Senate committees: Neophyte gets blue ribbon, Miriam nothing
Sen. Teofisto Guingona III of the Liberal Party will head the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (blue ribbon), the panel that investigates anomalies involving government officials and transactions.
“I distributed the committees. I was the one who assumed the distribution of the committees and I left it to them to do whatever they want," Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile told reporters in an interview after the announcement of committee chairmanships.
The announcement was made after a caucus.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who did not get any committee, accused the Senate majority of “controlling" the chamber.
“What doesn't sit well with me is this is so serpentine. I can’t see what logic this is that dictates four members of a party can control 21 senators. Show me what logic this is in astrophysics," Santiago said at a press briefing before Monday’s session.
She was referring to LP members Guingona, Sens. Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto, and Francis Pangilinan.
She blamed her predicament to her colleagues' alleged greed. “Let's just say there is an excess of greed. Some people are little greedy, some moderately greedy, some are hugely greedy. So we are seeing the unfolding of a scenario of excessive greed," she said.
The feisty lawmaker also questioned why a “junior" senator has been chosen for the blue ribbon committee, which she said she wants to handle.
Enrile said he did not assign any committee to Santiago because she was not present during the caucus.
Drilon, meanwhile, belied Santiago’s claim that LP senators are controlling the chamber. “Nobody is dictating on anyone. It is the vote of the whole Senate that determines the committee chairmanships," he said in a separate interview.
Santiago, who filed an indefinite leave from the chamber due to health reasons, attended the session but left right after the roll call.
Full list of committee chairpersons: