What Senate probe? Sen.Dick should retain SBRC

OVER the weekend, at least three newspapers reported that Sen. Ping Lacson will be calling for a Senate grilling, err, investigation, over the goings on at the Bureau of Customs (BoC), arising from the privilege speech he delivered last May 29.

The report, as is common these days, immediately gathered traction after being widely circulated in social media.

Yesterday, however, before writing this piece, I was talking to erstwhile colleague Marlo Dalisay, one of Sen. Ping’s media staff to confirm the report.

And guess what, Comm. Rey Leonardo ‘Jagger’ Guerrero (not “Leon Guerrero,” the famed movie character portrayed by incoming senator Manuel ‘Lito’ Lapid, as stated in the article), Sen. Ping’s media staff are as baffled as their “principal” about the story.    “P’re (short for “pare), wala naman siyang sinabing ganun; binalikan namin lahat ng kanyang media interviews at wala siyang sinabing ganun,” Marlo said.

Mind you, dear readers, Sen. Ping is probably one of the most “documented” public figures we have (probably only next after PDU30) insofar as his public utterances are concerned. As such, Marlo knows what he is talking about.

I recall then that last Thursday, after that searing privilege speech by Sen. Ping (titled, ‘What a Mess, a Dumping Ground of Garbage and Drugs’), there were only two reporters present when Comm. Jagger granted an interview in response to Sen. Ping—yours truly and PTV4 colleague, Ceasar Soriano.

In that interview— which I dutifully recorded— Comm. Jagger was asked what he would do IF a Senate investigation was called? Comm. Jagger then said he is “ready” to face any probe (but of course) and “explain” the BoC’s side, if it comes to that.

Now, aware that the question is, what lawyers would call, “speculative,” I decided to “bury” the answer at the lower part of the story I submitted and which saw print the next day.

Could it be then that this report claiming Sen. Ping would be hauling before the chamber Comm. Jagger was “sourced” from that interview by Ceasar Soriano?

If that’s the case, then this is not actually “fake news” (as Sen. Ping purportedly remarked) but something akin to be “jumping the gun,” so to speak, by putting words into his mouth, hehehe, ayy, huhuhu!

Indeed, in his phone patch interview with colleague Cely Bueno over DWIZ last Saturday (which could also be the source of the news report), what Sen. Ping said was that, yes, Jose, he intends to meet with Comm. Jagger and PDEA director, Aaron Aquino, but not by way of a Senate investigation.

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Aside from the “instability” arising from that “tsismis” that a “coup” against Senate President Vicente ‘Tito Sen’ Sotto, is in the works, the other “destabilizing plan” in the Senate as the reported ambition, err, effort, by re-elected senator, Grace Poe, to wrest the powerful Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, from Sen. Richard ‘Dick’ Gordon.

And as Sen. Dick rightly reminded everyone, he never asked for the SBRC to be given to him by his colleagues to begin with.

Simply put, his colleagues in the 17th Congress agreed to give this powerful committee to him in appreciation of his talents and most importantly, his character that ensured that all the SBRC’s hearings are conducted thoroughly, in a holistic manner and with the sole aim of finding only one thing—the TRUTH.

Yours truly, of course, has personally seen how Sen. Dick has been conducting SBRC hearings on many occasions.

And if in the beginning, I also fell to the view that Sen. Dick has the “tendency” to “monopolize” the discussions (and which make the proceeding “boring” to the members of the press and “irritating” to his colleagues), I later on appreciated what the “monotony” is all about—to...