Palace ready to effect warrants of arrest vs 3 senators

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

MALACANANG is ready to effect the warrants of arrest against the three senators who were recommended to be charged with plunder by the Office of the Ombudsman, a Palace official said Wednesday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the executive branch would just follow whatever would be the order of the Sandiganbayan, an anti-graft court, which will handle the plunder cases of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.

"Yung mga proseso pong ito ay pangangasiwaan ng hukuman. Ang tungkulin po namin sa sangay ng ehekutibo ay sundin ang mga direktiba ng hudikatura na patungkol sa proseso ng batas," he said.

Despite the issuance of a resolution on Tuesday by the Office of the Ombudsman regarding the filing of plunder charges against the three senators and businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged brains in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, the issuance of warrants of arrest may take at least two more months.

Under the law, Coloma cited that each and every one of the respondents is given five days from receipts of the Ombudsman's resolution to file a motion for reconsideration.

The Ombudsman will then evaluate and resolve such motions up to a maximum of 60 days and it will file the information with the Sandiganbayan.

The case will then be raffled-off to one of the five divisions of the Sandiganbayan and upon evaluation of the information and the records of the case, the court will issue warrants of arrest.

Coloma said the issuance of the warrants of arrest ensures that the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of the accused.

After that, the trial will commence, he said.

He said that it would also be up to the court to determine where the three senators would be detained.

In the case of Napoles, she has been detained since last year in a police training camp in Laguna after she was arrested for case of serious illegal detention filed by her former staff and main whistle-blower in the pork barrel scam Benhur Luy.

On statement by Vice President Jejomar Binay expressing his hope that the filing of cases against those allegedly involved in the pork barrel fund mess would not stop with the members of the opposition, Coloma said that the executive branch is doing what is right.

He also said that the complaints against some administration allies are already before the Ombudsman and it would be up to this independent body to pursue the cases. (SDR/Sunnex)

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