MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano has lined up the priority measures including other reforms in the country’s criminal justice system that the Senate will prioritize when the Senate resumes after its Lenten break on May 5.
Cayetano said among the reform measures in the criminal justice system include the Whistleblowers Act, the strengthened Witness Protection Program and the designation of special criminal courts that will conduct daily trials for high-profile cases and heinous crimes.
He said while investigation of various controversies including the pork barrel scam must continue, the Senate is not putting aside its legislative duties.Cayetano urged the Senate blue ribbon committee to commence its probe on the alleged plunder of P900 million in Malampaya gas funds that were supposed to help farmers affected by typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” in 2009 but ended up in the pockets of the corrupt.
”The people have the right to know what these funds ended up in the hands of corrupt officials instead of when to using them to farmer-beneficiaries,” Cayetano said.
“This is another atrocity that has been committed against the Filipino people who are still in outrage over the P10-billion pork barrel scandal. We should know who will be punished,” he added.
Cayetano said blue ribbon chairman Senator Teofisto Guingona should make partial report on the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) probe and start probe on Malampaya funds.
”I asked him already to start hearing on Malampaya fund scam,” Cayetano said.
Meanwhile, Cayetano also asked both Malacañang and Congress to prioritize the enactment of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, saying it is the Filipino people’s most effective “insurance against graft and corruption in government.
The Senate approved on third and final reading the FOI bill a week before it adjourned for Holy Week recess last March 12. (MNS)