Explain non-implementation of JV’s suspension, Pimentel told
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - October 20, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Government prosecutors are asking Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III to explain his failure to implement a 90-day preventive suspension against Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito two months after the order of the Sandiganbayan.

In a motion filed before the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division, prosecutors said San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez should also explain why the same preventive suspension orders have not been implemented against city administrator Arnulfo Barte Dacalos and city legal officer Romualdo Corpuz de los Santos.

The prosecutors said the Office of the Senate President and the Office of the Mayor of San Juan should justify their failure to comply with the Sandiganbayan’s orders issued on Aug. 22.

The prosecution argued that none of the respondents filed a motion for reconsideration and the Supreme Court has not halted the implementation of the preventive suspension order through a writ of preliminary injunction despite the filing of a petition before the high court.

“To date, the prosecution has not received any notice from either the Office of the Senate President or the Office of the Mayor of the City of San Juan that the Aug. 22, 2016 Resolution was already implemented,” the ombudsman lawyers said.

About a week after the Sandiganbayan issued the preventive suspension orders, Pimentel, through his chief of staff Daniel Santos, wrote the anti-graft court to inform magistrates that he has referred the matter to the Senate’s committee on rules.

Pimentel said he has not received any communication from the Sandiganbayan regarding the implementation of the suspension order.

“We will answer the motion if required by the court to respond in the motion but I will just telegraph now what the contents of the answers will be. Number one: when we received the order we referred it to the Committee on Rules. The Committee on Rules has not yet reported out or come back to me. So that would be the answer,” Pimentel said.

He noted the order of the Sandiganbayan itself was not so clear because it included the phrase “unless a motion for reconsideration will be filed or has been filed.”

“What I’m trying to say is, if the Sandiganbayan wants categorical answers from us or actions, then they should also give categorical orders, not orders with a comma, and requiring us to conduct our own investigations if a motion for reconsideration has been filed. That is not our duty,” Pimentel said.       

 

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