On April 1st, Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) Chair TG Guingona released the Senate report about the pork barrel scam, stating that Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. “conspired” with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
However, Senator Nancy Binay pointed out that the Senate report that was televised on Tuesday was accomplished without the signature of the rest of the BRC members—herself included—which later on earned criticism from senators of the opposition. Binay even pointed out that they haven’t even seen nor read the said report before it was announced.
“Ikinagulat ko ang biglaang pagpapatawag ni Senator TG Guingona ng press conference patungkol sa findings ng Blue Ribbon Committee sa pork barrel scam. While he has the right to express his views as committee chairman, I feel that Sen. TG should have been more circumspect before making any public announcement (I was surprised when Sen. TG Guingona called for a press conference about the findings of the Blue Ribbon Committee on the pork barrel scam),” said Nancy Binay in a statement just a few hours after the Senate report was televised.
“Sana kinonsulta muna kami dahil maaari naman po kaming ipatawag para sa mga importanteng desisyon tulad nito. Ni hindi pa po namin nakikita ang nilalaman ng report. Sana po ay nabigyan muna kami ng kahit summary ng draft report (How I wish he consulted us first and called us to gather for such an important decision like this. We haven’t even seen the contents of the report. I wish we were given even just a summary of the draft report),” Binay added.
Senators Koko Pimentel and Bam Aquino also jumped in the chorus, saying that they haven’t seen the report as well prior to the controversial press conference.
Binay insisted that the Senate report was not official according to Senate rules because the majority of the committee and Senate members haven’t even seen the report nor gave their approval. This argument was supported by Senate President Franklin Drilon.
“Until the report is signed by a majority of the committee, it is a recommendation of Senator Guingona. The majority of the committee members would have to sign and adopt the report before it becomes officially a committee report,” Drilon said in an interview with Rappler.
However, Drilon pointed out that as the Senate President, he is not a member of the Blue Ribbon Committee and he is not required to sign the said report.
Sen. Koko Pimentel added, “It is not a committee report until the majority of the members sign it but the chair has the right to announce the completion of his report.”
Revilla, Estrada, Enrile, and Binay belong to the Senate minority group.
With report from Rappler, Interaksyon.com, ABS-CBN News Online