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PRC, NBI officials may face arrests for contempt

07 - PRC, NBI officials may face arrests for contempt

Four officials from the Professional Regulatory Commission and the National Bureau of Investigation may face arrest for contempt after they ignored summons issued by the Senate to appear before the Upper Chamber which is conducting an investigation in the June 2006 nursing test leakage.

Senator Rodolfo Biazon, chairman of the Senate committee on civil service and government reorganization, said PRC Chairman Leonor Tripon Rosero, PRC Commissioner Renato Valdecantos, PRC Commission Avelina Dela Rea and NBI Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division Chief Elfren Meneses should explain their failure to appear before the Senate.

"I've written demand letter to the PRC and the NBI to show cause why they should not be held in contempt when they failed to respond to the subpoena issued last week. I gave them five days, up to tomorrow Friday (to answer)," he said.

Biazon said that if the four officials will not respond to the show cause order on Friday, he will issue another subpoena where the next hearing is on Thursday next week.

"If they do not appear on Thursday , then the next issuance would be a warrant of arrest, that's what is going to be done. This is according to the rules, to the law to the Constitution," he said.

The PRC and NBI officials failed to show up in three hearings in the Senate citing Memorandum Circular 108 issued by Malacanang prescribing guidelines for the appearances of executive officials before appearing in congressional inquiries.

Senator Richard Gordon said the PRC officials should also be relieved of their posts for not cooperating with the Senate to address the nursing leakage issue.

Senate President Manuel Villar said the Senate will allow the PRC officials concerned to explain why they should not be cited for contempt for ignoring the subpoena.

"We will ask their explanations and we will schedule another hearing and if they again failed to attend it, we will be obliged to use the power vested upon us by the Constitution, which is to cite them for contempt and issue arrest warrant," he said.(PNA)

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