Pimentel ready to withdraw contempt move if 7 Makati officials attend probe

By , on January 22, 2015

Sen. Koko Pimentel. Photo courtesy of Pimentel's Facebook page.
Sen. Koko Pimentel. Photo courtesy of Pimentel’s Facebook page.

MANILA  — Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III on Wednesday said he is ready to withdraw his recommendation to cite Makati City mayor Jejomar Erwin ‘Junjun’ Binay and six other officials in contempt if they will promise to attend future Senate inquiries.

”If they’ll will make commitment that they will appear in future hearings, I will move for the withdrawal of my recommendation to cite them in contempt,” Pimentel told the Senate media.

Pimentel is the chairman of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee which investigates the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall carpark building.

A week ago, Pimentel submitted to Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the blue ribbon mother committee, a referral to cite Binay in contempt for continued refusal to attend the Senate hearings.

Others recommended to be cited for contempt include Prof. Tomas Lopez, Jr., Eduviges ‘Ebeng’ Baloloy, Majority de Veyra, Atty. Eleno Mendoza, Engr. Line dela Pena and Bernadette Portollano.

”Nobody wants to cite anybody in contempt but if it is necessary, we will have to do it,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel said he has yet to receive notice from the respondents if they will attend the Senate inquiry set on Thursday.

Guingona, meanwhile, said the blue ribbon mother committee is also ready to heed to whatever Pimentel will recommend if the respondents decide to show up in the future Senate hearings.

”If he (Pimentel) will say that there will be no more contemptuous act, then we will let it go,” Guingona said in a separate media interview.

Guingona, however, said if the BRC will have to decide, only two members are needed to establish quorum for Monday’s committee meeting to discuss Pimentel’s recommendation.

”According to the rules, only two will establish a quorum. If there is a quorum, we need only two votes to cite them in contempt,” Guingona said.

However, Guingona clarified that at least half of the 20 member senators of the BRC will show up on Monday, majority votes are needed to decide on the subpanel’s referral.