Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva on Monday hit back at House appropriations committee Elizaldy Co as the word war between the two houses of Congress due to the controversial people's initiative continues.
Villanueva delivered a privilege speech during the Senate's session on Monday after Co brought up last week an Ombudsman case, which the congressman claimed resulted in the senator's supposed perpetual disqualification.
|The majority leader showed documents to prove that the Ombudsman case against him was not true.
Even the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) issued a document that supposedly shows that his signature was forged in the document which became the basis of the Ombudsman case, according to Villanueva.
"Mr. President, 2019 pa po dinismiss na po ang kasong ito na ipinaparatang sa atin... Nag-research at nag-aral po ba ang nag-akusa sa atin?" Villanueva said.
(Mr. President, the case being connected to me was dismissed in 2019. Did my accuser even conduct research or study?)
Villanueva then brought up Co's supposed links to Sunwest Corporation, a company allegedly owned by the congressman, which the senator described as one of the biggest government contractors in the country, as well as the firm's supposed involvement in the controversial Pharmally deal and the Department of Education laptop deal.
"Ngayon po, kakalkalin ngayon ang kanyang mga kaso. Nakakalungkot po dahil kaibigan naman po natin siya pero dahil po pumasok siya sa away na hindi niya away, kailangan niya magbanggit ng mga personal attacks, eh kakalkalin po itong mga atraso niya sa bayan," the senator said.
(Now, let’s take a closer look at his cases. It’s sad because I consider him a friend but since he inserted himself in a fight that does not concern him, he needed to make personal attacks, now let us look at his arrears against the country.)
"Ito pong kumpanya niyang Sunwest Corporation--true or false-- ito po ba ang isa sa pinakamalaking government contractor sa bansa? Sagot, true. True or false? Ang korporasyon niya po bang Sunwest Corporation ay kasama dito sa kontrobersyal na Pharmally case dito na inimbestigahan sa Senado na pinapakasuhan ng Senado? The answer is true. Kasama din po ba ang kumpanya niya dito po sa kontrobersyal na DepEd laptop scam? Ang sagot po, true. Pinakakasuhan din po ng Senado ang kumpanyang to," he went on.
(This company of his, Sunwest Corporation– true or false– is it the largest government contractor in the country? The answer, true. True or false? Is his company Sunwest Corporation involved in the controversial Pharmally case that was investigated in the Senate and was recommended to be charged? The answer is true. Is his company also involved in the controversial DepEd laptop scam? The answer, true. The Senate is also recommending charges against this company.)
The lawmaker also mentioned Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) cases against Sunwest Corporation, as well as the alleged P50-billion complaint against Co which was supposedly filed by Task Force Kasanag International.
"Kung maglalabas po kayo ng baho, dapat naman siguro maligo ka muna. Ang masaklap po... sa kabila po ng track record na ito ni Mr. Zaldy Co, ang masaklap po in-appoint po siya ng Kamara de Representantes bilang tagapag-bantay ng kaban ng bayan," he said.
(If you want to reveal a stink, you should take a bath first. What is unfortunate is despite the track record of Mr. Zaldy Co, he was appointed to the House of Representatives to safeguard the country’s treasury.)
"Si Dracula in-appoint mo bilang tagapag-bantay ng blood bank ng bayan. Wow... Kailan sa kasaysayan ng bayan natin nangyari ang ganitong pagkakataon na isang big-time contractor ang hahawak sa kaban ng bayan. Only in the Philippines," Villanueva said.
(Dracula was appointed to guard the country’s blood bank. Wow… when is it in our country’s history that a big-time contractor has the opportunity to have the country’s treasury in his hands. Only in the Philippines.)
GMA News Online sought the comment of Co on Villanueva's privilege speech but he has yet to respond as of posting time.
Amid his accusations against Co, Villanueva pointed out the need to go back to the real issue which is the "fake people's initiative" that seeks to remove the Senate in the process of amending the 1987 Constitution.
"May nanununog ng bahay natin, nahuli natin may dalang sulo, sinusunog ang ating mga poste ng bahay natin at nang mahuli natin sila, sa halip na magpakumbaba, sa halip na aminin na sila'y nagkamali, sila pa ang galit. Sila pa po 'yung nambu-bully...Sa halip minumura tayo, tinitira tayo below the belt, kesyo pangit tayo, mayabang tayo, etcetera," he said.
(Someone is trying to burn down our house, we caught them with torches, they are burning the foundations of the house and when we caught them, instead of humbling themselves, or admit they were in the wrong, they were the ones who became angry. They resorted to being bullies… Instead they curse us, hit us below the belt, that we are ugly, arrogant, et cetera.)
In ending his speech, Villanueva repeated the words of Speaker Martin Romualdez, "Don't throw stones if you live in a glass house."
Senators Pia Cayetano, Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri expressed support for Villanueva.—RF, GMA Integrated News