MANILA, Philippines — Administration ally and House committee on good government and public accountability chairperson Michael Aglipay said Wednesday that inquiries conducted by the Senate blue ribbon committee during election season were “designed so that frontrunners will not win” in the polls.
Aglipay claimed similar cases have happened in the past where election frontrunners are subjected to investigation before the elections, citing then-presidential candidates Manny Villar in 2010 and Jejomar Binay in 2016.
“Designed ‘yan para ‘yung frontrunner ay hindi manalo (It is designed so that the frontrunner will not win). History is the best judge of what is happening today,” Aglipay answered during a press briefing where he was asked if he believes that the Senate panel’s probe on the government deals for COVID-19 supplies was designed to bring down the approval rating of the administration.
“So ito na naman po, ang frontrunner ngayon ang pamilyang Duterte, kung sinuman ang i-endorse nila—siyempre kung sinuman i-endorse ng Presidente, malaking baba ng ratings dahil dito sa ginawa ng blue ribbon,” he added.
(So this time, the frontrunner is the Duterte family, whoever the family endorses, of course, whoever the President endorses, ratings would significantly drop because of what the blue ribbon did.)
Further, Aglipay said: “Hindi ko dine-defend ang administration, sinasabi ko lang ang motibo (I am not defending the administration, I’m just saying what the motive is).”
Senate President Vicente Sotto III opted to “ignore” Aglipay’s remarks, saying “I am too engrossed with other important matters to bother with comments.”
Senator Risa Hontiveros, meanwhile, said that resolutions seeking an investigation on the government spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic were filed even before the election season.
“Kaunting galang at respeto sa mga institusyon at proseso, lalo sa usapin ng checks and balance. Ang mga institusyon ay kumakatawan at pinuprotektahan ang interes ng taumbayan,” Hontiveros said.
(Show some respect to the institution and the process, especially on the issue of checks and balances. These institutions are made to protect the interest of the public.)
“Walang pinipiling panahon ang pagpapanagot lalo sa mga tiwali at kurakot higit lalo sa gitna ng pandemya at paghihirap,” she added.
(Accountability from the dishonest and corrupt, especially during a pandemic, does not choose any season.)
Senator Richard Gordon, who chairs the blue ribbon committee, has yet to issue any remark on Aglipay’s claims.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.