Binay has said that he prefers to defend himself at the Office of the Ombudsman, where the same plunder and other cases have been filed, and has claimed that certain senators have prejudged him.
Santiago said that Binay’s attempt to escape scrutiny at the Senate is similar to prohibited forum shopping in the courts which, according to the Supreme Court, takes place “when a person avails of several judicial remedies in different courts, raising substantially the same issues.” Continue reading
By SENATOR MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO
(Guest speaker at the annual national convention of the Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards, Inc. [PAREB] on 10 October 2014, at the
Bellevue Hotel, Alabang, Muntinlupa)
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said that in view of the serious charges of plunder and corruption against PNP Chief Alan Purisima, President Aquino should transfer him to an incompatible office.
Under the law, if a public official accepts an incompatible office, he is deemed to have resigned from the previous office, and thus Purisima would be deemed resigned as PNP chief.
Santiago suggested that Purisima could be transferred to the position of Napolcom commissioner, or as assistant secretary of either the DILG or the DND.
I asked this question to Mr. Washington Sycip. This is his reply.
“This question is often asked of me perhaps because I’ve lived so long that I’ve known all the Philippine presidents since Manuel L. Quezon and have been witness to each administration’s economic program. Time and again, my answer has been the same: We need to diminish poverty.
The next question is harder to answer – How do we diminish poverty?
It is difficult but not impossible to reduce poverty in the Philippines. First, I think there should be less politics. Second, we need to focus on the bottom group of society as they are the greatest in number but with least opportunities. The key is to equip this group with education and appropriate healthcare in order for them to advance. When this majority begins to go up in socio-economic standing then we will also start to see true progress.
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, chair of the Commission on Appointments’ foreign affairs committee, walked out of her own committee hearing, because the members of the House of Representatives wanted her to wait for all other late members.
Santiago pointed out that some 50 nominees for various posts in the Department of Foreign Affairs had been waiting since 10:00 a.m., and it would be “irresponsible” to make them wait further.
“That would be a classic case of congressional arrogance,” Santiago fumed. Continue reading