PNP, Senate discussing arrest of 'pork' senators?

Posted at 05/13/2014 4:28 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A ranking official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) met with Senate President Franklin Drilon yesterday ahead of the expected issuance of arrest warrants by the Sandiganbayan for three senators tagged in the pork barrel scam.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Director Benjamin Magalong told The STAR that he was summoned to the Senate but declined to explain why.

Pressed for details, Magalong said he merely provided updates on certain police concerns to a senator.

Drilon was mum on the alleged meeting, but sources revealed that it lasted for about an hour at his office on the sixth floor of the Senate.

Drilon told reporters that he met with cigarette manufacturers and Sen. Pia Cayetano, but not with Magalong.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who is implicated in the scam along with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr., assured the public that he will not resist arrest.

“I will surrender myself to the proper authorities,” he said.

During the plenary session, Estrada sought “fairness and justice” from Sandiganbayan presiding justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, who was at the Senate to attend the discussion on the streamlining of the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction.

A minority senator said the CIDG chief could just be asking about the protocol on the serving of warrants of arrest to senators in the wake of reports that the plunder case against the three senators will be elevated to the courts.

The CIDG is the primary unit of the PNP tasked to undertake the monitoring, investigation and prosecution of all crimes involving economic sabotage and those with similar magnitude.

Meanwhile, aside from the PNP Custodial Center, a new detention facility that can accommodate 200 high-profile inmates is being constructed inside the Special Action Force (SAF) training school in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, a source said yesterday.

The source, who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak on the matter, said Malacañang ordered the construction of the detention facility that will house politicians and other government officials who will be arrested for plunder and graft cases. – With Jaime Laude