Santiago invites Robredo wife to probe on Puno

By Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Sep 10 2012 01:09 PM | Updated as of Sep 10 2012 09:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has invited the wife of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo to the probe she initiated against the latter’s subordinate, Undersecretary Rico Puno.

Atty. Maria Leonor Robredo is only one of seven in Santiago’s list who have been invited for the probe scheduled on September 14, 10:30 a.m., at the Recto Room in the Senate.

Santiago earlier said Puno should explain why he was at Robredo’s condominium a day after the latter’s plane crashed off the waters of Masbate.

The others invited are: Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. who took over the DILG reins as interim chief; Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, who said Robredo was also having a probe on illegal logging; Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who was asked to secure Robredo’s condominium a day after the plane crash; DILG Secretary-designate Mar Roxas; PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome.

Interestingly, Santiago also invited former Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz. It was Cruz who earlier tagged Puno to the illegal numbers game.

Santiago described the hearing as an “evaluation of the DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno Event, under the Administrative Code and the DILG Act…”

Over the weekend, President Benigno Aquino III came to the defense of Puno. He said it was him who ordered Puno to seal Robredo’s offices.

Still, Puno’s name has been dragged into another probe that Robredo was working on prior to his death.

Malacanang on Sunday said it is Santiago’s right to call for a hearing on the matter. Officials stressed, however, that the probe was on the transaction itself and not on the personality.