“He should be able to name them. And not only identify them, he should also be able to have evidence against them, if indeed these House members violated our election laws,” he said in his privilege speech last week.
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House eyes subpoena for Diño over electioneering report
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - May 21, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Martin Diño may have apologized for saying that about 100 members of the House of Representatives engaged in electioneering, but this will not spare him from the lawmakers’ ire.

House Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu of Batangas has called on his colleagues to subpoena Diño. The entire House will decide on the summons.

“It was the institution that was affected by his baseless and unfounded allegations. It is the House that will decide on his fate, not me,” Abu said. “His apology reported over radio station dzRH is a welcome development. But his testimony that I requested in a congressional hearing is another matter.”

Abu earlier challenged Diño to release the names of the lawmakers whom the undersecretary accused of influencing their constituents to vote for chosen candidates in the recent barangay elections, and present evidence to substantiate his claims.

Abu’s case was referred to the powerful House committee on rules chaired by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte for appropriate action.

“He should be able to name them. And not only identify them, he should also be able to have evidence against them, if indeed these House members violated our election laws,” he said in his privilege speech last week.

Diño asked for forgiveness if his statement caused distress to members of the House.

Diño’s pronouncements also did not sit well with members of the House opposition bloc led by Minority Leader Danilo Suarez of Quezon.

“It’s a very reckless statement,” Suarez told House reporters. “He should have proof to back up his claims. Is there a footage of a congressman in the act of giving bribes to anybody? I’m talking about my position. Never did I involve myself in barangay politics.”

Some members of the militant bloc, including those from the independent opposition called the Magnificent 7, likewise challenged Diño to name names and identify congressmen allegedly involved in vote-buying.

“I think Diño should let his hands do the talking – not his mouth – by filing cases against those who violated election laws in the recent barangay polls,” said Rep. Tom Villarin of Akbayan party-list.

“The interior and local government undersecretary should know better and be prepared to prevent or even mitigate these things from happening prior to the elections through a vigorous information drive about the non-partisan nature of barangay elections,” he added. 

Rep. Emmi de Jesus of women’s group Gabriela said it would be unfair if Diño would not support his statement with concrete action because this suggests that all members of the House are suspect.

ELECTIONEERING MARTIN DIñO
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