Romualdez backs house arrest for JPE

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Published : Thursday, June 12, 2014 00:00

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HOUSE independent minority bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin “FM” G. Romualdez yesterday backed the proposal to place 90-year old Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile under house arrest.

However, Romualdez said such proposal and possible hospital arrest for

Enrile will depend on the appreciation of the concerned division of the anti-graft court.

“The proposal for house arrest is worth considering given the age of former Senate President Enrile. But I don’t want to pre-empt the Sandiganbayan. It’s their call to decide,” Romualdez told reporters in a press conference.

“On hospital arrest, it depends also on his medical condition. If the need arises, he should be treated in a hospital,” Romualdez stressed.

Enrile was charged of plunder before Sandiganbayan for allegedly pocketing public funds through kickbacks and or commissions in the amount of P172-million.

In a related development, House minority leader and San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora shrugged off insinuations that he and his brothers are behind the black propaganda against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family.

Zamora disregarded the tirades of Makati Rep. Abigail Binay-Campos who said last week that there are brothers who are “deeply entrenched” in politics and mining who are funding a “black propaganda” to diminish her father’s chances in the 2016 presidential elections.

“I don’t feel alluded to. I’m not in mining. I’m in politics. My two brothers are in mining but in different companies. Do we feel alluded to? No we don’t,” Zamora bared in a press conference as he referred to his brothers Manuel Jr. and Salvador.

“Alam mo kung nag-aalala ka with all these allusions, bakit ka pa sumali sa pulitika? Bakit ka pa tatakbo? Eto ba magandang hanapbuhay to? Ano bang kikitain ko dito?” Zamora said. “If you don’t like what you are involved in, then get out of politics. It’s as simple as that.”

Romualdez also said Sens. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong”

Revilla, Jr. should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“…let us not forget that no less than the law provides that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law,” Romualdez stressed.

Romualdez also expressed frustration over the lack of support from the House leadership on their request to the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to give copies of records and all related documents on funds being linked to the scam.

“We have been asking for those documents since last year,” Romualdez said. “Their importance in finding out the truth about the scam is crystal-clear. But we are nothing less than surprised that the House leadership is ignoring this, considering the fact that so many of our colleagues have been dragged into the anomaly,” Romualdez added.

“Add to this the absence of any action for a thorough and no-nonsense probe of equally vital issues like the disbursement of funds under the highly questionable Disbursement Acceleration Program, the unabated issue on smuggling, the multi-million overpricing in rice importations, and among others,” he added.RYAN PONCE PACPACO


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