Senate Blue Ribbon panel postpones Malampaya Fund probe

By , on May 20, 2014

Malampaya gas platform. Photo Sembcorp Marine.
Malampaya gas platform. Photo Sembcorp Marine.

MANILA – Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Teofisto Guingona III announced on Monday the postponement of the Senate inquiry into the alleged Malampaya Fund anomalies “to a later date.”

”The postponement is due to the unavailability of our resource person from the Commission on Audit,” Guingona said in a press statement.

Guingona originally set the Senate probe on the alleged misuse of Malampaya Fund this coming Thursday with COA Chairperson Grace Pulido Tan as the main invited resource person.

Tan, however, requested the Senate to reset the investigation due to the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia which the country will be hosting for the first time from May 21 to 23.

”The Committee will announce the rescheduled date soon,” Guingona said.

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano expressed disappointment over the cancellation of the Senate inquiry.

”I’m very disappointed that we cancelled the Senate hearing for Thursday on Malampaya Fund,” Cayetano said in media interview before the Monday afternoon session of the Senate.

Cayetano said if the COA chief is not available on Thursday, “we can have a hearing on Friday, or Wednesday or Monday.”

Cayetano said the Malampaya Fund probe could have been the opportunity to subpoena again controversial businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion priority development assistance fund (PDAF) scam.

”This could have been the opportunity for us to summon Ms. Napoles and the (Napoles) lists because the Fertilizer Fund scam, PDAF scam and Malampaya Fund scam are intimately related,” Cayetano said.

With this, Cayetano said he will file a Senate resolution seeking for reopening of the Fertilizer Fund scam.