Friday, May 20, 2005

Reyes’ oppositor files charges vs Gordon


After acting as counsel for Interior Local Government Sec. Angelo Reyes, Sen. Richard Gordon is now facing administrative charges after Jonathan Tiongco filed obstruction of justice and grave misconduct before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Tiongco was asked to comment by Camiguin Rep. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, vice chairman of the Powerful Commission on Appointments Committee on Interior and Local Governments and Regional Autonomous Governments reviewing the appointment of Reyes after he was accused having no less than 10 criminal cases pending in different courts.

Tiongco lashed back at Gordon armed with documents to support his claim that most of the criminal cases which he had been accused were all dismissed by respective courts and claimed harassment to taint his credibility as oppositor.

“What I am trying to drive at Mr. Chairman is that Sen. Gordon is trying to demolish my credibility as a person just because I am opposing the confirmation of Sec. Reyes,” Tiongco told the Committee

He said that after being embarrassed by Gordon in Tuesday’s hearing, he already decided to consult his lawyer to retaliate and get even with Gordon and clean his name.

He admitted that he had still pending cases in some courts but he is confident that it will be dismissed in the future just like his other cases whom he claimed most of them were harassment.

Tiongco claimed that his family and friends were also affected by Gordon’s interrogation whom he described as trying to demolish his credibility in favor of Reyes confirmation.

“What we are only after is to air our grievances and let the public know what are trying to block Reyes confirmation. The committee members can balance the complaint and if they think that we have sufficient ground to block Reyes appointment, so be it,” Tiongco said.

For his part, Gordon said Tiongco only wants to grandstands.

“Kulang lang sa pansin yan,” he said.

He said there is no malice on what he said and it is not libelous and “I am just asking him if he was the one being mentioned as Jonathan Tiongco who had string of cases from murder down to estafa. He libeled himself after admitting that he is the person being accused.”
“All documents gathered by our investigators are of public documents and anybody can access to that document that is why I learned that he has pending cases, some of them were already dismissed,” he told Senate reporters.

The senator claimed that if there is a libel for what he said, “remember that under our Constitution, we cannot be held to be question on any statement that we made here in the Senate and in any other places.”

He argued that all documents from the courts were gathered by CA on the credibility of the oppositors and we closely scrutinized the papers presented to the committee including those documents submitted by the appointee.

“I am not bothered by the accusation and I am willing to face him,” Gordon emphasized after being asked to comment on the latest move of Tiongco.

Gordon denied acting as counsel for Reyes and claimed that as a member of the CA, they have the right to question not only the oppositors but also the one who is seeking his confirmation.

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