MANILA -– Rowena del Rosario, the resigned bookkeeper of Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo’s Lourdes Tuazon Arroyo Inc., was arrested and detained yesterday afternoon at the Senate after a total of 12 senators agreed to the motion of Senator Panfilo Lacson to cite her in contempt.
Lacson made his motion after Del Rosario turned evasive with her answers throughout the almost three-hour inquiry of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee yesterday into the alleged anomalous acquisition of the Philippine National Police helicopters.
Among those who signed the arrest order was Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. The 11 others were Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, Senate Blue Ribbon panel Chairman Teofisto Guingona III and Senators Lacson, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Gregorio Honasan, Antonio Trillanes IV, Sergio Osmena III, Franklin Drilon, Edgardo Angara and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
Guingona said Del Rosario, who resigned only last July 22 after serving the Arroyo-owned LTA Inc. for 11 years, will be held in the Senate “indefinitely.”
Del Rosario will be detained inside the room where former Armed Forces of the Philippines comptroller, retired Gen. Jacinto Ligot, was also detained at the height of the Senate probe on the alleged corruptions in the military.
The Senate Blue Ribbon panel will to resume on Thursday the investigation on the overpriced PNP helicopters.
Del Rosario submitted a one-page sworn affidavit during Monday’s inquiry, stating that the LTA Inc. rented the helicopters from LionAir Inc.
LionAir president Archibald Po alleged that former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo used to own the two choppers sold to the PNP as brand new.
Rep. Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo came to the rescue of his brother, claiming that it was he who leased the helicopters from 2004 to 2011.
Guingona reiterated his call for Iggy Arroyo to attend the Senate hearing and not hide under inter-parliamentary courtesy.
Arroyo, who is in London for a hip bone operation and liver treatment, had earlier told the DAILY STAR he will attend if his doctor allows him to return home.*PNA