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Diokno invited to House inquiry: No hiding behind technicalities, Andaya says

By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House committee on rules has formally invited Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno to appear in the panel’s next scheduled hearing in connection with the multi-billion flood control scam.

House Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., panel chair, said he expects full cooperation and full disclosure from those invited to the hearing as they will be testifying under oath.

“This is the proper forum for our senior government officials to air their side on the issues at hand. We will give them all the time needed to present their case. But we expect specific responses to specific issues. No general denials, and hiding behind technicalities,” he said.

Also invited to the next inquiry on January 15 are Diokno’s daughter Charlotte Justine Diokno-Sicat, and the family of his in-laws particularly Casiguran, Sorsogon Mayor Dennis Hamor and his wife, Vice Governor Ester Hamor who are all incorporators of Aremar Construction.

Aremar Construction, according to Andaya, cornerned billions worth of projects in Sorsogon and Catanduanes using dummy corporations such as the C.T. Leoncio Construction and Trading.

The committee, at the same time, sent subpoenas to senior officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Anti-Money Laundering Council, and Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Andaya said a subpoena was also issued to Francis Clemente, tindividual who acted as the liaison officer of C.T. Leoncio Construction in dealing with government contracts.

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