Recall arrest order against me, alleged Binay ‘dummy’ asks Senate
Dr. Jack Arroyo, an ophthalmologist and alleged “dummy” for Vice President Jejomar Binay, has appealed to the Senate blue ribbon committee to review and recall its contempt citation and arrest order against him for snubbing the ongoing investigation on corruption allegations against the Vice President.
Arroyo was one of the 11 resource persons ordered arrested by the committee being headed by Sen. Teofisto Guingona III.
But in a letter to Guingona dated Aug. 26, the doctor, citing previous cases, argued that the committee’s power to cite a resource person in contempt and order arrested could only be enforced “when the same resource person is actually before the committee and defies its order.”
“I never defied any committee order. I signified early on that I would cooperate with the committee,” he said, referring to the blue ribbon subcommittee which was investigating the corruption allegations against Binay.
“I couldn’t attend the last hearing I was invited to because the subpoena was served at my residence when I was on a medical mission. The committee responded by arbitrarily citing me for contempt and ordering my arrest,” he said.
Arroyo said no court, including the Supreme Court, would issue such a “peremptory order” under such circumstances.
“It will first issue a show cause order for the respondent to explain why he or she should not be cited for contempt. In short, the respondent is given the chance to explain the very essence of due process,” he said.
Arroyo also argued that only a judge, and not senators, could issue a warrant of arrest.
“And senators are not judges,” he said.
“That constitutional protection to the citizenry may not be contravened, much less withdrawn by the Senate thru its Rules of Procedure, by granting themselves the forbidden power of arrest,” he further said.
Arroyo likewise questioned the power of the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms—whose staff, he said, were “acting like roving policemen looking for arrestees”—to serve warrants of arrests.
“Summons, invitations, subpoena, yes he may serve them. But he cannot execute a warrant of arrest,” he pointed out.
Although he was earlier tagged as one of Binay’s dummies, Arroyo was at a loss as to what he would testify in the investigation.
“What I am going to testify on? On a subject no witness has ever alleged that I participated in?” he asked. Maila Ager/RC
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