Trillanes seeks resumption of Binay corruption probe
THE SENATE Blue Ribbon subcommittee may turn its attention once more to the corruption allegations against Vice President Jejomar Binay, with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV seeking to resume hearings later this month.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, the subcommittee chair, said he will discuss the matter with Trillanes and he is open to reopening the inquiry as long as it tackles matters not brought up in previous hearings.
It was Trillanes who initiated the subcommittee inquiry that opened in August 2014 to look into allegations of overpricing and kickbacks in the billions in the construction of several city buildings involving Binay when he was Makati mayor.
Not related to survey results
Binay has continued to deny the allegations, dismissing the Senate inquiry as part of a grand effort to undermine his candidacy for President.
When asked, Trillanes said his seeking a resumption of the inquiry had nothing to do with Binay’s recent resurgence to the top of candidate preference surveys after falling precipitously in prior months following the airing of corruption allegations against him.
Trillanes said the subcommittee was supposed to hold a hearing in November but the deliberations on the national budget took precedence, which was the inquiry will resume this month.
“We still have materials that we were supposed to present, but there were the budget hearings,” he said in a phone interview.
As to what new allegations he had to present, he said they had to do with the “total amount stashed away by Binay, which runs to billions.”
He said similar information may have been aired before, but he wanted a hearing to put the information in the Senate record.
“These issues may or may not have been brought out before, but we need to put it on record, and the only time it will be placed on record is if we conduct a hearing.”
As to whether he would participate in the inquiry, Trillanes said he plans to show up to provide a quorum, but he would rather leave the questioning to Pimentel.
Trillanes had earlier said he would no longer participate in further hearings on Binay after he declared his candidacy for Vice President.
He and Pimentel will meet next week to discuss resuming the inquiry.
Pimentel said he was not worried about accusations reopening the inquiry was a politically motivated move.
“I should not concern myself with that. Anything you do outside of the Senate, anything you do in government, can be twisted and spun as having something to do with politics. There’s nothing you can do about it,” he said.
But he expressed concern only a few senators would show up for the probe, saying it was very discouraging that over a big issue such as massive corruption by a presidential candidate, only one senator was interested.
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