Press Release
March 5, 2008


"He will not be arrested but he will voluntarily appear," Senate Majority Leader and Independent senator Kiko Pangilinan today said.

"We will not insist on asking the first three questions as these are the questions brought before the Supreme Court but we can ask all other questions. Whether he wants to answer or not, it's up to him. Ngayon, halimbawa hindi kami naniniwala o invalid ang ground sa pag-invoke ng executive privilege, then we will rule on it and tell him, "no, you answer." And if he refuses to answer, we can cite him in contempt. But until the matter is resolved in the Supreme Court hopefully within two weeks, we will withhold arresting him. Besides he will appear voluntarily anyway." Kiko said.

After almost nine hours of oral arguments on Neri's petition, the high tribunal reached an agreement. In addition, any contentious invocation of executive privilege would be brought to the Supreme Court.

Kiko however expressed some concern about this setup, particularly in relation to fundamental principles on branches of government being co-equal.

"If we do agree to this compromise formula it must never be considered as a precedent for other parties in the future but must apply only to his case and his case alone." Kiko said.

"I have my reservations about this but I want to hear the others (senators). Personally I would prefer that we maintain and ensure our prerogatives as a co-equal remain undiminished and supreme within our jurisdiction which is legislation and oversight. We should weigh matters very, very seriously before we consent to allowing for the suspension of our prerogatives as a co-equal while the case is pending." Kiko ended.

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