This is a typical tactic of delaying and obstructing probes. The Senate continuously tries to uncover corruption but just as quickly Arroyo and her cronies cover it up. This is from the Inquirer.
DoJ cancels NBN probe anew as Neri says he won’t attend
By Tetch Torres
First Posted 12:01:00 03/07/2008
MANILA, Philippines -- The hearing on the allegedly tainted national broadband network project at the Department of Justice has been cancelled anew after the resource person scheduled to appear this Friday informed them of his non-attendance, the head of the fact-finding panel said.
Former socioeconomic planning secretary Romulo Neri, whose appearance was set later in the day, informed the DoJ, through his lawyer Geraldo Dacayo Jr., that he would want to wait for the decision of the Supreme Court on his petition.
Last December 7, Neri had asked the high court for a temporary restraining order on the Senate’s plan at the time to cite him in contempt for failing to attend the NBN hearing.
Neri, in his petition and supplemental petition, said his absence in the Nov. 20, 2007 hearing, was duly answered by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, invoking executive privilege “by order of the president.”
Neri said Malacañang was concerned about “the impact of the bribery scandal involving high government officials on the country’s diplomatic relations and economic and military affairs, and the possible loss of confidence of foreign investors and lenders in the Philippines.”
As a compromise following oral arguments last Tuesday, the Supreme Court proposed that the Senate should not ask three questions, which Neri claimed was “within the ambit of executive privilege in return for his attendance to the Senate inquiries.”
But the Senate rejected the proposal and the high court, through its spokesman Jose Midas Marquez, said it would issue a ruling within two to three weeks.
This is the second time Neri cancelled his appearance at the DoJ investigating panel and the third time the panel cancelled its hearing after their resource person had failed to appear.
Pineda had expressed his frustration over resource persons who had refused to appear before them.
He said Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has been studying the panel’s suggestion to ask President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to authorize the group to compel resource persons to attend its hearings