Drilon signs subpoena for 'Benhur files'

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2014 01:19 PM | Updated as of May 16 2014 03:11 AM


MANILA - Senate President Franklin Drilon has signed a subpoena for Benhur Luy to produce the reported digital files on the pork barrel scam and turn it over to the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.

"The Blue Ribbon committee already issued a subpoena duces tecum to produce these digital files," Drilon told reporters.

Anyone who refuses to follow a subpoena without a valid explanation may be cited for contempt.

"If you deliberately and without any reason refuse to follow a subpoena, you can be cited for contempt and that is why before you cite someone for contempt, you ask for an explanation why are you defying the processes of the Senate, why are you defying the subpoena. I want to emphasize that. Since contempt is a punitive action in order to enforce the power of the Senate, you ask for an explanation why one should not be cited for contempt. In other words, there is due process involved," Drilon said.

Luy's hard drive was used by the Philippine Daily Inquirer to come up with a list of lawmakers involved in the pork barrel scam.

Drilon also maintained there is no crisis within the institution even though several senators were linked to the scam.

He said the best way to regain the public's trust is for the senators to continue performing their duties.

"The Senate is not in crisis. There may be problems in individual members but the Senate as an institution remains strong. It will not 'collapse' as asserted by some people. The senate is different from the people which compose it. Politicians come and go, senators come and go but the Senate will remain as an institution of democracy," he said.