3 senators face suspension

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 Asryman Rafanan of the Office of the Ombudsman holds copies of the resolution recommending the filing of plunder and graft complaints against senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

Asryman Rafanan of the Office of the Ombudsman holds copies of the resolution recommending the filing of plunder and graft complaints against senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THINGS will definitely change in the Senate once the Ombudsman files plunder complaints before the Sandiganbayan against three senators implicated in the multibillion pork barrel scam.

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Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. will be suspended once the anti-graft court issues a warrant for their arrest.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said their suspension will not be based merely on the Ombudsman’s announcement that plunder and other criminal charges will be filed against the lawmakers.

“I understand that with this resolution, the respondents will still be given the opportunity to seek a reconsideration of the Ombudsman ruling, and it is only with the resolution of the motion for reconsideration that the decision will become final, and that, therefore, the case can then be filed at the Sandiganbayan, or it can be dismissed if the Ombudsman finds merit in the motion for reconsideration,” Drilon explained.

Because plunder is a non-bailable offense, the Sandiganbayan will have to order the arrest of the senators upon receipt of the plunder complaint. The lawmakers will be under detention by the anti-graft court.

Subsequently, the Sandiganbayan will suspend the senators and the Senate will have no choice but to comply with the order of the court.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago earlier sought the automatic suspension of senators charged with plunder and graft.

“This means that the senators and representatives implicated as persons of interest shall be suspended from Congress while trial is pending,” Santiago, a constitutional law expert, said.

She cited Section 5 of the Anti-Plunder Act, which states, ”Any public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending in court, shall be suspended from office.”

“That provision is not found in the Constitution, but only in the Senate Rules. While under the Anti-Plunder Act, suspension is mandatory as indicated by the word ‘shall.’

In the Senate Rules, suspension is merely permissive, as indicated by the use of the word ‘may,’” the senator said.

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7 Comments

  1. First time in jurisprudence I’ve had heard that mere blah blah could file a case against anyone. God have mercy on our souls.

  2. joebert banderas on

    Ngayon mas marami corrupt kaysa hindi corrupt.Kung hindi mapaparusahan ang mga corrupt lalong dumadami at dadami hanggang lahat na ay corrupt.Ano na mangyari sa bansang Pilipinas

  3. It makes me wonder why when the house were questioning ben hur ley why didnt any or all of those senators join in with their questions. If they knew they were innocent of those charges they could have made their accusers look like fools. But no they kept telling us they were innocent but as always with these sort of people they say things but dont show proof. I know they said they will defend themselves in court & i cant wait to see how they try to do that. Im so looking forward to this case & i eagerly await the next investigation to see if there are more involved in this or other scams.

  4. apolonio reyes on

    Kapag na reject ng Ombudsman ang MR ni Enrile, Estrada at Revilla, di ba meron karapatan iakyat ng tatlo ang MR nila sa SC?. Kung pwede ito ay matatapos na ang termino ni Pnoy at baka brasuhin at tangalin ng susunod na president si Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales gaya ng ginawa ni Pnoy kay Ombudman Gutierez at CJ Renato Corona at walang mangyari sa Plunder case ng 3 senadores, Pwede ba ito Sec. D5?

  5. mikhail hieronymus on

    Finally the slow wheel of justice is moving forward. Hopefully, it will continue to its final distination. Crime indeed does not pay. It will just be matter of time before those guilty will get their just punishment. There is still some law in the Philippines. Mabuhay!!!!

    • The wheels of justice really grind very slowly. Imagine, they only caught up with three of hundreds of legislators in the country? I hope those wheels are still running after all the goverment crooks.

  6. Surely puno na naman ng dakdak na pagkakaila etong si Jinggoy. Jingoy, aminin mo na lang. How can you afford all those savings you have in the U.S. and relatives studying in England? With your past movies, that cannot even be the basis for your amassed wealth.