House pushes for Dimaporo’s freedom

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Around 105 lawmakers from the House of Representatives from different political parties have rallied behind their embattled colleague, Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo, by supporting his move to post bail over malversation and graft charges.

The House members made the move under House Resolution 206 which expresses support for the temporary liberty of Dimaporo so that he can

discharge his duties as a lawmaker while the criminal cases are

pending.

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Rep. Ferdinand Romualdez of Leyte province, the author of the Resolution, appealed to the court by citing that putting Representative Dimaporo in jail will deprive the residents of Second District of Lanao del Norte their right to representation enshrined by the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

“He [Dimaporo] is not in danger of flight,” the Resolution, signed by 104 other lawmakers, said.

The Sandiganbayan already issued a warrant of arrest against Dimaporo last week in connection with the misuse of P5 million of public funds from the 2004 fertilizer fund scam.

Malversation is a non-bailable offense, unless the court finds that the evidence is weak.

House Resolution 206, however, clarified that the move to support Dimaporo is just expressing the sentiments of the 16th Congress and should not be viewed as undue interference or pressure upon the

Sandiganbayan in the proper disposition of the case against Congressman Dimaporo.

“This is to address the issue and give the Speaker full authority to do whatever it should, under the bounds of law and in accordance with the judicial rules of procedure, including recognizance and the taking of custody of the person of Representative Dimaporo while his Motion or Petition for Bail is pending for hearing and resolution of the court,” the Resolution added.

The lawmakers who affixed their signature in the Resolution include: House Deputy Speakers Giorgidi Aggabao (Nationalist People’s Coalition), Carlos Padilla (Nacionalista Party) and Sergio Apostol (Liberal Party), House Deputy Majority Leader Lucy Torres-Gomez of Leyte (Liberal Party), Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. who chairs the House Justice Commitee (Liberal Party), Rep. Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga who heads the House Games

and Amusements (National Unity Party).

Likewise, Dimaporo got the support House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora of San Juan, Reps. Toby Tiangco of Navotas and Gwen Garcia of Cebu (United Nationalist Alliance), Gary Alejano and Francisco Acedillo (Magdalo), Lani Mercado (Cavite,

Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats), Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo (Camarines

Sur, Lakas-CMD), Jonathan dela Cruz (Abakada), Lito Atienza (Buhay

Hayaang Yumabong), Mark Villar (Las Piñas, NP), Imelda Marcos (Ilocos

Norte), Mark Enverga (Quezon, NPC), Sherwin Gatchalian (Valenzuela

City, NPC), Jerry Treñas (Iloilo, LP), among others.

Dimaporo is under the hospital arrest in Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City after suffering from a mild heart attack a few days before the arrest order was issued.

Rep. Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte, the wife of the lawmaker, thanked her colleagues for supporting the petition of her husband.

“On behalf of my husband, I would like to convey our heartfelt gratitude to all our colleagues here at the House of Representatives who have signed the Resolution. We will forever be grateful,” she said in a separate statement. LLANESCA T. PANTI

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