Tolentino eyes changes in Senate blue ribbon hearing rules | Inquirer News

Tolentino eyes changes in Senate blue ribbon hearing rules

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 12:57 PM July 08, 2022
Senate blue ribbon panel chair Tolentino

Sen. Francis “Tol” Tolentino. (Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — There will be some changes on how investigations will be conducted by the Senate blue ribbon committee, its incoming chairperson Senator Francis Tolentino said Friday.

The primary changes include the manner a resource person is invited and treated at the hearings and how the recommendations for the filing of charges are to be conducted, Tolentino said.

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“Ganito kaaga pa lang ay gumagawa na tayo ng mga pagbabago sa rules sa blue ribbon committee at ito ay patungkol sa paggalang sa mga nasasalang sa imbestigasyon,” he said in an interview over ABS CBN’s TeleRadyo.

(We are already crafting changes in the rules this early, particularly on how to respect the resource persons.)

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He said that before a resource person is chosen and invited to the blue ribbon panel investigation, there will first be a small committee that will determine probable cause to proceed.

“Bago isalang nang full blast, magkakaroon ng maliit na committee to determine kung mayroon bang substantial likelihood na dapat mag-proceed, mayroon bang probable cause, etc.” the senator said.

(Before they go to the hearings, there will be a small committee to determine whether substantial likelihood to proceed, probable cause, etc.)

The blue ribbon committee will also respect the rights of resource persons, Tolentino said.

Referral to prosecute

Another change to be made allows the blue ribbon committee to issue a referral to prosecute anyone found to have potentially broken the law in the course of their investigations in aid of legislation.

He said this referral only needs to be signed by the committee chairperson and approved by the Senate President to be transmitted directly to the judiciary.

“Magkakaroon ngayon ng referral to prosecute. Pag pinirmahan ng chairman ng committee ng blue ribbon at inaprubahan ng Senate President, diretso na sa husgado na ‘yun. Tuloy-tuloy na ‘yun sa husgado so mabilis ‘yung proseso,” Tolentino said.

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(There will be a referral to prosecute. Once this is signed by the chairman of the committee and approved by the Senate President, it will go straight to the judiciary. The process will be quicker.)

Blue ribbon general counsel

The blue ribbon committee will also have a general counsel to help with the prosecution, Tolentino said.

He said he is eyeing this to be a retired justice or a distinguished person in the judiciary.

“Magkakaroon kami ng blue ribbon committee general counsel. Isa itong mataas na posisyon, siguro, kukuha tayo dito ng isang retired justice na hahawak dito para nang sa ganoon, tuloy-tuloy ‘yung pag-aaral ng pagpo-prosecute bukod pa doon sa ginagawa ng Senado doon sa mga in aid of legislation,” he said.

(We will have a blue ribbon committee general counsel. This is a high post. Maybe we will get a retired justice to handle this so that the studies on prosecution will be continuous, on top of what the Senate is doing in aid of legislation.)

/MUF
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TAGS: blue ribbon committee, Senate, Senator Tolentino
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