Cabinet execs to continue attending congressional inquiries - TrueID

Cabinet execs to continue attending congressional inquiries

Philippine News AgencySeptember 6, 2022

SENATE HEARING. Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez attends the Senate hearing on the “sugar fiasco” at the Philippine Senate in Pasay City on Tuesday (Sept. 6, 2022). Malacañang assured Congress that all members of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s Cabinet will show up in congressional inquiries if invited to testify as resource persons. (Photo courtesy of Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau)

MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday assured Congress that all members of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s Cabinet will show up in congressional inquiries if invited to testify as resource persons.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles made this remark after Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez on Tuesday appeared at the Senate inquiry into the sugar importation mess after the blue ribbon panel had agreed to subpoena him.

“The Executive Secretary attended the Senate blue ribbon committee and has answered all questions to the satisfaction of the members of the committee. Cabinet Members who are called to testify as resource persons in any inquiry will continue to extend all courtesies to the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Cruz-Angeles said in a press statement.

She said the President welcomes any move by Congress to check allegations of anomalous transactions in government, adding that it bolsters the administration’s campaign for transparency in governance.

Cruz-Angeles also said it has “always” been a policy of the President to cooperate fully with ongoing investigations in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

The Senate panel earlier voted to issue a subpoena against Rodriguez to compel him to attend the panel’s hearings after saying he will no longer be able to attend “per instructions of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.”

Rodriguez also told the committee that he would only be able to cooperate through “written answers.”

Senator Risa Hontiveros motioned to subpoena Rodriguez after the latter initially wrote a letter saying he would skip the hearing.

At least 11 members of the panel voted in favor of the subpoena and three disapproved while another three abstained.

Before the subpoena was signed by Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Rodriguez already showed up.

Rodriguez said the President instructed him to attend upon learning that a subpoena was issued against him.

He assured the senators that there was “no intent to disrespect the Senate” when he initially informed them that he could not attend the hearing.

Rodriguez earlier said he skipped the previous hearings because he was in the thick of the preparations for Marcos’ first state visit to Indonesia and Singapore.

He was briefly able to attend the first hearing on the sugar importation mess in Aug. 23, but left early to attend a Cabinet meeting.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Rodriguez assured that the Marcos administration “will remain cooperative if there is any perceived violation.”

He also expressed appreciation to the Senate Blue and the Committee on Agriculture, assuring that “we look forward to the resolution of the investigation on the ‘Sugar Fiasco.”

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