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Press Release - SP Zubiri on Motu Proprio Hearing of the Committee on Public Order

We were monitoring the Committee hearings being conducted by the Committee on Public Order, and very serious accusations have been made. Whether they have merit or not, is a whole other matter.

While certain claims were made, documentary evidence is yet to be presented. There were no pictures, no corroborating testimonies. In other words, this was solely based on the testimony of one person based on what appears to be hearsay evidence. Mr. Morales cites a document which he claims to have seen, by virtue of his former position, although he did not personally witness any wrongdoing. Then, the drug test of the President is being brought up, even though it did not appear to be germane to the subject of the motu proprio investigation done last hearing.

Under a court of law, guilt must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. While legislative inquiries are very liberal in terms of adhering to rules of evidence, it is our opinion that hearings should aim to ferret out the truth using evidence and facts. Otherwise, the faith of people in inquiries-in-aid of legislation may be diminished, especially when it causes reputational damage to other parties. There have been instances where statements were made in legislative inquiries, only to be recanted before the courts later on. We do not want a repeat of that.

While we respect the Committees' right to perform oversight functions, in aid of legislation, I caution our colleagues to be very careful not to use hearings in aid of political persecution.

Hindi natin hahayaan na magamit ang Senate hearings sa pamumulitika.

Napakahalaga po ng mga Senate hearing sa pagbuo natin ng mas epektibo na mga batas para sa bayan. Kaya napakahalaga rin na maging patas at base sa ebidensiya ang ating mga hearings.

Kailangan ng ebidensiya, hindi pwedeng sabi-sabi lang, at pinapaalala natin ang halaga ng mapagkakatiwalaang mga resources. Walang tsismis, walang pulitika--katotohanan lang.

Yun lamang po ang reminder ko sa ating mga kasamahan dito, dahil, as I said--reputational damage is being done when we put out disnformation, or fake news ika nga, kung walang ebidensiya. So mag-iingat lang po tayo.

Yun lamang po, Mr. Chairman. Bilang Presidente ng