Press Release
October 7, 2014


SEN. TG: Good morning everyone. This presscon is about the letter of Mayor Jun-Jun Binay and several other persons requesting a ruling on jurisdictional challenge. As you recall, the jurisdictional challenge has already been made by the subcommittee and it was ruled upon. Now we have these letters to the mother committee, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. And that now, we are being asked to rule on it. We would like to rule that number one, the powers of the subcommittee are plenary, they are complete, they can do any and all acts which the mother committee can make except in two instances. One when it has contempt. When it is an issue of contempt, they cannot cite anyone for contempt, it needs to be brought up to the mother committee. And of course, the second instance is when they make their subcommittee report, it has to be submitted to the mother committee for approval.

Therefore we are stating that in accordance with section 20 of the Rules of the Senate, these are the Senate Rules of the Procedure Governing Inquiries In Aid of Legislation. And Section 20 says, let me read this, the subcommittee may perform "any and all acts which the committee as a whole is authorized to do and perform" except the power to punish for contempt. The letter request of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay is being treated as motion for reconsideration. We are liberally interpreting the rules in their favor so as to provide them the widest leeway. And therefore, we are returning to it to the subcommittee for them to rule upon it because they have the power to rule on jurisdictional challenge as well as motion for reconsideration.

May it also stated that until the jurisdictional challenge is resolved by the subcommittee with finality, it is logical and proper that the hearings of Senate Resolution No. 826 be held in abeyance. They have to resolve it with finality muna, the subcommittee has to resolve with finality the jurisdictional issue and its motion for reconsideration before they can proceed with the hearings on the issue.

Question: So yung decision di pa final kasi ung appeal dinala sa mother committee?

Sen TG: The entity that has the power to rule on jurisdictions and motions for reconsideration is the subcommittee.

Question: So kung may appeal, it has to be filed sa subcommittee din?

Sen TG: Yes. This is a motion for reconsideration. We are treating it as motion for reconsideration, so binabalik namin sapagkat sinasabi ng Section 20 (of Senate Rules) na the subcommittee can perform any and all powers that the main committee can perform except contempt.

QUESTION: What will happen to the scheduled hearing tomorrow when it is (inaudible) to the subcommittee?

Sen TG: What will happen? They have to resolve.

Question: Do they still have time?

Sen TG: That is up to them.

Question: Can they do it today?

Sen TG: That is up to them.

Question: Can they do it tomorrow before the actual hearing?

Sen TG: They have to do it before. I cannot answer for them because that is the subcommittee's action.

Question: Have you communicated the decision to Sen. Koko Pimentel na binabalik nyo sa kanila ito?

Sen TG: We will communicate it now after this.

Question: Sir, naka schedule sila tomorrow morning, kailangan i convene nila formally yung committee or kahit informal meeting?

Sen TG: They have to convene the subcommittee.

Question: If the subcommittee denies the jurisdictional challenge, would it be final or Mayor Binay can (inaudible)?

Sen TG: No more because as stated the power to rule on jurisdiction, including motions for reconsideration, in accordance with the rules Section 20 states that the subcommittee has the power to rule on that.

Question: So after tomorrow, that is final already, sir yung decision tomorrow ng subcom? Wala ng balik?

STG: Yes. Wala na.

Question: Sir kailangan ba majority ng members ng subcommittee ang magdecide kasi normally 3 lang sila?

STG: The rules state that majority there being a quorum. Number 1 there must be a quorum, Number 2 majority.

Question: Majority of those present?

STG: There being a quorum.

Question: How many members ba ang subcommittee?

STG: The same members as the main committee because there was no designation of who were the members of the subcommittee we just created.

Question: So ibig sabihin lang Sir, yung 3 laging present they can rule? STG: Again, if there is a quorum. Stick to the rules, is there a quorum, if yes okay. If there is a quorum and if there is a vote, that is a majority rule.

Question: And the quorum sir is the chairman plus one member?

STG: The quorum is chairman plus one.

Question: That is the rule sir?

STG: That is the rule.

Question: Sir it seems clear that the Senate rule that there is jurisdiction.

STG: Yes, it does not seem, it is clear.

Q: So, what do you think of these appeals, these motions despite of the clarity of the Senate Rules?

Sen. TG: That's alright. It's a motion for reconsideration. People are entitled to file a motion for reconsideration anyway.

Q: Are there no other options available to the Binays?

Sen. TG: That's up to them. If you are asking me if there are other options, that's up to them and not up to me to state what their options are.

Q: If they elevate it to SC if they are not satisfied with the decision...

Sen. TG: That is their right.

Q: How about their appearance? Could they be compelled to appear?

Sen. TG: That is a matter that the subcommittee should answer.

Q: Sir, ang issue nila is not just the jurisdiction but kasi hindi na daw in aid of legislation...

Sen. TG: that should be answered by the subcommittee which has the power to rule on jurisdiction and motions for reconsideration.

Q: Sir, can they postpone the hearing tomorrow?

Sen. TG: If they push through with the hearing tomorrow, they have to resolve the jurisdictional issue and the motions of reconsideration.

Q: Sir, if the subcommittee issues an arrest of warrant?

Sen. TG: It cannot. As I said, the powers of the subcommittee are the same as the mother committee except in two instances, contempt and the report. The report has to be submitted to the mother committee for approval.

Q: What can the subcommittee do in terms of compelling the...

Sen. TG: They will have to elevate it to the mother committee because they have no power to do that and the mother committee has the power to do that.

Q: Has there been one?

Sen. TG: Nothing has been formally brought up to me

Q: Sir, during the last hearing when they discussed the jurisdictional issue after the hearing, so tomorrow hindi puwede 'yan dapat before the hearing?

Sen. TG: They have to resolve that first before they proceed with the hearing. It is only logical and proper that the subcommittee resolves the issue with finality and should hold in abeyance the hearings.

Q: Sir, what if they remain defiant and continue to refuse to accede to the order of the blue ribbon committee?

Sen. TG: I think you have to address that question to the subcommittee.

Q: Should there be a ruling by the subcommittee today before they can convene tomorrow?

Sen. TG: No, they can do it tomorrow.

Q: Sir, 'yun final decision ng subcommittee, hindi na kailangan ireport sa mother committee?

Sen. TG: Hindi. Nasa subcommittee 'yan kapangyarihan sapagkat ang basehan ay sa Sec. 20 ang rules.

Q: (inaudible) Sen TG: Mayor Jun Jun Binay, Ms. Ebeng Baloloy, Atty. Pio Kenneth Dasal, the legal officer, Ms. Majorie de Veyra and Prof Tommy Lopez.

Q: Sir, are you standing by the assertion of the subcommittee that what we are doing is in aid of legislation?

Sen. TG: I will not rule on that, I will not comment on that. That is something that the subcommittee should be able to answer.

Q: As chairman, you would take the cudgels for your committee?

Sen. TG: Let the subcommittee speak for itself. They have the powers to do anything and everything that the mother committee can make except contempt so let them speak for themselves.

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