Outspoken private law practitioner Ferdinand Topacio on Wednesday, Oct. 20 chided anew the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) as a “kangaroo court” out to cash in on the political mileage derived from the extended hearings on the overpriced COVID-19 supply scandal.
Topacio, counsel for detained Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation executive Linconn Ong, accused Senator Richard Gordon, BRC chairman, and several committee members actively pursuing the Senate inquiry of conspiring in a demolition job against the current administration.
“One cannot help but conclude that this inquiry was done only in aid of election. And it was done as a demolition job for the current administration,” Topacio told the media during a virtual press conference.
He added: “And it reinforces my belief that it (BRC) is nothing but a kangaroo court.” This was the second time Topacio assailed the BRC as a kangaroo.
Gordon reacted by saying that the private practitioner’s theatrics was a way for him to impress possible clients.
For his part, Senator Panfilo Lacson said: “Some lawyers remind us of an ambulance that suddenly appears from behind with siren blaring, as if chasing us, to announce its appearance with all its pomp and arrogance.”
Topacio lambasted the Senate panel for the conduct of the drawn-out legislative inquiry that has failed to produce any proposed legislative measure since hearings were launched three months ago.
“Where is the draft of the proposed legislation, if there is any that came out?” he asked.
When informed that Senator Francis Tolentino had filed proposals that sought to plug loopholes in government procurement process, Topacio said the move came late.
“Why did they not terminate the hearings and why hold Linncon Ong in further detention. They just want to milk this affair out of every possible media mileage they can get out of it,” the controversial lawyer charged.
Topacio called the virtual press conference a day after the BRC conducted another hearing on Tuesday.
The legal counsel questioned Gordon for releasing an initial committee report on the issue but at the same time still called for the hearing.
“Chairman Gordon himself claimed they already everything to make a conclusion,” noted Topacio.
` He raised serious concern over the condition of his client, pointing out that he should already be released from detention since the Senate hearings have already been concluded.
On Gordon’s claim that there are already committee findings on the alleged anomalous procurements of COVID-19 pandemic medical supplies, Topacio said the BRC should now submit the recommendations for criminal charges to the proper government agency such as the Department of Justice, Office of the Ombudsman or the National Bureau of investigation.
“Why is Senator Gordon the one interpreting the Senate findings. Why not allow the DOJ, NBI as the case may be or the NBI or COA to make its own findings?” he asked.