Neri bid to quash subpoena denied

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Former Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri: Motion denied. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Sandiganbayan on Wednesday denied the motion to quash the subpoena for former Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri to testify in the graft cases against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a resolution, the antigraft court’s 4th Division said the issue of whether or not prosecution witness Neri should obey the court subpoena has not been rendered moot and academic.

It said Neri would remain on the list of witnesses that the prosecution intends to present in these cases in the regular course of trial.

The court said Neri would have no choice but to heed the subpoena and take the witness stand.

Neri earlier petitioned the court that he could not be validly summoned to testify on his conversations and communications with Arroyo, his former superior, as this would violate his right to remain silent under the Constitution.

He said he is also an accused in another criminal case that is related to the graft cases.

The charges stem from the contract entered into by the Department of Transportation and Communications with Zhing Ying Telecommunications Equipment for the supply of broadband equipment.—Cynthia D. Balana

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