Gatchalian accepts Cusi's apology for 'adversarial business interests' remark | Inquirer News

Gatchalian accepts Cusi’s apology for ‘adversarial business interests’ remark

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 12:35 PM October 16, 2023

FILLING THE VACANT POSITIONS IN BIR, BOC: Sen. Win Gatchalian, chairperson of the Committee on Ways and Means, asks the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) for strategies to attract qualified and talented employees amid problems in filling vacant positions in the two agencies. During the Finance Subcommittee A hearing on the 2024 consolidated budget of the Department of Finance and its attached agencies and corporations, Gatchalian pointed out that a total of 11,745 positions remain unfilled in the BIR and BOC as of 2022. “It is a huge amount considering the BOC and the BIR are the revenue collecting agencies and I assume that the more people they have the more efficient they will become and the more taxes they would collect,” Gatchalian said Monday, October 2, 2023. BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui, Jr. admitted that while they are active in the promotion to hire new and more employees, the low salary that the agency offers turns off potential candidates from joining the bureau. To attract the best and the brightest employees, Lumagui suggested that there’s a need to improve the plantilla positions in the BIR. (Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB)

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian (File photo by Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has accepted former Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s apology over the latter’s remarks against the lawmaker last year.

Two newspapers published the apology on Monday.


“I accept the apology extended to me by former Secretary Alfonso Cusi in the spirit of magnanimity,” Gatchalian said in a statement.


“This underscores the need for all government officials to exercise care in their words, recognizing the impact they have on the public,” he noted.

“As government officials, it is our responsibility to maintain the highest standards of integrity and accountability,” he said.

“I believe that this episode serves as a reminder to all of us in government that our words and deeds should align with the principles of honesty, transparency, and commitment to the welfare of the public,” he added.

“Nagpapatunay lamang ito na tama ang ating ipinaglaban at ang mga ginagawa nating hakbang ay walang bahid ng anumang pagkiling sa mga isyu na may epekto sa ating mga kababayan,” the senator said.

(This only proves that what we fought for is correct, and the steps we are taking are free from any bias on issues that affect our fellow citizens.)

Cusi, in a statement Monday, retracted the following statements against the senator: “he had chosen to lend his ear to adversarial business interests” and “he had sought to undermine the DOE’s (Department of Energy) ability to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the proposal covering the said sale of share.”


The following was Cusi’s complete statement posted on the DOE’s website on February 4, 2023:

“It is unfortunate that, in the course of the Committee hearings, Senator Gatchalian had chosen to lend his ear to those adversarial business interests. It was obvious in these hearings that Senator Gatchalian sought to undermine the DOE’s ability to evaluate the proposal covering the said sale of shares comprehensively.”

DOE Sec. Alfonso Cusi LYN RILLON/Philippine Daily Inquirer

Former DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi (File photo taken on October 6, 2016 by LYN RILLON/Philippine Daily Inquirer)

It stemmed from Gatchalian’s resolution recommending the filing of appropriate cases against the former energy chief and several others.

The complaints were in connection with the approval of the sale of a majority stake in the Malampaya gas field.

As then head of Senate committee on energy, Gatchalian led the probe into the Malampaya deal.

In his public apology, Cusi explained he had no intention of accusing Gatchalian “of any crime, vice or defect, or of dishonoring his reputation.”

He told the lawmaker he was just trying to express his opinion on the conduct of the proceedings based on his personal experience and observation.

“I regret any negative insinuations that may arise from this particular post and apologize to Senator Gatchalian for whatever pain and humiliation that the published statement may have caused him,” Cusi said.


Valenzuela finds merit in filing cyber libel vs. Ex-DOE Chief Cusi

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Senate adopts reso seeking raps vs Cusi, other execs over Malampaya deal

TAGS: apology, Cusi, Gatchalian, Malampaya

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