House minority firm on inquiry on Aquino’s ‘KKK’ buddies
MANILA, Philippines – The minority at the House of Representatives is standing pat on its demand that President Benigno Aquino III’s “kakampi, kaklase and kabarilan” (party mates, classmates and shooting buddies) face a congressional investigation.
“The projected congressional inquiry is not a ‘fishing expedition’ as claimed by Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, because some of the ‘big fishes’ have already been caught by independent investigations but set free by no less than the President himself,” said Minority Leader Edcel Lagman in a statement.
Lagman was referring to Land Transportation Office Chief Virginia Torres, shooting buddy of the President, who was recommended for dismissal by the Department of Justice for intervening in the Stradcom ownership dispute; to Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Ricardo Puno, a close friend of the President, who was recommended for charges by Incident Investigation and Review Committee headed by Justice Secretary Leila De Lima for his botching the Rizal Park hostage rescue; and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, a political ally of the President, who was accused of tax evasion and cleared moto propio.
Lagman noted that Aquino chose to ignore all these cases.
Lagman called the explanation of the President’s friends as “self-serving” and that congressional inquiries should not be pursued only against political foes but also against presidential friends.
“Prosecution is a process against individual offenders whereas congressional investigations in aid of legislation are for the enactment of statutes to cover general application,” said Lagman
The President’s House allies came forward Thursday to reject a congressional investigation on the President’s friends as a mere “fishing expedition.”
“Why should the President’s allies in Malacañang and in Congress be more popish than pope when the subject officials have signified their willingness to be investigated? The tyrants of numbers must not be scared of the marginalized but vigilant minority, but they should be afraid of the people’s wrath. The target must not be moved nor concealed against an impending bull’s eye,” said Lagman.
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