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Tolentino to introduce new rules in Blue Ribbon probe procedures

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 08/07/2022 HANA BORDEY,GMA News
Senator Francis Tolentino at Senate hearing on e-sabong, April 18, 2022. Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB © Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB Senator Francis Tolentino at Senate hearing on e-sabong, April 18, 2022. Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB

Senator Francis Tolentino, who is set to be the 19th Congress chairman of the powerful Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, on  Friday announced that he will introduce new rules in the panel's investigative procedures.

"Ngayon po, ang ginagawa natin ay mayroon tayong mga babaguhin sa rules para mas maging responsive ang Blue Ribbon Committee at mapangalagaan ang karapatan ng mga iniimbestigahan," Tolentino said in an interview on GMA News' Unang Balita.

(We will change the rules so that the Blue Ribbon Committee will be more responsive and we could likewise protect the rights of those subject of the investigation.)

Unlike in the previous Senate probes, Tolentino said he wants the panel to conduct "preliminary determination" and check if there's "probable cause" in the issues that his colleagues will raise before the committee.

"Magkakaroon po tayo ng preliminary determination. Hindi 'yung pagka-file ay salang agad...So kaunting members ng Blue Ribbon, sila muna ang magde-determine," Tolentino said.

(There will be a preliminary determination. We will not tackle it as soon as a resolution to investigate is filed in the Senate. There will be a small group of Blue Ribbon members who will determine if there's probable cause.)

In the 19th Congress, the senator said he will put a "referral to prosecute" provision in the Blue Ribbon panel rules.

Further, Tolentino said he would introduce new rules to make the investigations time-bound, distinguish the difference between a commitment order and detention order, and establish a permanent Blue Ribbon Committee General Counsel.

Last Wednesday, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, who is expected to be the next Senate president, announced that the "supermajority" has chosen Tolentino to lead the Blue Ribbon panel in the 19th Congress despite Senator Alan Peter Cayetano's earlier request.

In June, Cayetano said he would join the majority bloc if he will be given the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, explaining that he wants to be a "fiscalizer" in the 19th Congress.

However, Zubiri earlier stated that it is the supermajority's decision to make as the agreement that Tolentino would chair the Blue Ribbon panel had already been cemented. — RSJ, GMA News

This article Tolentino to introduce new rules in Blue Ribbon probe procedures was originally published in GMA News Online.

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