THE House of Representatives will not provide parliamentary immunity to embattled 1-Pacman Rep. Michael Romero after a Manila court issued an arrest warrant against him.
House Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Farinas said the House leadership cannot not guarantee a parliamentary immunity from arrest and would respect and abide by the orders of the court.
“The House of Representatives will protect the rights of its members as well as those of any person, but will respect and obey the laws and legal orders promulgated by the duly constituted authorities,” Farinas said.
Farinas was reacting to reports about the arrest order issued on January 6 by Manila RTC Branch 11 Judge Cicero Jurado Jr., who recommended no bail for Romero and two of his co-accused, Edwin Jeremillo and Felicia Aquino, for qualified theft.
Farinas stressed the parliamentary immunity of members of Congress is clearly defined under the Constitution.
“The immunity from arrest applies only while Congress is in session ‘in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment.’ Since (the order) stated that no bail has been recommended, it is obviously for an offense not covered by the immunity,” Farinas explained.
Congress resumes session on Monday, January 16, after a month-long Christmas and New Year break.