A House leader said Thursday Interior Undersecretary Martin Diño must face lawmakers to substantiate his claims and identify the 100 congressmen whom he accused of vote-buying and other election-related offenses during the recent barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
In a privilege speech on Wednesday, Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu lambasted Diño for tagging some lawmakers and other local government officials as alleged vote buyers.
“I am asking the House of Representatives to summon Undersecretary Diño to substantiate his claims against lawmakers,” Abu told his colleagues.
At the same time, Abu dared Diño to release the names of several lawmakers whom he accused of influencing their respective constituents to vote for their chosen candidates and present evidence to substantiate his claims.
Abu said if not, Interior officer-in-charge Eduardo Año must order Diño to come up with the list of names of the 100 congressmen who are the subject of Diño’s allegation.
“Diño must not only identify the congressmen but also show proof that will support his claims that these public servants indeed committed violations of election laws,” Abu said.
Abu himself is facing charges at the Commission on Elections for alleged vote-buying.
He said he was not defending himself from the allegations against him, adding it was the duty of every House member to defend the institution from baseless and unfounded allegations.
Earlier, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin and Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus challenged Diño to identify and charge the 100 congressmen.
They said it would be unfair if Diño would not be able to substantiate his statement with evidence because all House members were suspects in his allegations.