Binay can’t be impeached for acts as mayor–Belmonte
MANILA, Philippines—Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Thursday he does not think Vice President Jejomar Binay could be impeached over the alleged overpriced Makati parking building that began construction when the latter was Makati mayor.
“I think that up to this point we have been discussing things [that happened] before he became Vice President, and on that basis, I don’t think impeachment is something that’s called for,” the Speaker told reporters in an interview.
But he said he would not stop anybody, including Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, a known Binay critic, from attempting to file or endorse an impeachment complaint against the Vice President.
Let them talk
“Far be it from me to gag anybody who feels like talking. If they want to talk, let them talk,” Belmonte said.
The Speaker refused to comment on Binay’s speech defending himself from the allegations of corruption.
“Well, ’wag na lang (I’d better not). Let everybody make his own conclusions,” Belmonte told the reporters.
But later Thursday evening, Belmonte visited the media center in the House of Representatives to personally clarify remarks made by Binay comparing the prices of two buildings in the House complex in Quezon City and the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.
All three buildings were constructed by Hilmarc’s Construction Corp.
Belmonte said it was not right to compare the new annex building in the south wing and a renovated building in the Batasang Pambansa with the Makati structure, as the first two were office buildings, one of which had Narra panels, and both with bathrooms and “first class materials.” “This is not a garage. This is incomparable [to the Makati building],” Belmonte said.
He also invited the media to take a look at the South Lounge and the Mitra Building on Friday to see for themselves the workmanship that went into their construction.
Belmonte said he had not been planning to respond to questions about Binay’s speech “out of politeness” to the Vice President but was prompted to do so by Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora, who told him he needed to address the issue.
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