After Senate Blue Ribbon Committee cites Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and five other officials for contempt, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago thinks it is time for the city head to appear before the Senate hearings.
In an earlier report by ABS-CBN, Santiago cited the case of Arnault vs. Nazareno, saying that the arrest order against the Binay camp has a prime significance.
Santiago explained the case, “In the case of Arnault v. Nazareno concerning the so-called Tambobong estate, wherein a resource person refused to answer a question posed to him at a Senate hearing and the Supreme Court upheld the penalty on that person until, in the words of the Supreme Court, he has purged himself of the contempt.”
She also added that the penalty was deferred when the resource person followed what the Senate asked of him. She said no one will respect their office’s hearing if the Senate does not have that power.
“Since we are asking for the truth in order to help us get to the facts that will form the basis of the bills that we formulate, we should have punitive power over those who do not wish to cooperate,” the senior senator said.
Last Monday afternoon, the Blue Ribbon Committee decided to charge Mayor Binay and other individuals for contempt due to their continuous refusal to appear before the subcommittee hearings.
But later in the same afternoon, the order to arrest the said individuals was deferred when acting Senate Minority Leader Vicente Sotto III questioned the quorum of the committee.
According to Sotto, at least nine out of the 20 members of the Blue Ribbon Committee must be present to form a quorum and render a decision.
Sotto stated in the plenary meeting, “This is a very controversial issue; I want to make sure the rules are followed.”
In a GMA report, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, head of the Rules committee, said all the committee members were informed with a notice sent last January 20. He added that the quorum rules were amended permitting two members to form a quorum.
Senate President Franklin Drilon ordered the Committee on Rules to deliberate on the issue on Tuesday.