Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Philippine Senate Blue Ribbon Committee

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The Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations of the Senate of the Philippines, or more popularly known as the Blue Ribbon Committee, is the Senate committee tasked to investigate alleged wrongdoings of the government, its officials, and its attached agencies, including government owned and controlled corporations, in aid of legislation, that is, the primary purpose is the suggestion of new laws, or proposals of amendments to existing laws.

Contents

History

Cavite Representative Justiniano Montano of the Liberal Party, who was successfully included in the Liberal's 1949 Senate election ticket, supported Jose T. Cajulis of the Nacionalista Party in the elections to the House of Representatives seat he was retiring from. While the Liberals' candidate easily defeated Cajulis, Montano won in the Senate election; he formed a clique called "The Little Senate" with like-minded Liberal senators and began to attack President Elpidio Quirino (who was also from the Liberal Party)'s presidency. Montano then created the Blue Ribbon Committee, taking the name from other blue ribbon committees, with the mandate to investigate alleged irregularities from the executive branch.

Thereafter, the Blue Ribbon Committee has become the most powerful Congressional committee, investigating alleged criminal misconduct by government officials in aid of legislation. However, the committee cannot incarcerate witnesses and resource persons, except in cases of contempt of Congress.

However, the Senate has adopted rules to limit the abuse of this power. These include that all investigations should be "in aid of legislation", the right against self-incrimination should not be violated, the right to counsel should be respected, rules of procedures should be published and persons concerned should be informed of the rules, and the investigation shall serve a not serve as member's personal aggrandizement.

Membership

Like all other committees, the Senate elects members of the Blue Ribbon Committee. The chairmanship of the committee has been one of the most sought posts in the Senate, aside from the Senate Presidency.

Current members

Members as of July 25, 2016:

  • Chairperson: Richard J. Gordon
  • Vice chairperson: Sonny Angara
  • Members:
  • From the majority:
  • Grace Poe
  • Leila de Lima
  • Risa Hontiveros
  • Loren Legarda
  • Cynthia Villar
  • Francis Pangilinan
  • Bam Aquino
  • JV Ejercito
  • Panfilo Lacson
  • Manny Pacquiao
  • Alan Peter Cayetano
  • Juan Miguel Zubiri
  • Gregorio Honasan
  • From the minority:
  • Francis Escudero
  • Antonio Trillanes IV
  • Ex officio members:
  • Senate President pro tempore Franklin Drilon
  • Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III
  • Minority Leader Ralph Recto
  • Committee secretary: Rodolfo Noel S. Quimbo
  • References

    Philippine Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Wikipedia


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