File photo by Senate PRIB/Albert Calvelo
MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE)– Senate President Franklin Drilon on Tuesday, May 19, signed the detention and arrest order against 14 people linked to Vice President Jejomar Binay, including his financial adviser Gerardo Limlingan and businessman Antonio Tiu.
Drilon said he signed the order, upon the recommendation of the Senate blue ribbon committee, because of the individuals' "repeated refusal to appear before the committee investigating the questionable transactions involving the construction of various government projects, which allegedly involved Vice President Jejomar Binay and Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay."
Ordered arrested are:
The order said that the 14 were ordered arrested and detained as they continually skipped the Senate hearings despite the issuance of valid subpoena orders, "thereby delaying, impeding, and obstructing the inquiry" into the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Parking Building "and related anomalies.”
Drilon stressed the importance of "showing everyone the need to respect the Senate's authority and abide by its subpoena orders, which are issued in order to gather resource persons who can aid the committee in unearthing the truth."
“Otherwise, people will ignore the Senate's invitations to join hearings as resource persons, and the senators will be prevented from making their investigations and doing their jobs," he said.
The Office of the Senate sergeant-at-arms will carry out the arrest.
In a statement, the Binay camp reiterated that the contempt charge and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report, are "nothing but political harassment designed to bring the Vice President down to his knees.” (READ: AMLC: Binay et al moved large sums of US dollars)
Request for reconsideration
In a letter Guingona dated May 18, Monday, Aldon asked for reconsideration of the Senate order, and promised to make herself available in future hearings.
In her letter, Aldon cited her busy schedule as national president of the PESO Managers Association of the Philippines in preparation for its National Congress in October 2014.”
“Her failure to attend was not deliberate and intentional but in good faith for reasons as above-explained. She would like to assure the sub-committee of her willingness and readiness to appear in case she would be required in the succeeding hearings,” Aldon said.
On Monday, the Senate upheld its previous order to cite in contempt and arrest Binay's longtime secretary and another alleged dummy, Eduviges “Ebeng” Baloloy, Makati assistant city engineer Line Dela Peña, and Bernadette Portollano, corporate secretary of Omni Security.
In a letter to Guingona dated May 18, Dela Peña cited “unstable health” since September 2014 for the absences at the Senate hearing, citing confinement for diabetes and hypertension on September 9 to 12, 2014, and also on January 26 to 31, 2015,
“Please accept my commitment to attend any forthcoming proceeding of this committee,” Dela Peña said. – Rappler.com