Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay’s camp on Friday described the sub-committee of the Senate blue ribbon panel as abusive, after it unilaterally rejected a motion to interpose jurisdictional challenge to conduct an inquiry into allegations that the Makati City Hall Building 2 was overpriced.
Lawyer Claro Certeza said they are contemplating on bringing the matter to the Supreme Court (SC) to question the sub-committee’s decision to act on its own.
Certeza argued that under Senate rules, any jurisdictional challenge should be resolved by the whole committee, not by just a sub-committee.
He said they would ask the High Court to order the Senate blue ribbon committee to deliberate on the motion as committee of the whole.
Certeza pointed out that if there is a jurisdictional challenge, the committee– the Senate rules on inquiries in aid of legislation–should first decide on the dispute before continuing with the inquiry.
He said the rules also stipulate that the investigation could not proceed in case of a jurisdictional challenge.
Certeza cited Section 3 of Resolution 5 on the rules of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation, that says “if the jurisdiction of the committee is challenged on any ground, the said issue must first be resolved by the committee before proceeding with the inquiry.”
“They are overstepping their authority already. Of course, we have our respect for our senators but we have to point out that they are overstepping their powers already,” he said.
Certeza noted how some senators embarrassed and humiliated his client when he attended a hearing that he claimed was bordering on disrespect.