The House of Representatives Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee expects to receive today, Tuesday, the sworn affidavit of Frances Dela Cruz, the executive assistant of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, as it continues its investigation into the governor’s expenditure of public funds and travels.
JGO Committee chair Rep. Celina R. Babauta (D-Saipan) said yesterday that unless Dela Cruz’s affidavit is labeled confidential, they will read it into the record.
Babauta said they like to over-prepare, but JGO members are not necessarily required to appear in the House chamber today if Dela Cruz will submit her affidavit by 10am.
Dela Cruz’s lawyer, Viola Alepuyo, confirmed yesterday that they will submit the affidavit today to the committee.
Dela Cruz’s scheduled testimony last Tuesday, Oct. 19, did not push through after the committee allowed her to submit her testimony via a sworn affidavit, as proposed by Ross Garber, the Washington D.C.-based lawyer of Torres and the Governor’s Office in the JGO matter. She had said that it was the decision of the committee to permit Dela Cruz to submit an affidavit as to her duties related to the subpoena that was served upon her. Babauta said such accommodation is in no way to be interpreted as giving up their legislative right to compel the physical presence of Dela Cruz to provide live testimony before the committee, nor is it conceding to whatever immunity or privileges she may or may not have.
Garber and Alepuyo earlier objected to the committee’s subpoena for Dela Cruz to testify, asserting that the executive assistant has testimonial immunity.