WHEN former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Romulo Neri testified at the Senate last September regarding the controversial national broadband network (NBN) project, many people expected him to help them figure out just how much the president knew about the alleged anomalies that were being connected with it, and what she may have done about these. Neri, however, declined to reply to queries that were leading to that direction, invoking executive privilege.
To say that people were left disappointed is putting it lightly. Indeed, even though the executive order that created it has now been revoked, “executive privilege” remains a topic of debates and discussions across the country, and has become a bogey of sorts for those who want to scrutinize government projects and programs.
In an i Report Perspective piece, lawyer Nepomuceno Malaluan of the Action for Economic Reforms takes us through the short but sorry saga of the executive privilege and examines from a legal point of view the arguments for and against invoking it. The article also looks at the issue in the context of the NBN deal, and tries to see whose interests were being served when the privilege was invoked.
Read more of Malaluan’s assessment at pcij.org.