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Paule On His P728-Million Fertilizer Fund Scam
« on: February 14, 2009, 07:23:05 AM »
MANILA, Philippines - Jaime Paule, the alleged Malacañang liaison in the P728-million fertilizer fund scam, on Friday urged the Supreme Court to quickly act on his writ of habeas corpus petition filed last Thursday.

In an urgent motion filed by his lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, Paule challenged his continued detention at the Pasay City Jail for allegedly lying under oath, saying the arrest warrant issued against him by the Senate was set to expire within the day.

Paule's camp argued that once the Senate's arrest warrant expired Friday, Paule would no longer fall under any of the three categories that justifies a person's detention:

• He is facing a "clear" criminal case.

• He has been issued an arrest order from the Senate.

• He has been convicted of a crime.

Topacio said they would file illegal detention charges against the Senate if it would insist on having Paule detained.

The lawyer said they were also mulling pressing charges against the Commission on Human Rights.

Paule was immediately transferred to the Pasay City Jail after his discharge Thursday night from the St. Luke’s Hospital Medical Center in Quezon City.

In his petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed Thursday night, Paule named as respondents Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Richard Gordon and Senate sergeant-at-arms Jose Balajadia.

Topacio said that the respondents failed to comply with the SC’s ruling issued in Neri vs. Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations where the Court declared that the latter committed grave abuse of discretion in holding former National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Chairman Romulo Neri for contempt.

In that ruling, the court held that the Senate did not comply with the requirement that the invitations should contain the "possible needed statute which prompted the need for the inquiry," along with "the usual indication of the subject inquiry and the questions relative to and in furtherance thereof."

- Mark Merueñas, GMANews.TV

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