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PIA Press Release
2007/11/19

Commentary: As truth unravels, motives are revealed

Tacloban City (19 November) -- After harsh words, pointing fingers,blaming innocent people including the President, the truth, it seems, is starting to unravel as could be glimpsed in the November 14 hearing of the Senate blue-ribbon committee where Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, the whistle blower, testified.

There were no new revelations in Governor Ed Panlilio's testimony during the first day of the Senate hearing on the "cash gifts"given to the congressmen on October 11 during their meeting in Malacanang.

The thing that struck this humble scribe is the statement of Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio that he cannot claim that the "cash gift" given to the congressmen and governors on October 11, was a bribe since no one has asked them for anything in return.

The reaction of Senator Escudero was rather revealing, saying that the money was an indirect bribe under the Revised Penal Code and that Panlilio had violated Presidential Decree No. 46, which prohibits public officials from receiving money on any occasion.

What is this? Was Governor Ed Panlilio invited to the Senate hearing in order to tell the truth or does Senator Escudero want him to hear him accuse innocent people particularly the President and her allies?

Governor Panlilio is not a criminal, neither is he being tried for any crime. He was invited and so just like any other people who have been invited in the Senate hearings, he is there to help Senate unravel the truth in aid of legislation.

Gov. Panlilio is an honest elected official, showing a good example of transparency in governance. His motive is to clarify and expose the truth - not to be accused of violating the law as mentioned by Escudero.

Now Governor Panlilio knows the reason why high government officials hesitate to attend much less to testify in Senate hearings anymore.

Nevertheless, the fact remains - the initial investigation on the "gift giving" at Malacanang by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee showed that the P500,000. given to Governor Ed Panlilio of Pampanga in Malacanang on October 11 came from a private, not government fund. (PIA 8) [top]

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