House sends team to Germany to check Cayetano’s claims

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — The House committee on ethics will send a five-member mission to Munich to verify charges that the First Family kept multi-million-dollar accounts in a German bank.

The committee, headed by Bohol Rep. Roberto Cajes, unanimously voted in favor of a motion by Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Antonio Cerilles who called for the creation of the fact-finding team.

The voting was done at the resumption of the hearing on the expulsion case filed by members of the First Family against Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano who exposed the alleged bank accounts.

The team will be composed of two members of the majority, two from the minority and Cajes.

But Rep. Jose Solis moved that other members of the panel should be allowed to go provided that they would shoulder their own expenses.

The travel to Munich could cost at least P200,000 excluding miscellaneous expenses and allowances. The mission’s expenses will be shouldered by the House of Representatives.

In making his motion, Cerilles said the trip will be necessary so that the people will know the truth.

At the hearing, Cayetano cross-examined Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo and First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo one after the other.

The two Arroyos and Rep. Ignacio Arroyo, the First Gentleman’s brother, and son, Diosdado, are the principal complainants in the expulsion case.

Cayetano failed to cull any information from the complainants and his questions were repeatedly blocked by the Arroyos’ lawyer, Ruy Rondain.

“Your questions are immaterial and absurd and they are irrelevant. We have no account in Germany in the past, the present and even in the future and I have never been to Munich, Germany,” the First Gentleman told Cayetano.

But Cayetano pressed the Arroyos to sign a waiver allowing him to pry into the bank accounts of the First Family. The President’s husband refused, stressing that there is nothing to be waived because the accounts are non-existent.

“Maybe it’s you who knows about these accounts because it’s you who brought this up,” an irate Arroyo told the lawmaker.