July 28, 2010
References: Annie Bag-ao (+639088849546)
Solon: No special treatment for GMA, Rep. Yap
Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-ao said today that no special treatment should be given to former Pres. GMA and ex-Agri Sec. Art Yap should formal charges be filed against them based on the allegations laid down by PNoy in his State of the Nation Address.
“Members of the House who face legal prosecution due to high crimes oftentimes seek protection from the House leadership, and by tradition the House leadership extends assistance to them,” Akbayan Congresswoman Kaka Bag-ao said. “In my opinion, no such special treatment should be given to them.”
Both GMA and ex-Secretary Yap are now members of the House as representatives of Pampanga and Bohol, respectively. “Ex-President GMA is no longer protected by immunity from charges based on high crimes, and Rep. Yap can no longer invoke executive privilege to skirt legal charges,” Congw. Bag-ao explained.
“Legally, a member of the House cannot be arrested while Congress is in session, but only for crimes that are punishable by imprisonment for six years and below,” Congw. Bag-ao added. “If the charges against Rep. GMA or Rep. Yap are based on the allegations that President Noynoy Aquino cited in his SONA, then they can’t invoke any form of protection.”
“No special treatment should be accorded to them. They should face these cases as ordinary citizens, and if found guilty, they should be treated as ordinary criminals,” she said.
“The President’s SONA was a political indictment of the previous administration’s abuse of power. We tried so hard to hold them accountable for these abuses, but they used their authority to evade our laws and system of accountability. This time around, GMA and her cohorts should face these cases squarely, and let the justice system work to no-one’s favor except for the aggrieved, and the aggrieved alone,” she added. ###