Makati officials ask for advance copy of questions in Senate probe | Inquirer News

Makati officials ask for advance copy of questions in Senate probe

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 03:35 PM January 20, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—Two days before the resumption of the Senate hearing on the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall 2 parking building, the lawyer of Makati City officials reiterated a long-standing request to give them advance copies of questions that would be asked by senators.

Lawyer Claro Certeza said the Supreme Court has recognized that resource persons are entitled to know in advance the questions that will be asked by the committee.

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He cited the petition filed by former National Economic and Development Authority Director General Romulo Neri against the Senate blue ribbon committee in 2008.

“The Supreme Court citing settled jurisprudence categorically stated that no (Senate) inquiry is an end in itself; it must be related to, and in furtherance of, a legitimate task of the Congress, i.e. legislation. Investigations conducted solely to gather incriminatory evidence and ‘punish’ those investigated are indefensible. There is no Congressional power to expose for the sake of exposure,” Certeza said in a statement emailed to reporters by the Office of the Vice President on Tuesday.

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“A subpoena issued by the Senate that merely commands a person to ‘testify on what he knows relative to the subject matter under inquiry’ gives the party served with the subpoena the right to demand that he be furnished in advance with the questions to be propounded to him,”  Certeza added.

The Senate blue ribbon subcommittee headed by Senator  Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel  III is set to resume on Thursday its  hearing  on the  allegedly overpriced  parking building involving  then  Makati Mayor and  now Vice President  Jejomar Binay.

Certeza said that as early as October 29, 2014, the officials of the Makati City Hall have written a letter to the subcommittee requesting an advance copy of the questions but the panel has yet to respond.

The Makati officials have no intention of defying the subpoena but “they cannot be faulted for not appearing in the Senate because the request to be furnished an advance copy of the questions is yet to be acted upon by the panel,” he said.

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TAGS: Claro Certeza, corruption, Jejomar Binay, Makati City hall, overpricing, parking building
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