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