SENATE Majority Leader Migz Zubiri defended Senate Secretary Atty. Myra Marie Villarica against the complaint filed against her before the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged falsification of the Senate journal.
The group Concerned Senate Employees who filed the complaint requested the Ombudsman to issue a preventive suspension and conduct a preliminary investigation and to eventually file cases against Villarica that will warrant her dismissal from service.
But, Zubiri said “Without prejudice to whatever action the Office of the Ombudsman may take on the matter, considering the allegations came from unknown sources, the Senators affirm that the Journal of December 16, 2019, which the Senate Secretary certified as correct and which we, the Senators, approved in plenary on January 20, 2020, is in order.”
“Suffice it to say that the Senate has followed the Rules of the Senate in all its proceedings,” he added.
The complaint stemmed from the Senate session conducted on December 16, 2019 on Senate Bill No. 1074 entitled “An Act Increasing the Excise Tax on Alcohol Products, Heated Tobacco Products and Vapor Products” which seeks amendments to Republic Act No. 8424 or the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.
“Atty. Villarica did not read the title of Senate Bill No. 1074 for its third reading, thus what was made to be reflected in the Senate journal are falsified and untruthful narration of facts,” the employees said in the complaint.
They further said that the supposed act of Villarica was a clear act of tampering of official documents.