Apologize, colleagues tell Cayetano

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — PRO-GOVERNMENT lawmakers yesterday again urged a congressman to apologize to the First Family for accusing them of keeping bank accounts with millions of dollars in Germany.

Leyte Rep. Eduardo Veloso and Isabela Rep. Edwin Uy made the call on Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano. It came a day after the House committee on ethics found reason to hear the two complaints that the Arroyos had filed against him.

They said Cayetano should either apologize or prepare to defend his claim.

“Since it is an indisputable fact that he was entirely wrong, he should be humble and sincerely apologize in a manner that would be satisfactory to the Arroyos,” Veloso said.

“He also maligned two fellow solons with his fable, so he should also apologize to the House and to the public for peddling a lie for the sake of publicity.”

Cayetano had accused the Arroyos of keeping hundreds of millions of dollars in Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank AG, but the bank’s officials denied him when First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo flew to Germany to secure a certification.

On Sept. 6, Jose Miguel, his son Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel, and brother Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo filed a complaint against Cayetano for improper conduct.

Uy said the issue could have been settled quickly had Cayetano accepted the First Gentleman’s invitation to go to Germany together to prove his claim.

“Failing to substantiate it, Rep. Cayetano should have apologized to the First Family a long time ago,” Uy said.

“Now he has to defend himself from charges that he exhibited improper conduct for violating the Revised Penal Code and House Rules for his untruthful allegations.”

On Tuesday, the House committee on ethics voted to declare the two separate complaints against Cayetano as “sufficient in form and in substance.” It then gave him 10 days to respond to the charges.