MANILA – Senate blue ribbon subcommittee chairman Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel dismissed the jurisdictional challenges filed against the ongoing investigation on the Makati City Hall 2 parking building “for lack of merit.”
Following the resumption of the committee hearing on Wednesday morning, Pimentel ruled on the issue saying that Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay’s allegations “are all denied for lack of merit.”
Despite the criticisms, he added that their panel maintains its jurisdiction “all legislative matters relating to, including investigation of, malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance in office by officers and employees of the government, its branches, agencies, subdivisions and instrumentalities.”
Pimentel reiterated that Binay never mentioned the issues challenging the subcommittee’s jurisdiction during his first appearance in the Senate last August 20, 2014.
He even noted that the mayor even made all his department heads attend in the past hearings impliedly saying that the act recognizes the subcommittee’s jurisdiction.
“The jurisdictional challenge should have been brought at the earliest opportunity, as in fact according to the Rules of the Blue Ribbon Committee, a jurisdictional challenge must be raised and resolved before proceeding with the inquiry,” Pimentel said.
“It is also the personal opinion of the chairman of this subcommittee that the jurisdictional challenge may only be raised by a member of the committee. It cannot be raised by a resource person and certainly not by any department head who is not even the subject of any investigation of malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance,” he added.