Senator Grace Poe may face charges for leading the Senate investigation on the ABS-CBN network if it’s proven that she has a financial interest with the broadcasting company.
This is what lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles said on her Facebook post, explaining how Poe may be liable for ‘conflict of interest’.
According to Cruz-Angeles, Poe could only be punished for having a conflict of interest if someone proves that she’s having financial or material interest with the network.
This is what Cruz-Angeles said in her post.
“Can Sen Grace Poe be held liable for conflict of interest under Art. VI Section 14. which states:
No Senator or Member of the House of Representatives may personally appear as counsel before any court of justice or before the Electoral Tribunals, or quasi-judicial and other administrative bodies. Neither shall he, directly or indirectly, be interested financially in any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary, during his term of office. He shall not intervene in any matter before any office of the Government for his pecuniary benefit or where he may be called upon to act on account of his office.
In relation to Sen. Poe, is the prohibition against having any financial interest in any franchise granted by the Government.
What is “having any financial interest”?
This line can be found in both the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act Sec 3 (h) which states:
Directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.
In RA 6013 Section 7. Prohibited Acts and Transactions. – In addition to acts and omissions of public officials and employees now prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws, the following shall constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any public official and employee and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
(a) Financial and material interest. – Public officials and employees shall not, directly or indirectly, have any financial or material interest in any transaction requiring the approval of their office.”
Poe is the chairperson of the Committee on Public Services that handled the investigation on ABS-CBN.
The lady Senator didn’t deny her connections with ABS-CBN.
“Number 1, I am the chairman of the Committee on Public Services. No.2, it’s no secret the business relationship of my family with ABS-CBN. No. 3, I am only one of 24 senators. Whatever I say, even if I am for it or against it, if the majority will not side with my opinion, it will not prevail,” Poe said in an interview.
Poe also said that she gave everyone a chance to speak during the senate hearing.
“The chairman of a hearing will allow everyone to speak. We were the ones, I in particular, made sure that the FICTAP (Federation of International Cable TV Associations of the Philippines), the ones against the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise was invited. I allowed them to speak and everyone else. In fact, members of the labor group of ABS-CBN I didn’t call them, Sen. Angara I think asked,” she said.