MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri denied any knowledge of the leakage of information about Speaker Martin Romualdez’s travel budget, as he urged the House of Representatives to continue the investigation into the matter.
“Until the concerned resource speaker names a Senate employee, there is no reason to believe that these allegations are anything more than intrigues being sown to create controversy and fake news,” Zubiri said.
Jeffrey Celiz, a broadcaster for Sonshine Media Network Inc. (SMNI), insinuated in the program “Laban Kasama ang Bayan” that Romualdez spent P1.8 billion for his travels for 2023. He later apologized.
Celiz said the information was allegedly relayed by a Senate employee but refused to name his source, citing Republic Act 53 or the “Sotto Law” which protects journalists from revealing their news sources.
Zubiri suggested that the House continue their investigation until they get to the bottom of this accusation. He pressed for the concerned person to reveal the name of their alleged source from the Senate. Otherwise, the House can cite them in contempt.
“If they can prove it is an employee of the Senate, then we will initiate disciplinary action on those involved,” Zubiri said.
“We respect interparliamentary courtesy and would not want to put a rift in the very strong partnership that we have with the leadership and the members of the House,” he added.