Senate resource persons face contempt threats due to technical glitches
MANILA, Philippines— A former transportation official was almost cited for contempt during a Senate hearing on Tuesday due to technical glitches.
As the Senate blue ribbon committee tackled the old problems on license plates, Senator Richard Gordon could be seen losing his temper as he was having difficulty communicating with some resource persons during the panel’s online hearing.
“Secretary Lotilla, naka-mute kayo. Please don’t tempt me, I will hold you in contempt so help me God,” committee chairman Gordon said, referring to former Transportation Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla.
After repeated attempts to get Lotilla to the hearing, Gordon directed the committee to prepare an arrest order to compel the former official to appear before the panel.
“There’s no excuse why he will not appear. He said he was here. Make ready orders for contempt that he be arrested to appear here,” he said, addressing panel director-general Rodolfo Quimbo.
According to another panel official, there was no answer from Quimbo as he was at the restroom at that time.
Gordon was also informed that Lotilla was present in the online hearing but was just experiencing some technical problems.
“Mr. Lotilla, I suggest you go to another computer. I know you can hear me; go to another computer,” the senator said.
Lotilla apologized when he finally able to join the hearing using his phone.
“I’m ok now, sir; I’m using my phone. My apologies, sir,” he said.
Before this, Gordon also threatened to hold some officials of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in contempt when they could not immediately respond to his queries.
“Secretary Galvante, I hate to put you on the spot…but ang totoo niyan, totoo talagang nagpapalit taon-taon ng plaka…tama po ba yan Secretary Galvante…?
Sir..? Secretary Galvante? Sir, baka naka-mute kayo,” the senator said, referring to LTO chief Edgar Galvante.
“Malapit na akong magalit sa inyo, ha. I don’t want to put anybody in contempt,” he also said.
Galvante later apologized to the committee, saying he and other LTO officials responded to the queries but could not be heard, probably because of technical problems.
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