Mike Arroyo urged to stay in PH and face chopper deal probe
MANILA, Philippines — Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo should stay in the country to avoid any speculation that he would evade the case lodged against him in connection with the allegedly anomalous police helicopter contract, a senator said on Thursday.
“I urge Mr. Arroyo to stay in the country to face allegations against him. He should be present in preliminary investigation of this case if he wishes to avoid speculations that he intends to evade prosecution,” Senator Teofisto Guingona III said in a statement.
Guingona is chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee that investigated and recommended the filing of appropriate cases against Arroyo, who allegedly owned second hand helicopters sold as brand new to the Philippine National Police in 2009.
Also charged were former PNP chief Jesus Versoza, former Local Government Ronaldo Puno, and other police personnel involved in the transaction.
Guingona commended the Sandiganbayan for ordering the preliminary investigation of the case.
“I laud the recent move by Ombudsman ConchitaCarpio Morales and the Office of the Ombudsman to approve the Investigation Report recommending the conduct of preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication on the Philippine National Police [PNP]Helicopter Purchase Case,” he said.
“I am happy that the fact-finding panel recommended the conduct of preliminary investigation based on their own investigations, and the investigations that the PNP and the blue ribbon committee conducted,” he said.
The senator is confident that the preliminary investigation will result in the filing of the appropriate case against the respondents.
“This is a major gain in our people’s quest for justice. It also strengthens our resolve to continue our probe of allegations on reported misuse of the people’s money,” Guingona added.
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