Senate Blue Ribbon committee chair Senator Teofisto Guingona said Tuesday, October 7, “Until the jurisdictional challenge is resolved by the subcommittee with finality, it is logical and proper that the hearings of Senate Resolution No. 826 be held in abeyance. They have to resolve it with finality.”
Makati Mayor Junjun Binay questioned the jurisdiction of the sub-committee chaired by Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and the Senate Blue Ribbon main committee. Mayor Binay did not attend number of previous hearings regarding the alleged overpriced building in Makati City.
The sub-committee led by Pimentel already dismissed Mayor Binay’s jurisdictional challenge last October 2 hearing. Mayor Binay’s legal adviser Claro Certeza insisted that the whole committee must resolve the jurisdictional challenge.
“The letter request of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay is being treated as motion for reconsideration.” Guingona noted. “We are returning to it to the subcommittee for them to rule upon it because they have the power to rule on jurisdictional challenge as well as motion for reconsideration.”
According to Senate Rules section 20, “the subcommittee can perform any and all powers that the main committee can perform except contempt.”
The sub-committee is scheduled to resume hearing tomorrow. The sub-committee is expected to resolve Binay’s challenge if there is a quorum before starting the hearing. The chairman and one member being present constitutes a quorum. Member of the mother committee are also member of the sub-com.
Asked if the subcommittee can issue an arrest warrant if individuals issued with subpoena continue not attending, Senator Guingona said, “They will have to elevate it to the mother committee because they have no power to do that and the mother committee has the power to do that.”
“They have the powers to do anything and everything that the mother committee can make except contempt so let them speak for themselves,” Guingona emphasized.