By Florence F. Hibionada/ PNS
Iloilo Second District Representative Augusto Boboy Syjuco goes public and official on his reason for the “no” Ombudsman impeachment vote.
In a written explanation submitted to the House of Representatives Secretariat, the Ilonggo solon detailed his position.
Syjuco began by pointing out how all points – legal and others- have been duly covered by colleagues in the Minority. They may have the reason and propriety, he stressed, yet in the end, those were no match to the “force of numbers.”
As such, he continued, the entire process has now boiled down to a “political exercise rather than an honest-to-goodness investigation into what is true and real versus what is false and merely political.”
“The one single point not covered by my colleagues who preceded me in their interpellations is the personal bias of the Chairman of the Committee on Justice, Representative Niel Tupas, Jr.,” Representative Syjuco explained. “He has expressly admitted, duly recorded in the transcript of the hearings of the Committee on Justice, that he and his Father, former Governor Niel Tupas, Sr. had met with officials from the Office of the Ombudsman to discuss a deal…….The fact that Tupas Junior in the company of Tupas Senior went to such a “lets make a deal” meeting was an abhorrent act on his part and makes him a biased and impartial Chairman of the Justice Committtee to investigate the Ombudsman, especially since Tupas Senior did not get what he wanted, for the Ombudsman to drop the charges of Graft and Corruption against him.”
To note, father and son in the Tupases face numerous graft cases before the Ombudsman. In fact, Tupas Sr. Has in December 2006 had been ordered dismissed from government service with cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification for government employ. A fine of P65,000 was also demanded. Tupas Sr. And two allies during his administration were found guilty of grave misconduct for illegal disbursement of funds. The Ombudsman order resulted to the now infamous Capitol siege with the Tupases able to secure a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).
“In one of the Committee Hearings of the Committee on Justice, Representative Tupas Junior read out a communication from the Supreme Court that he is not disqualified from sitting as Chairman of the Justice Committee on the basis of his father Tupas Senior having a criminal case for Graft and Corruption in the Ombudsman, and that it was a matter for Representative Tupas Junior to decide on his own whether to inhibit himself or not in this particular case, as Chairman of the Committee on Justice,” Syjuco’s explanation continued. “In effect, what the Supreme Court said was that it was a matter of delicadeza for Representative Tupas Junior, of which he obviously had none in this regard.”
Representative Syjuco further bared bigger political plans reportedly hatched by the Tupases.
“Tupas Senior has been telling people, including at least two Congresspersons I know that this Impeachment case will continue to give his son, Representative Tupas Junior exposure in Media that will make him a Senator, a happy game plan that has now fallen on their laps,” he said.
Meantime made official too was Representative Syjuco’s sentiments against what he said was an apparent staged act by Tupas Jr. And two other allies in the Justice Committee.
“When my turn to Interpellate came, seemingly a predetermined surprise scenario suddenly came about. Immediately the Presiding Officer called for a suspension of session and a shuffle of persons transpired. The Presiding Officer was replaced by Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentabella ready with a codigo of Rules, Representative Tupas junior the on going Sponsor of the Justice Committee suddenly disappeared, and was replaced by the Committee Vice Chairman Representative Rodolfo C. Farinas, and the Majority Floor Leader Representative Neptali Gonzalez II was suddenly up behind his rostrum to participate in my Interpellation. So thus , all of a sudden there was a phalanx of three strong, tried and tested floor warriors to prevent me from saying what I had to say,” he said. “Tupas Junior was a “Coward” in disappearing and not wanting to face me and the truth that I hold, my charges, adverse commentaries and embarrasing questions that I had for him.”