Senate to file petition asserting its constitutional power in inquiries

Senate to file petition asserting its constitutional power in inquiries

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — The Senate adopted a resolution authorizing the filing of a petition
before the Supreme Court to assert its power as provided by the
Constitution, in the conduct of inquiries, in aid of legislation.

Senate Resolution No. 946, introduced by Senate President Vicente C.
Sotto III, was adopted by the chamber during a hybrid plenary session
Tuesday, November 9, 2021.

Sotto cited Article VI, Section 21 of the Constitution which states
that “the Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its
respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in
accordance with its duly published rules of procedure.”

The Senate adopted the resolution following the issuance of a
memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea directing
all officials and employees of the executive department to “stop
attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings effective
immediately” on the 2020 Commission on Audit (COA) report and other
issues related to the Department of Health budget utilization,
especially its COVID-19 expenditures.

“It is the inherent right and solemn duty of the Senate to preserve,
uphold and protect its committees’ constitutional mandate to conduct
inquiries, in aid of legislation, including the power to issue
compulsory processes,” Sotto stressed.

The Senate President added that the chamber also has the right to seek
“judicial relief and affirmation of its rights and prerogatives under
the Constitution if and when challenged or interfered with by any
branch, department, agency, or instrumentality of the government or by
any individual.” (ai/mtvn)

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