Palace won’t suspend Chavit

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Malacañang does not see the need to suspend or ask Deputy National Security Adviser Luis “Chavit” Singson to take a leave of absence amid the charges he is facing.

Deputy Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez said it is up to Singson to voluntarily offer to take a leave of absence or his immediate superior, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, to decide on his fate.

“This is a domestic problem at may mga investigation na nangyari, may mga report nang na-i-submit ang pinaka importante po sa lahat ay maging cooperative si former governor Chavit Singson at mukhang cooperative naman po siya,” Golez said.

Singson’s common-law wife Rachel “Che” Tiongson filed a case against the NSA official for beating her up. Singson admitted to the beating because he allegedly found her with her lover in an apartment he is renting for her.

Malacañang had since asked Singson to behave and submit himself to due process of law. Press Secretary Cerge Remonde earlier said it will depend on the outcome of the investigation if Singson will retain his post in the Cabinet.

Golez meanwhile allayed fears that Singson might use his position in government to or influence the outcome of the investigation.

He also took exception to allegations that President Macapagal-Arroyo cannot afford to lose Singson considering that he was the principal witness in the plunder case against former president Joseph Estrada. He maintained that the case against Singson is a domestic issue and is not in any way connected with Estrada’s conviction for plunder.

Two lawmakers however said Singson should be suspended.

“Dapat isuspinde nila, kasuhan siya administratively at suportahan si Tiongson,” said Akbayan Rep. Ana Theresia Baraquel-Hontiveros.

Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan said President Macapagal-Arroyo should not take the issue sitting down.

“Kaalyado nila si Chavit at patriarchial na pag-iisip iyan. Siyempre hindi sila gender sensitive,” she said.