Roxas demands Dela Paz presence in Senate probe

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — LIBERAL Party President Senator Mar Roxas yesterday demanded that retired PNP comptroller Deputy Director General Eliseo dela Paz should be forced to testify before the next Senate hearing on the “euro general” issue, saying the public demands full answers to questions left unanswered by the PNP investigation into the issue.

Roxas, acting chair of the Senate foreign relations committee investigating the issue, said he is filing a bill that will grant Congress full oversight powers over the use of military and police intelligence funds similar to the system in the U.S. Congress.

He said only Dela Paz can answer questions that remain hanging despite the PNP chief’s directive that the former PNP comptroller and other PNP officers be charged criminally and administratively over the controversy.

“As long as Dela Paz will not present himself to the Senate Committee, then there will always be questions that remain unanswered. His testimony will be crucial to determine the solutions to the problems posed by this case. Likewise, his testimony will have a direct bearing on the credibility that the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will give to the report,” the Liberal Party president said.

Roxas also said the result of the PNP investigation into the “euro general” issue appears to have prematurely absolved many officials from the PNP and other agencies who need to be charged over the issue.

“Worth noting is that the Commission on Audit was not at all involved in the fact finding process considering that this is the Constitutionally mandated body with the power and authority to examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to all the revenues and expenditures of government funds and properties,” the Ilonggo senator said.

He expressed fears that the charges ordered by Verzosa to be filed against Dela Paz and the other PNP officers would only be rejected by the courts for lack of supporting evidence and documents proving their violations of the law.

“Sa ibang salita, lutong macao na naman ang kasong ito,” Roxas said.

Roxas noted that among the evidence submitted by the PNP, they include several affidavits notarized by the same lawyer based in Camp Crame who notarized the certification issued by a certain Felisa Sakaluran, the money exchange dealer who allegedly exchanged the P6.93 million withdrawn by Dela Paz from the PNP intelligence fund into euros that were seized from his wife in Moscow.