House to probe 'euro generals' scandal, too

Posted at 11/19/08 12:46 PM

It's now the congressmen's turn as the House Committee on Public Order and Safety launches its own investigation into the "euro generals" Wednesday afternoon.

Lawmakers have invited former Philippine National Police (PNP) comptroller Eliseo dela Paz to shed light on the "contingency fund" controversy hounding the PNP's delegation to the Interpol assembly in Russia last month.

Dela Paz and his wife were briefly detained and interrogated at the Moscow international airport for carrying an undeclared 105,000 euros or P6.9 million in cash. In the Senate hearing last Saturday, dela Paz took full responsibility of the infraction.

The House probe will come in the wake of the Senate inquiry that resumed over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the House panel has also invited PNP chief Director General Jesus Versoza, Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno, Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya and a senior representative from the Commission on Audit.

Nueva Ecija Rep. Rodolfo Antonino, panel chairman, said that he hopes to get more cooperation from the resource persons, including dela Paz and possibly, other PNP officials involved. Should dela Paz insist on taking full responsibility for the Moscow incident, Antonino said that the committee will have to give him the benefit of the doubt.

"I think unless we have evidence to prove otherwise, we have to take his statement at face value," Antonino said in an interview on ANC's "Dateline" newscast.

Antonino mentioned five key points that will be discussed in the House inquiry. These are the Interpol assembly and its scope, the purpose behind the Philippine delegation's trip to Russia, circumstances behind the money confiscated by Russian authorities, the purpose of the cash seized in Moscow and the definition of a contingency fund.

The scheduled hearing on the euro generals issue coincides with the ongoing panel investigation of the House justice panel on the impeachment complaint filed against President Arroyo.