Senate panel defers motion for contempt against 3 ex-military officials

February 8, 2011 11:49 am 

MANILA, Feb. 7 – The Senate decided on Monday to shelve for a while its ruling on the motion to cite three former military officials for contempt in connection with the ongoing Senate blue ribbon investigation on the plea bargain agreement.

In an interview after a caucus on Monday afternoon, Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Teofisto Guingona III said that they have to study further the motion of Senator Jinggoy Estrada to cite former military comptroller Carlos Garcia for contempt for repeatedly refusing to answer questions.

”With regards to General Garcia, we have some people studying the matter. We sought it best to defer the issue, deciding on the issue until we have exhaustively studied the matter,” Guingona said.

The senators also deferred the decision on whether to cite former national defense Angelo Reyes for contempt for not attending the last two Senate inquiries.

”Secretary Angelo Reyes, so far we have issued invitations only. So we will subpoena Reyes formally. If he defies the subpoena, that’s the only time contempt issue will come in,” Guingona said.

After his name has been mentioned as one of the former military generals who received millions as payoffs, Reyes asked Senators Estrada, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Antonio Trillanes IV and Francis Escudero to inhibit from the ongoing Senate probe.

With regards to former military comptroller Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot, Guingona said there is no formal motion for contempt against Ligot, predecessor of Garcia.

”I guess we will just have to continue with General Ligot. Anyway, his wife has been invited for the next hearing,” Guingona said.

Guingona was referring to Mrs. Ligot who, according to Senator Estrada, owned two expensive houses in California and has travelled 42 times abroad. (PNA) vcs/jfm/utb

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