The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Monday ordered the arrest of Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and five other personalities after citing them for contempt for their continued refusal to attend the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Subcommittee on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building II and other alleged anomalies despite the issuance of subpoenas and show-cause orders.
Senator Teofisto Guingona, chairman of the committee, granted the recommendation of Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, chairman of the subcommittee, to cite in contempt and order the arrest of Binay, City Administrator Eleno Mendoza, Eduviges “Ebeng” Baloloy, former City Administrator Marjorie de Veyra, Engineer Line Dela Peña, and Bernadette Portallano.
“I am ordering the Senate sergeant-at-arms to serve the detention order,” Guingona said.
University of Makati president Tomas Lopez was not included in the order as he submitted a letter manifesting his willingess to attend the next hearing on Thursday.
Present at the meeting were Guingona, Pimentel and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
In their respective letters explaining their continued absence, Binay, Baloloy, Mendoza, Lopez, De Veyra, and Dela Peña said they were merely availing of remedies under the Senate Rules and were constrained to file a jurisdictional challenge because their right to due process, to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, among others, were being violated.
In addition, Binay, Baloloy, Mendoza and Lopez said they also requested that they be provided with the list of questions that would be asked of them. Such request was not granted by the subcommittee.
Portollano, in a letter sent to the subcommittee, said she was only a nominee of Marguerite Lichnock, one of the alleged dummies of Vice President Jejomar Binay, and she had no knowledge of the transactions which were the subject of the investigation.
Both complaints were filed by lawyer Renato Bondal.
The Binay camp has dismissed the complaints and the allegations against them as politically-motivated, claiming that these are intended to destroy the Vice President and diminish his chances in the 2016 presidential elections. —KG/NB, GMA News