Senator Enrile asks the Senate to look into the matter of the alleged acquisition of the Lopa Group of the properties of Kokoy Romualdez which is a subject of sequestration by the PCGG. Senator Enrile citing probable violations of Republic Act No. 3019 Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Section 5.
The petitioners representing Ricardo Lopa who passed away prior the decision of the court issued this petition for prohibition and an issuance a temporary restraining order and/or injuctive relief enjoin the Blue Ribbon committee of compelling them to appear before them.
Coming to the specific issues raised in this case, petitioners contend that (1) the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's inquiry has no valid legislative purpose, i.e., it is not done in aid of legislation; (2) the sale or disposition of hte Romualdez corporations is a "purely private transaction" which is beyond the power of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to inquire into; and (3) the inquiry violates their right to due process.
The Supreme court granted the petition. The committee investigation wanted by Senator Enrile is not in aid of a legislation, therefore is violative of the separation of powers between the Senate or Congress and that Judiciary. The pending civil case of the petitioners under Civil Case No. 0035 before the Sandiganbayan is where these issues by the Senate should be discussed.
Saying further that the power of the Senate and Congress to conduct investigation in aid of legislation is not absolute or without limitation.