Press Release
December 10, 2008

Senate blue ribbon panel withdraws arrest order vs Aytona

The Senate blue ribbon committee today withdrew the arrest order against alleged "runner" Marites Aytona after she submitted a letter explaining her absence at the panel's hearing on the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.

In her letter forwarded to Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon, committee chair, during the middle of the hearing, Aytona has begged off from attending the panel's hearing today because her lawyer was sick.

"Ako po ay nakahandang humarap sa nasabing pagdinig ngunit sa hindi inaasahang pagkakataon nagkaroon po ng problema ang aking abugado. Nalaman ko po na naisugod siya sa St. Lukes Hospital noong Disyembre 6, 2008 dahil sa kanyang prostate at siya ngayon ay mayroong 'catheter'," Aytona's letter read.

Gordon said the committee accepted Aytona's excuse but warned her that she must appear on the next hearing of the panel.

"If she doesn't appear at the next hearing, then she's in danger of being arrested. Earlier at the hearing, when we learned that Ms. Aytona was absent again, I said we will order her arrest. It's a good thing she submitted a letter, so we cancelled the order," Gordon said.

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