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Suarez seeks probe on revival of Congressional oversight panel in Lower House

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By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez is seeking a congressional investigation on the revival and reconstitution of the Congressional committee on oversight in the Lower Chamber.

Minority leader cong. Danilo Suarez (KJ ROSALES)

Minority leader Cong. Danilo Suarez (Kj Rosales/Manila Bulletin)

He filed House Resolution 2074 urging the appropriate House committee to look into the possibility of reviving the oversight panel, which he said, was abolished during the previous Aquino administration.

He said the separation of powers in the government as provided for by the 1987 Constitution “is not absolute and does not intend to keep the three branches of the government absolutely unrestrained and independent.”

“The principle of checks and balances is embedded in our Constitution to ensure that there will be no abuse of power and to correct mistakes or excesses committed by the other branches of the government,” he stressed.

The House leader noted that during the 16th Congress, a resolution was filed by the House Independent Bloc, led by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez proposing the reconstitution of the committee.

He said House Resolution 268 “was not acted upon until the end of the 16th Congress.”

Joining Romualdez in filing House Resolution 268 during the 16th Congress were former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; her son, former Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Macapagal-Arroyo, Quezon Rep. Aleta Suarez, Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla, La Union Rep. VIctor Ortega, Surigao del Sur Rep. Philip Pichay, Lanao del Norte Representatives. Imelda Dimaporo and Abdullah Dimaporo.

Suarez said his resolution “echoes the importance of the functions of the oversight committee in monitoring and evaluating the performance of government agencies and instrumentalities and ensuring that agencies are relevantly and fully utilizing their resources in accordance with their mandate.”

“This shall coincide with the thrust of this administration against corruption, the improvement of the absorptive capacity of all government agencies, provision of basic services, and economic, social and infrastructure development in the country,” he said.

During a press conference last week, Suarez said the revival of the oversight panel has the “green light” from Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

He expressed hope that the House leadership would give the chairmanship of the oversight committee to the House Minority, citing that it is their group’s mandate to monitor and evaluate the performance of government agencies.

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