Groups Appeal to SC: Reverse Neri Decision, Uphold the People’s Right to Know

No less than Chief Justice Reynato Puno received the open letter handed over by various anti-Arroyo groups when they held a caravan to Baguio last April 15. Bayan Chair Dr. Carol Araullo expressed hope that there is a chance for their petition to be heard. ”The SC majority that decided the Neri petition could have dismissed the motion for reconsideration outright but the concerned justices did not do so. There is hope. But we have to maintain vigilance and let the justices know the public sentiment.”

BY EMILY VITAL
Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 11, April 20-26, 2008

BAGUIO CITY (246 kms. North of Manila) – Various anti-Arroyo groups personally handed over an open letter to the justices of the Supreme Court, April 15, urging the latter to reverse its earlier decision on the petition of Romulo Neri, former National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) chair versus the Senate Committees on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations, on Trade and Commerce, and on National Defense and Security.

On March 25, the High Court upheld Neri’s petition on executive privilege. Neri invoked executive privilege when he refused to answer three questions at the Senate hearings on the controversial National Broadband Network (NBN)- ZTE contract. These
questions sought to discover: whether the president followed up the NBN project; whether Neri was dictated to prioritize the ZTE; and whether the president said to go ahead and approve the project after being told of an interested party’s alleged attempt to bribe Neri.

The Senate Committees filed a motion for reconsideration.

No less than Chief Justice Reynato Puno received the open letter just before the en banc session on the Senate’s motion for reconsideration. Signatories to the open letter include several Protestant bishops, members of the academe, leaders of people’s organizations and anti-Arroyo personalities.

Caravan for truth

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Kilusang Mayo Uno, GABRIELA, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, League of Filipino Students, and its other allied organizations, together with the Action for Economic Reforms, Edsa III Coalition, Be Not Afraid, Solidarity Philippines, Youth Act Now! held a protest action near the summer residence of the Supreme Court in this city.

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