MANILA – The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee has recommended the citing of Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin ‘JunJun’ Binay and six other city officials in contempt for continued refusal to attend the Senate inquiries into the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall building.
Blue Ribbon subpanel chairman Sen. Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III said on Tuesday he signed the recommendation to the mother committee chairman, Sen. Teofisto ‘TG’ Guingona III, to cite the seven Makati City officials in contempt.
”My referrals have already been submitted to Senator TG to cite in contempt some of the officials. I signed them a week ago,” Pimentel said in a media interview.
Aside from Binay, others facing contempt are Prof. Tomas Lopez Jr., Eduviges ‘Ebeng’ Baloloy, Marjorie de Veyra, Atty. Eleno Mendoza, Engr. Line dela Pena and Bernadette Portollano.
Binay attended the second Senate inquiry but he never returned in any of the next 11 hearings.
Last Oct. 2, 2014, Pimentel had required the seven respondents to show cause why they should not be cited in contempt for failing to testify in the Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 Senate hearings.
Pimentel said in the recommendation letters that he found the reasons of the respondents for defying subpoenas “unacceptable.”
On the request of Claro Certeza, lawyer of the Makati City officials, to provide them with advanced copies of questions by the senators, Pimentel found it a “novel” request which he said would find no ground even to the Supreme Court (SC).
”Maybe the SC will entertain it because of novelty of idea but, as a lawyer, I know of no ground to grant the request first before enforcing a subpoena,” Pimentel said.
”I’m sorry but I cannot find reasons why the Makati City officials are on different level that they have such a right,” he added.
Pimentel said the Senate probe on the PhP1.601-billion overpricing of the Makati City Hall carpark building and Makati City Science High School Buildings will resume on Jan. 22.
”We have pending matters on the Makati Science Building. I’m going over the documents we found useful in the parking building. I’ve read also that Sen. (Antonio) Trillanes has something to say. So, let’s wait and see,” Pimentel said.