Trillanes confronts witness over ‘intimidation’ claim by Binay
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV confronted on Thursday a representative of the contractor, whom he allegedly threatened during the previous hearings of the Senate that is investigating the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall 2 parking building.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, in a press conference last week, accused Trillanes of intimidating a witness.
Binay did not name the witness but during this Thursday’s hearing by the Senate blue ribbon committee, Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito asked Rogelio Peig, assistant vice president for legal of Hilmarc’s Construction Corp, if there was a member of the committee who had approached him. Ejercito is a member of Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance.
“Meron po,” Peig said, responding to Ejercito’s query.
Peig then told the committee that when he and the president of Hilmarc’s, Roberto Henson, were at the gallery of the session hall during the previous hearing, a Senate staff approached them and asked whether Henson could talk to a senator.
When Henson returned to his seat, Peig asked what happened and was told that they were requested to hold their presentation.
“So nag usap-usap kami, sabi namin hindi namin kontrolado yan kasi paano pag may ibang senator na magtanong. So bumalik po kami sa senador, sa kagalang-galang na senador na yun at sinabi namin yung aming predicament,” he said.
(So we talked and we agreed that we have no control of the situation because what would happen if another senator chose to ask us a question? So Ireturned to the honorable senator and told him of our predicament.)
Peig said the senator was requesting them to withhold their presentation because former Makati City vice Mayor Ernersto Mercado would have an expose.
The committee, however, called Henson to the hearing and Peig said that after the session, the senator talked to them again.
“Ang sabi po nya ay huwag nyo akong , I’d like to be accurate, ang sabi po nya ay something like wag nyo akong sisihin kasi sinabihan ko kayo. Bubuhusan namin ito…Yun po yung term nya. I did not know what he meant pero yun po yung sinabi po,” Peig said.
(He told us not to, I’d like to be accurate, what he said was something like ‘don’t blame me because I told you’ We will pour over this … that was his term. I did not know what he mean but that’s what he said.)
“Bubuhusan?” asked Senator Aquilino “Koko”Pimentel III, who was presiding over the hearing.
“Bubuhusan namin ito, something like that po. I can’t recall how it was exactly said pero in context yun po yung naging takbo ng aming usapan,” he said.
(We are going to pour over this, something like that. I can’t recall how it was exactly said but in context that was how our conversation went.)
Feeling alluded to, Trillanes asked the presiding officer that he be recognized.
“Mr. Chairman, since na mention yung pangalan ko, siguro maganda…” said Trillanes but was interrupted by Pimentel, saying no one mentioned his name.
(Mr. Chairman, since my name was mentioned, maybe it would be nice …)
“Actually hindi na mention ang pangalan mo (your name wasn’t mentioned), but if you feel alluded to, go ahead, go ahead…” said Pimentel.
“I feel alluded to,” Trillanes said.
He then asked Peig if he either asked him to make stories or implicate anyone to which Peig answered “no”.
“Wala po, in fairness din naman po sa inyo… Yung usapan po namin ni Senator Trillanes dito po, it was very friendly,.. I’m not taking any asides pero just to be fair,” said Peig.
(Nothing. In fairness to you …Our conversation with Senator Trillanes, it was very friendly … I’m not taking any sides but just to be fair.)
Trillanes then explained that he only talked to Peig and Henson to save them from participating in any cover-up.
“I was trying to save you, I was trying to save all of you na sinasabi ko, kung magsasabi kayo ng totoo, we will protect you, we will make sure of it. Pero kung sasama kayos sa cover-up, wala tayong magagawa. Kaya sinasabi ko mag-isip kayo di ba?”
(I was trying to save you, I was trying to save all of you that’s why I was saying that if you will tell the whole truth, we will protect you, we will make sure of it. But if you will be part of the cover-up, then there’s nothing we can do about it.)
“Ngayon kung tumataya kaya na magpi-presidente si Vice President Binay someday, tapos pag nanalo yun e talang suki suki kayo…it’s also a gamble on your part, it’s a risk if. If you’re willing to take that risk, fine. Pero pag lumabas that you will be part of it, that you will be part of the cover up talagang bubuhusan natin ng lahat ng penalties of the law. So yan ang intention,” the senator added.
(Now if you’re taking a gamble that Vice President Binay will be president someday, and that if he wins, you’ll benefit…it’s also a gamble on your part. It’s a risk. If you’re willing to take that risk, fine. But if it comes out that you’re part of it, that you’ll be part of the cover-up then we will really bear down on you and let you feel the full force of the penalties of the law. So that was the intention.)
Originally posted at 03:57 pm | September 4, 2014
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