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Neri: ‘I have always trusted wisdom of SC’

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Ruling affirms separation of powers–Palace

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 18:11:00 09/04/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Social Security System president Romulo Neri on Thursday welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court affirming his right to invoke executive privilege against disclosing details of a conversation with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the scandal-tainted national broadband network (NBN) deal.

“I have always put my trust in the collective wisdom of our Supreme Court,” Neri said in a brief statement.

“As I have said before, their decision upholds the rule of law and respect for human rights,” he said.

In Malacañang, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said the high court ruling “reaffirms the time-honored principle of separation of powers of the executive from the legislative and, hence, keeps the Senate within its own constitutional” mandate.

The tribunal, in its decision released earlier in the day, affirmed its original decision in March backing Neri’s argument that his conversation with the President “dealt with delicate and sensitive national security and diplomatic matters relating to the impact of the bribery scandal involving high government officials and the possible loss of confidence of foreign investors and lenders in the country.”

Neri filed a petition before the Supreme Court after the Senate issued a warrant for his arrest after he refused to heed summons to tell the inquiry into the NBN deal how Arroyo reacted when he informed her of an alleged bribe offer from resigned Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. to endorse the controversial deal.

Aside from Abalos, Arroyo herself and her husband, Jose Miguel, have been linked to allegations of kickback and overpricing surrounding the NBN deal, which the President cancelled soon after the First Gentleman was linked to the scandal.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-09-04T14:14:07+00:00UTC09bUTCThu, 04 Sep 2008 14:14:07 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm09

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