Senator Grace Poe’s son praised her for showing “true statesmanship” for deciding to inhibit herself from the senate proceedings for the franchise renewal of broadcasting company ABS-CBN.
In an Instagram post, Brian Poe expressed admiration for his mother’s decision, saying that the senator already did her part when she led the controversial senate hearing on the franchise of ABS-CBN.
Brian said that the senate hearing led by his mother is fair and she gave a chance for everyone to speak and question ABS-CBN.
“Statesmanship should come naturally to a public servant. Yesterday @sengracepoe exemplified true statesmanship by announcing she would inhibit herself from the committee proceedings for the ABS-CBN franchise,” Brian said.
“She had done her part for the country by calling for a hearing where all sides were fairly represented and by joining her fellow legislators in expressing the sentiment of the Senate regarding the continuation of the franchise. Now the house will formally hear the issue. Whatever the outcome, may it be the will of the people that prevails ??,” he added.
On Wednesday, Poe announced that she’s going to inhibit herself from voting on the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN.
“Kung sakaling pinalad ang ABS-CBN at magkaroon ng boto sa House at na-transmit dito, I will inhibit myself as chairman of the actual hearing of the franchise, and I will inhibit myself from voting for the approval of that franchise because I am confident that we will have the votes here of our discerning colleagues of ours,” the lady senator said.
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Statesmanship should come naturally to a public servant. Yesterday @sengracepoe exemplified true statesmanship by announcing she would inhibit herself from the committee proceedings for the ABS-CBN franchise. She had done her part for the country by calling for a hearing where all sides were fairly represented and by joining her fellow legislators in expressing the sentiment of the senate regarding the continuation of the franchise. Now the house will formally hear the issue. Whatever the outcome, may it be the will of the people that prevails ??
Senator Poe was criticized by some lawyers like Harry Roque and Trixie Cruz-Angeles for involving herself in the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
Roque and Cruz-Angeles cited 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.”
Poe also admitted her connections with ABS-CBN in an interview.
“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.
But she defended her decision to lead the investigation, saying performed the probe fairly.
“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.
However, Roque said that the involvement of Poe in the said investigation is unnecessary because other senators could lead it.
“The point is, had she followed the Constitution and the law, the hearing could still have been conducted as obviously, she is only one of twenty-four Senators. Even if she is chairman of the Committee on Public Services, the committee’s vice-chairman could have presided over the same. In other words, Sen. Poe’s participation in that hearing was not indispensable,” he said.
“Ultimately, the question goes beyond delicadeza as obviously, the senator probably does not care for such. The issue is why a senator, who knew about both her conflict of interest and should have known the prohibition against it, would wantonly violate the Constitution and the law and not have any remorse for it!” he added.
“By golly, legislators are supposed to legislate normative values important to mankind. But here now is a senator flaunting violations of no less than the Constitution and saying she did so that the nation will know her stand on the matter! Goodness, a press release or a privilege speech in this regard would have sufficed for that purpose,” he also said.