@SENATEPH

PHARMALLY PHARMACEUTICAL Corp. executive Linconn U. Ong has filed a petition before the Supreme Court against the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee for his alleged unconstitutional detention and arrest due to contempt during the probe on pandemic funds.

In his 50-page petition filed on Thursday, Mr. Ong sought a temporary restraining order against the committee and nullification of the Senate’s order for his arrest “for being unconstitutional and for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion.”

Mr. Ong cited Section 21, Article 6 of the Philippine Constitution, which states that both houses of Congress “may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation” but that “(t)he rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected.”

In an interview before the petition was filed, Donn Rico G. Kapunan, one of Mr. Ong’s lawyers, said “this is a chance for us to have a definitive resolution by the (Supreme Court) with regard to the exercise of the Blue Ribbon’s power to cite people in contempt.”

He added that if the Senate has evidence, “we will face them in court in the proper forum already because this has gone far enough.”

The respondents named in the petition are Blue Ribbon Committee Chair Richard J. Gordon, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III, and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Rene C. Samonte.

Mr. Ong, a member of Pharmally’s board of directors and its supply chain manager, is supposedly one of those who received the Budget department’s purchase orders for the procurement of allegedly overpriced personal protective equipment for the Health department. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago



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