"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I will take charge in drafting NBN-ZTE report

Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon today said he will draft the preliminary report on the Senate's investigation into the alleged anomalous $329-million National Broadband Network-ZTE deal.

Gordon, who believes that coming up with the preliminary report is the duty of his predecessor Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, said he has accepted the duty of drafting the report to ensure that the Senate honors its obligations to the people who elect them.

"Senator Cayetano said he does not want to do the committee report. Then, I will be the one to do it, and have it concurred with the other members. This is what we honorable men do," he said.

Gordon said he will issue the preliminary report before Senate goes into recess on March 7.

He explained that the committee is tasked to conduct investigations in aid of legislation, and is expected not only expose irregularities in the government perpetrated by public officials and their cohorts but also, and most importantly, to craft better laws.

He said it is because of his deep sense of his sworn duty as chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee that he is taking charge in coming up with a preliminary report on the Senate's investigations into the NBN-ZTE deal.

Gordon however maintained it is Cayetano's principal responsibility to come up with the preliminary report since he had presided over 12 hearings and steered six technical working group meetings the panel conducted on the controversy.

"It is not right to say that you are not comfortable doing the report because you are no longer with the majority. He started this investigation and headed it for 12 hearings, so he should have done even just the preliminary report," Gordon said.

"This is just a matter of simple courtesy and devotion to your duty. Hindi ako umiiwas sa trabaho. Kung ayaw ng isa na gawin ang tungkulin niya, sige, ako na ang gagawa," he added.

Cayetano earlier argued that the current chairman should do the report because he enjoys the trust and confidence of the Senate majority, to which Gordon replied, "It's about duty, and not mere comfort."

Meanwhile, after heading seven of the eight hearings on the P728-million fertilizer project, Gordon is poised to issue a preliminary report on the committee's findings.

The report includes proposed legislative remedial measures aimed at plugging loopholes in the country's laws, among them are the Anti-Money Laundering Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act, the Government Procurement Act, and the Omnibus Election Code.

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