MANILA, Philippines – House of Representatives sergeant-at-arms Gen Nicasio Radovan Jr is investigating reported break-ins at the offices of two members of the House prosecution panel on Thursday afternoon, January 5.
The victims are Oriental Mindoro Rep Reynaldo Umali and Bayan Muna partylist Rep Neri Colmenares, both members of the prosecution team against impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona.
“We sent our people to check on the reported break-ins at the offices of Rep Neri Colmenares and Rep Reynaldo Umali to find out if there was anything missing from their offices. Both offices’ staff present answered none,” said Radovan in a statement.
“We are checking the CCTV at the vicinity of the office of Rep Colmenares if indeed there was a break-in. This could be positively determined,” he added.
For Rep Umali, the reported break-in supposedly happened in his private office located outside the Batasan premises.
Just last Wednesday, January 4, House employees were sent home when a fuse box near an elevator in the South Wing’s first floor tripped and emitted smoke. The electrical apparatus was old.
Congress is on a long break. Sessions will resume on January 16.
The Senate is convening as an impeachment court that day to determine whether they would need to hold a hearing before the actual trial of the Chief Justice.
Corona’s lawyers are asking the senator-judges to check whether the impeachment complaint that the House filed last month against the Chief Justice was read by the 188 lawmakers who signed it. The prosecution panel has dismissed this as a delaying tactic on the part of the defense panel.
Colmenares himself plans to summon no less than another Supreme Court Justice, Presbitero Velasco, over reports that the temporary restraining order issued by the Court against a government travel ban on the Arroyos was manipulated by Corona. – Rappler.com