Senate agrees to 'diplomatically' resolve issue on EO 464 – JPE

August 25, 2009 3:37 pm 

Manila, August 25 —- Senate President Juan Ponce said on Tuesday night senators have agreed to "diplomatically" resolve the issues sorrounding Executive Order 464 which bars Cabinet officials to testify in Congressional investigations without Malacanang's imprimatur.

Rather than bring back the impasse on EO 464 to the Supreme Court for resolution, Enrile said a consensus was reached at an all-senators caucus relative to EO 464.

“We will try to discuss with officials concerned to find out where we can cooperate and work for the good of the country in resolving some of the problems of the nation,” Enrile explained.

“I’ll try to talk to Secretary Ermita to find out, what our policy is now? Whether there’s a hardening of position on the part of the executive or not. I suspect [maybe it isn’t],” Enrile added.

The Senate chief saw no need to bring the issue before the court, saying the matter can still be resolved diplomatically.

Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said he suggested taking “diplomatic moves” by talking to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and find a way to resolve the matter without invoking EO 464.

The Senate held an all senators caucus to discuss the failure of some Cabinet officials attending public hearings, using as their shield the EO 464.

Last Monday, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro reportedly failed to attend a Senate hearing on the Basilan encounter between government troopers and Abu Sayyaf bandits after allegedly failing to secure Malacanang's go-signal to attend the public hearing.(PNA)

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