De Lima awaiting PNoy clearance for Senate Puno probe

Posted at 09/13/12 1:14 PM

MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is waiting for President Aquino's clearance before she can commit to attending a Senate probe into resigned Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno by the upper chamber's Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes and Laws chaired by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

De Lima is among several resource persons invited by the Committee in its Friday hearing to shed light on a lock down on the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo's offices and condominium unit following his plane's crash into Masbate waters last Aug. 18.

The probe also intends to determine whether Puno violated the administrative code for "assuming powers of the Interior Secretary" with his supervision over the Philippine National Police (PNP).

"I'm asking permission from the President; as of this very moment, wala pa akong natatanggap na response from the Palace," De Lima said.

The Senate invited De Lima since she supervised the sealing and security of Robredo's offices and files -- a task supposedly assigned by President Aquino to Puno. Both Puno and de Lima admit they were both present in carrying out the mission.

De Lima, however, said she is in a quandary as to the scope of the Senate probe.

"Hindi pa klarado sa akin ano exact scope ng investigation. Nakalagay lang [in the invitation], 'evaluation of Usec. Rico Puno event.' Ano yung event na yun? And then may mention ng laws... ano ang scope? What is the legislative intent behind the proceedings? Siguro kailangan linawin," she said.