Pimentel disputes Hontiveros: ‘She has her facts wrong’
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has cried foul over Senator Risa Hontiveros’ accusation that he has allowed the Senate to release personal data of her staff member to be used for the wiretapping case filed against her.
Hontiveros, in a privilege speech this Monday, accused the Senate Leader of assisting in the case filed against her by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II by releasing the personal information, records and photographs of one of her consultants, Davidde Kyle Venturillo.
“Unfortunately, Mr. President, the senator has her facts wrong because the gist of the charges is that personal information, personal data sheets were released or circulated and given. Nothing like this happened,” Pimentel said.
The Senate leader explained that when he received Aguirre’s ‘confidential letter, he immediately referred it to the Senate legal counsel, who later decided that most of the data being requested are public documents.
Guided by that opinion, Pimentel said the concerned offices of the Senate released the requested documents and footage inside the chamber when Aguirre’s photo texting about an alleged plot against Hontiveros was captured by a photographer during a Senate hearing last September 5.
“No personal data sheet was ever released,” Pimentel stressed.
In fact, he said, this office issued a “negative” certification as to the question whether Venturillo was a staff member of Hontiveros.
“Because at that time, she (Venturillo) was not yet your staff but now I think she’s already a part of your staff,” the Senate chief said.
Given his explanation, Pimentel said it was “unfair” to charge him or his office of compromising the security of Hontiveros’ staff member.
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