January 18, 2010
MANILA, Philippines – Twelve senators have signed a committee report that recommended Senator Manny Villar’s censure for unethical behavior when he allegedly used his position to profit from the C-5 road extension project.
Those who signed the report are Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senators Ma. Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Mar Roxas, Rodolfo Biazon, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Juan Edgardo Angara, Richard Gordon, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Francis Escudero, and Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
Enrile is head of the Senate committee that investigated the C-5 road controversy while Madrigal was the complainant in the ethics complaint filed against Villar.
Estrada and Pangilinan were also among those who signed a resolution late last year seeking the dismissal of the case against Villar.
But Estrada has already told that he would withdraw his signature from the resolution, saying he only signed it because there was an agreement that it would only be filed after the committee comes out with its own report.
Pangilinan’s sudden turn around on the issue came as a surprise as he was a known friend of Villar.
Pangilinan and Villar were members of the so-called Wednesday Club at the Senate.
The report is expected to be filed at the Senate Monday night for floor deliberations. The report also seeks the return and restitution of P6.22 billion spent for the said road project.
In signing the report, Pangilinan explained that he was simply abiding the decision of his group, the Liberal Party.
“The LP today took an official party stand on the issue of the committee report of the committee of the whole,” he said in a statement.
“It is the decision of the Party leadership that regardless of whether we believe in the guilt or innocence of Sen. Villar, at the very least, the proponents of the report should be allowed to present their findings in plenary,” he said.
“Senators can then vote either for or against the findings at the appropriate time. As a member of the LP, we will abide by the Party decision and allow for the report to be presented in plenary,” he further said.
LP is headed by Roxas and also counts as members Aquino and Biazon.
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