Press Release
September 4, 2011


Separate charges against businessman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo, Rep. Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo and others invovled in the helicopter scandal are now being finalized by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, Senator Franklin Drilon said Sunday.

This developed as Drilon, a member of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee that is investigating the anomalous sale of pre-owned helicopters, indicated that the Philippine National Police hastily filed before the Office of the Ombudsman plunder raps against Mike Arroyo and others to prevent the Upper Chamber from ferreting out the truth, as police officials who would be invited in the Senate probe may invoke the right against self-incrimination due to pending cases.

"This is like a legal gag order which is being deliberately done because the Senate cannot compel the PNP officials to speak if they appear before the Senate again. This is a shotgun approach," said Drilon.

"That would not prevent us from filing separate cases against those involved," he added.

The Senate Blue Ribbon panel, Drilon said, is still in the process of identifying if plunder charges or violation of the Anti-Graft Law will be pressed against former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, who appeared to be the real owner of two Robinson R-44 Raven 1 choppers sold to the PNP as brand new.

Negros Occidental Rep. Iggy Arroyo, meanwhile, faces charges for being an "accessory to the crime," as he insisted that the choppers had been leased to the Arroyo family-owned LTA Inc., Drilon added.

"Congressman Iggy Arroyo is really part of the cover-up operation. He is an accessory to the crime," said Drilon.

The Arroyos' former bookkeeper Rowena del Rosario, who was cited in contempt by the Senate and detained, will also face perjury raps for trying to protect her principals and for evasively answering evasively to questions from Senate probers, said Drilon.

The Senate panel will also file a disbarment case against lawyer Lope Velasco, who supposedly notarized the lease agreement between LTA Inc. and Lionair Inc.

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