Poe: Lim, Tugade invited to Senate probe, but no subpoenas
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Grace Poe said she would not want to resort to issuing a subpoena to Chairman Danilo Lim of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade in succeeding Senate inquiries on the traffic woes of Metro Manila.
Poe said this on Tuesday after both officials skipped the hearing on the implementation of the provincial bus ban and other traffic issues.
It was the Senate public services committee, which she chairs, that conducted the hearing.
“Chairman Lim and Secretary Tugade, we are inviting you to attend our hearing. We’re asking you properly because many of countrymen would want to hear from you,” Poe, speaking in Filipino, told reporters after the hearing.
“We don’t want to resort to issuing a subpoena to invite you because we know that you are concerned about our countrymen,” she added.
Asked if Lim had confirmed his attendance for the hearing, Poe said: “Chairman Danny Lim confirmed. Secretary Tugade is always busy, as if we here are not busy ourselves, right?]
Earlier, the senator aired her frustration over Lim’s absence during the inquiry.
During the hearing, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia told Poe that Lim had to attend a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signing.
However, he was not able to provide further details on the signing.
“This is sad. No, it‘s funny. They don’t even know what MOA was to be signed,” Poe added. “I hope that they’re going to make an excuse they should at least put in order what they’re going to say. After all, I’m not insulting anyone.”
But despite this, Poe said she understood how challenging it must be to head the MMDA.
“Maybe Chairman Lim is also frustrated. I understand that his job is not an easy one,” she said. “But at least show up and be honest to our countrymen and say: ‘I’m already having a hard time; people don’t listen.’ We will understand.”
“We made the invitation properly. We still have another hearing,” she added. “I know they’re saying that they’re dealing with many things. But all of us are also dealing with many things. I just hope they make time and prioritize this.”
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