Paduano reminds Duterte on system of checks and balances

Published January 5, 2021, 6:22 PM

by Ben Rosario

House Minority Leader and Abang Lingkod Partylist Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano on Tuesday reminded President Duterte to respect the system of checks and balances as guaranteed under the 1987 Constitution.

House Minority Leader and Abang Lingkod Partylist Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano

Paduano made the reminder after Duterte warned Congress against conducting a congressional investigation into his admission that members of the Presidential Security Group have received COVID-19 vaccine inoculations albeit, illegally.

”It’s just a matter of due recognition and mutual respect between and among the three branches of government for our brand of democracy to work,” Paduano said in a press statement.

Duterte had warned Congress “not to tinker” with the PSG as he directed his security forces to ignore any invite for congressional inquiry.

The partylist solon noted that while Duterte aired his objection against subjecting the PSG’s alleged unauthorized vaccination to a congressional inquiry, Paduano said there remains no congressional investigation into the allegations before the House of Representatives.

However, it turned out that the Makabayan bloc, which also belongs to Paduano’s minority group, filed House Resolution No. 1451 calling of the lower chamber to probe the so-called VIP COVID-19 vaccination of PSG personnel.

Just the same, Paduano emphasized that nothing stops Congress from initiating a legislative probe, 

However, he believes that had the President claimed executive privilege in rejecting the probe, Congress will respect that.

Members of the Makabayan bloc have apparently ignored Duterte’s warnings against the conduct of probe as they filed the resolution hours after the Chief Executive declared his opposition to it.

Paduano believes that Duterte’s anger is not directed towards the Lower House.

“I think the President went on a rampage because of Sen. Frank Drilon’s statement that the PSG commander must be required to be present in the Senate Committee of the Whole to explain the vaccines administered to PSG members”, Paduano stressed.

He added: “There is no need to pre-emptively issue a threat as the rules on legislative inquiry are well settled.”