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SC orders Senate to answer petition of Pharmally director questioning detention

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
SC orders Senate to answer petition of Pharmally director questioning detention
Retired Maj. Gen. Rene C. Samonte, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and security staff escort Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp. director Linconn Ong inside the Senate building where he will be detained until the Blue Ribbon Committee resumes its hearing on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.
Released / Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has ordered the Senate to answer the petition filed by Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. executive who challenged his continuing detention before the tribunal.

“As per Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, the respondents in the petition filed by Linconn Ong were required by the Court to file their comment to the main petition and prayer for [Temporary Restraining Order],” SC spokesperson Brian Hosaka said.

Pharmally director Linconn Ong, last week  through his legal counsels, filed a Petition for Certiorari on Thursday, assailing the Senate's September 10 order and asked the SC to order his immediate release from detention.

He also asked the SC to issue a Status Quo Ante Order or Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction on the continued enforcement of the Senate order and on similar directives to be issued pending resolution of the case.

The SC spokesperson did not state how many days were given to the respondent to submit their response, but he noted that the usual period is ten days.

Named as respondents are the Senate of the Philippines, its Blue Ribbon Committee, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Sen. Richard Gordon, MGen. Rene Samonte, as Senate sergeant-at-arms.

On September 21, the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms took Ong into custody after Sen. Richard Gordon, panel chair, was frustrated at his evasive answers and failure to submit documents subpoenaed by the committee.

The senator said then: "If you persist on lying, there are [Senate security] officers there. Because you are lying to us all the time, we will have you brought...and detained at the Senate. That is not an idle threat.”

Ong, in his petition, argued that the committee’s issuace of the assailed Contempt Order from the Senate has no constitutional basis. He also said said he was not informed about the offense he was found guilty of, and was also not given a chance to defend himself.

"Directly or indirectly, other rights of the accused, other than the right to liberty, such as liberty of abode and changing of the same, the right to bail, and the right to an appeal to an impartial tribunal are being impaired," he added.

Ong also said the Senate ruling on the falsity of his testimony and punishing him "illegally encroached upon the exclusive constitutional domain of the Judiciary."

PHARMALLY RICHARD GORDON SENATE SENATE BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE SUPREME COURT
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