Chiz Escudero Press Statement
ON THE OMBUDSMAN’S RECOMMENDATION
The Office of the Ombudsman’s recommendation to file charges against 17 former and current DPWH officials in connection with the anomalous bidding for several World Bank-funded road projects is a big disappointment.
The anti-graft body has again failed to prove its steadfast resolve in battling corruption in the country. It has avoided the inclusion of several powerful personalities in its recommendation and for that it has failed in its mandate to fight graft and corruption.
These high government officials and powerful public figures have already been mentioned in the World Bank report, which detailed the bid-rigging activities by some contractors in collusion with public officials.
The Ombudsman had been given an opportunity to prove itself in this case, but unfortunately it would seem that personal ties and political debts play important roles in the office’s performance of its mandate.
CHIZ: TAX ON TEXT IS LIKE ROBBERY IN BROAD DAYLIGHT
Opposition Senator Chiz Escudero on Wednesday said imposing a tax on text messaging is tantamount to government “robbing the people” in broad daylight.
“Whether it's 10 centavos or 5 centavos, I will still oppose the measure. I am against imposing tax on text messaging because I believe it will be borne by those who have less in life,” he said in a statement.
“Texting is no longer a luxury; it is the easiest way to connect with loved ones and friends. Text messaging will suddenly become more expensive as the tax can be passed on to end users,” Escudero added.
The senator described the plan as “lazy man’s quick fix” aimed at responding to the expected loss in revenues due to the worsening economic crisis.
The senator cautioned the lower house from taxing the patience of the people.
“These are difficult times. Let us think instead of ways to ease the people’s plight,” Escudero said.
CHA-CHA MOVES DOOMED – CHIZ
Senator Chiz Escudero on Wednesday said the administration’s moves to change the constitution will fail because the Senate and the people will oppose and reject it.
“If the plan is to bypass the Senate, then I will be the first to challenge it before the Supreme Court,” said Escudero, who is the chair of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of laws.
“If by any chance it passes the Supreme Court, then I am sure that the people will reject it,” he added. “Kung sa chess ito, siguradong mate ang kalalabasan nitong desperate Queen’s gambit.”
Escudero said he will not act on any motion to change the charter before 2010 while he is head of the Senate committee.
The opposition senator also pointed out the cha-cha proponents in the Lower House continue to be deliberately vague about what they want to change in the 1987 charter.
"Let the people know what you want revised, inserted, or added. Is this too much to ask of the representatives of the people?” Escudero asked.
He said, however, that charter change should be in the list of priorities of the new president, whoever he may be.
“There have been studies made clearly showing the need for changes in our present constitution. It has been more than 20 years after it was adopted at the height of people power,” Escudero pointed out.
“We should do it at the start of a new administration to dispel any doubts about personal motives and agendas," he stressed.