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Miscellaneous

Roque: Junk solons who waste public funds on useless inquiries

UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roque has cautioned voters against grandstanding politicians that presided over Senate investigations and public hearings “in aid of reelection or persecution.”

Roque, a former party-list congressman, said the electorate should be wary of senators who wasted government resources on inquiries that have failed to produce any significant legislation or resolution.

He urged voters “to punish incumbent lawmakers behind useless senate inquiries by not reelecting them. Some have fared poorly in opinion surveys and are desperate to earn brownie points from voters at the expense of public funds.”

If elected to the Senate, Roque would review the rules of procedures governing inquiries in aid of legislation to make Senators more accountable for their actions.

The former presidential spokesman said politicians who abuse the Senate’s oversight function to advance their interests must be held responsible for such an offense.

He added that it is unacceptable for senators to browbeat and publicly humiliate resource persons for partisan politics. He would strengthen the Senate ethics committee’s functions so that resource persons can file a complaint.

Roque said formal inquiries are supposed to be in aid of legislation. Still, some politicians have unscrupulously used this as a platform for their reelection bids and persecuted the Duterte administration and its perceived allies.

He cited the more than 20 hearings on Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation’s multi-billion Covid-19 medical supply contracts. Roque said the Senate blue ribbon committee report did not contain any piece of legislation.

Roque also echoed President Duterte’s public statement last February that the Senate should not waste the time of government officials in the middle of an emergency pandemic response to attend a series of hearings.

The president also publicly denied saying anything favorable to Pharmally. He asked the public to junk ‘overstaying’ senators, particularly those who disrespect the dignity of resource persons invited to a Senate investigation.

“The funds used for several Pharmally hearings would have been better allocated to Ayuda (financial subsidy) for pandemic-affected Filipinos,” Roque said.

Roque’s platform for the Senate also includes the “three-day” court hearing rule, which would speed up the country’s criminal court system, and a Victims Compensation Fund wherein the government will directly indemnify victims of heinous crimes.

He would push for the better implementation of health care coverage, ‘zero hunger’ within six years, access to potable water within six years, and job creation for pandemic-affected workers.

As a former member of the House of Representatives, Roque has principally sponsored the Universal Health Care Law, National HIV and AIDS policy, free irrigation services act, and free lunch for school children nationwide.

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