MANILA (UPDATED) - The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee cited Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay and five others in contempt and are now facing arrest.
The committee decided on the matter on Monday afternoon based on the recommendation of Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III due to the alleged continued snub of Binay and other Makati officials on an ongoing Senate probe.
The others are: Atty. Eleno Mendoza, Ms. Eduviges Ebeng Baloloy, Marjorie de Veyra, Engineer Line Dela Pena, and Bernadette Portollano.
Pimentel also earlier recommended the same for University of Makati president Tomas Lopez. Pimentel withdrew his recommendation against Lopez who already wrote of his intention to appear in the next hearing.
The senate sergeant at arms was tasked to coordinate with the Philippine National Police.
In an interview with ANC, Guingona said: “We are just applying the rules. Rules are rules. It has to be applied to all, regardless of rank, power, or status.”
The decision was arrived at by Guingona, head of the Blue Ribbon, and was seconded by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. The two and Pimentel were the only ones present during the meeting on Monday afternoon.
Based on Senate rules, the concurrences of the committee head and one member are only needed to make good a ruling.
Guingona said Binay and the others will be detained at the Senate indefinitely or until “they cooperate.” He said the Vice President’s son will only have to “manifest that he is willing to submit himself to the committee.”
Guingona said it is the right of Binay and the others to challenge the order before a court of law.
In a separate interview with ANC, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim president Toby Tiangco said he already expected the three senators “to bully their way into this.”
He said the public should realize that only the three are aggressively pushing to bring down the Binays, noting that the Blue Ribbon committee has a total of 21 members.
“It shows the other members are not convinced by the allegations of the three… This is part of the plot to bring down not just the vice president,” Tiangco said.