Guingona tells Estrada: No foul, just doing a job

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Friday, February 14, 2014

REACTING to beleaguered Senator Jose Jinggoy Estrada's comments that he committed an "offensive foul," Senator Teofisto Guingona III said that he is just doing his job as chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.

In an interview Friday, Guingona said he cannot be cowed by anyone as he is just doing what the job requires him to do.

"I'm just doing my job as chair of the Blue Ribbon committee. The job of the Blue Ribbon committee is to investigate. What does he want us to do. Keep silent. Should I just shut up, close my eyes, and pretend that nothing happened. Is that what he wants us to do?" Guingona said.

Estrada blasted Guingona in the way the latter handled the inquiry into the pork barrel scam for being biased against him.

According to Estrada, Guingona prejudged the testimony of Tuason because he judged and totally accepted the statement of Tuason despite the fact that there was no evidence or basis for accepting her statements and judging her to be a credible witness when it is not substantiated with any strong documents.

"He (Guingona) slammed his fellow senator just so he could shoot or score points in early politicking," Estrada said.

Estrada even said that it is understandable and he cannot blame Guingona who he said was obviously out to improve his ratings from being no. 12 in the 2010 senatorial polls to being no. 11.

But Guingona explained that there is nothing personal about this investigation.

Guingona also maintained that the Blue Ribbon committee is not a regular court and all the relevant documents are already in the hands of the Ombudsman.

He further explained that his committee is doing its investigation in aid of legislation in order to craft a law that will protect the money of the Filipino people.

Guingona said that it is not about the election in 2016 or in the coming years but one's responsibility to the country and the Filipino people.

"I am just doing my job. I am not over reacting. This is not about politicking. This is about digging out the truth and fighting for that truth. Baka naman sa kanya dahil dala ng pikon dahil natutuklasan na ang katotohanan. ( Maybe he is ticked off because the truth is uncovered.)" Guingona said in a press conference.

Guingona said senators are bent in squeezing out the truth and other senators are doing that too.

As senators, Guingona said it is their job to investigate and speak for what is right and do what is required of them to do.

The senator said he will support the move to pressure the Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms (OSAA) of the Senate to show CCTV footage of whistle blower Ruby Tuason.

"In the spirit of fairness yung sinasabing ilabas ang CCTV , sinusuportahan ko yan. Chineck ko kanina sa OSAA sabi nila na gagawin nila at ginagawa na nila . Yun lang konting panahon lang dahil ilang taon daw iyon. It is important for the people and for everyone to see the truth." Guingona said.

Guingona maintained that he will not be affected if he is being attacked on a personal level as he explained that the most important thing is for him to do what the people expect him to do as an elected senator and as chairman of the blue ribbon in the Senate.

"No more, no less. Trabaho lang. (Just doing a job.)," Guingona emphasized. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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