MANILA – The Senate Blue Ribbon committee ordered the arrest of 11 individuals for their non-attendance at the hearings on Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay’s alleged anomalies and ill-gotten wealth while still Makati City mayor.
Blue Ribbon committee chairman Senator Teofisto Guingona III released arrest orders against Jack Arroyo, Laureano Gregorio Jr. and Marguerite Lichnock for contempt. The committee previously ordered the arrest of Erlina, Irish, Irene and Kim Tun Chong, James and Anne Lorraine Tiu, Eduviges Baloloy and Gerardo Limlingan.
Arroyo was purportedly involved in the anomalous University of Makati’s (UMak) nursing school; Gregorio was the supposed former owner of the controversial hacienda in Rosario, Batangas; and Lichnock was one of Binay’s ‘dummies.’
The Chongs were the owners of another controversial property in Barangay Comembo and the suppliers of the overpriced birthday cakes; the Tius were the largest financers in Senator Nancy Binay’s bid in the 2013 elections; while Baloloy and Limlingan were the bagmen of the Vice President.
According to Section 18 of the Rules of the Senate, a committee chairman was permitted to cite in contempt any uncooperative witness.
“A contempt of the committee shall be deemed a contempt of the Senate… Such witness may be ordered by the committee to be detained in such place as it may designate under the custody of the sergeant-at-arms until he/she agrees to produce the required documents, or to be sworn or to testify, or otherwise purge himself/herself of that contempt,” the rule read.
Of the 11 individuals now ordered arrested, some have excused themselves while some have been missing since the hearings started.