Binay camp on Dasma row: Guards volunteered to go with police

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MANILA, Philippines—The camp of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay strongly denied reports that the three security guards in a posh subdivision had been arrested, saying they “volunteered to go with the police” over their refusal to allow the mayor and his convoy to use a restricted exit gate last November 30.

“Contrary to the report, no arrests were made, and the mayor did not order any arrest,” Binay’s spokesman, Joey Salgado, said in a text message on Thursday.

“The guards volunteered to go with the police,” Salgado said. “The video bears this out.”

This  was also clarified, he said, by both the owner of the security agency, Ram Antonio, and the Makati chief of police in their interviews, but Salgado said the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which published the report “opted to bury their statements.”

“Nowhere in the 20 minute video did you see the convoy forcing its way through the gate. In fact, the convoy waited for the police to arrive,” he said.

Salgado also denied  the report that the mayor uttered the words, “Kilala n’yo ba ako?” as claimed by the unnamed source of the Inquirer.

“This is false and downright malicious,” he said.

“On the contrary, the mayor went down his vehicle and said: Si Mayor Binay ako. Baka pwedeng makiraan lang.”

Salgado said the mayor made the statement after the guard refused to believe a staff, who said that Binay was inside the vehicle.

The Inquirer, he said, could have easily verified this with Antonio and the guard.

“It was the mayor who called the police to diffuse tension. Armed security guards were already surrounding the convoy,” the spokesman said.

“We consider the matter closed. Mr. Antonio has apologized for lapses in providing security assistance to the mayor, a court extended to all visiting VIPs,” Salgado added.

Binay’s camp lamented that the Inquirer “relied too heavily on a source, who was conveniently not identified.”

“Obviously, the source gave false and malicious information to the PDI,” Salgado said.

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