Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Senate deletes witness' claim against Gordon kin from record

THE SENATE has decided to strike off its record a statement by a self-confessed "jueteng bagman" linking Senator Richard Gordon’s nephew to illegal gambling.

Gordon said the decision to delete Richard Garcia's claim that Jimmy Gordon Lorenzana, Gordon's nephew, was one of the operators of "Easy Two" violated a Senate rule requiring witnesses to testify only on matters of "actual knowledge."

Garcia's allegation that Lorenzana will head "Easy Two" when it starts operations on Wednesday is something that has not happened, Gordon said. "Easy Two" is said to be a variation of "jueteng."

Garcia made the allegation earlier on Tuesday at the resumption of the Senate inquiry on "jueteng."

But Gordon reacted immediately to Garcia's disclosure and asked Senator Manuel Villar, a co-chairman in the hearing, to control the conduct of the inquiry because “innocent persons” were being mentioned.

Gordon then invoked the Salonga rule, which confines hearings to closed doors if names were going to be mentioned.

Gordon's protest prompted the senators to hold an executive session to discuss the matter.

Quoting Senator Lito Lapid, Gordon also said “Easy Two” is a legal form of gambling.

Garcia apologized before the Senate committee for implicating Gordon's nephew.

Garcia also testified in the same hearing that "Easy Two" was operating in Cavite province and Lipa City in Batangas province.

He also said "jueteng" operations have resumed in Bondoc Peninsula and Lucena City in Quezon province, in San Jose town in Batangas, and in the third and fourth districts of Laguna province, in San Pablo City, and in the towns of Siniloan, Bai, Sta. Cruz, and Alaminos.

He said one Tito Ojeda was allegedly funding the "jueteng" operations in San Pablo, Laguna, Totoy Jaruta in Quezon, and Danny Jose alias "Taba" in Batangas.

No comments: