House committee suspends Cayetano

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — The House Ethics Committee suspended Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano for 45 days after he failed to show evidence to back his allegations that First Gentleman Mike Arroyo had a secret bank deposit in Munich, Germany.

THE House Ethics Committee yesterday suspended Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano for 45 days after he failed to show evidence to back his allegations that First Gentleman Mike Arroyo had a secret bank deposit in Munich, Germany.

The committee will submit its report today to the plenary, where 116 votes will be needed if Cayetano’s suspension is to be carried out.

Thirty-five members of the ethics panel voted to suspend Cayetano, while three lawmakers — Representatives Teofisto Guingona, Jr., Teddy Casino and Roilo Golez — voted against the suspension. If suspended, the congressman will not receive his salary for 45 days.

Earlier in the day, lawmakers urged Cayetano to present evidence to prove his allegations, but he refused to show his seven boxes of documents unless this will be done before an impeachment court.

Cayetano even asked the committee to issue subpoenas to the possible witnesses and bank documents to be presented in the next hearing.

But members of the committee rejected Cayetano’s request and instead moved to terminate the presentation of evidence and likewise end the hearing.

Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte and Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto Paras accused Cayetano of delaying the proceedings because he has no evidence to back his charges.

“It’s becoming nonsense, the respondent (Cayetano) obviously has no evidence. Pinapatagal lang niya ang issue na ito, ang totoo wala siyang maipakita,” Villafuerte said.

Paras said majority of the committee members had already decided on the fate of Cayetano. But as of press time, the committee has yet to decide if it will give Cayetano another day to present evidence or to terminate the hearing.