Speaker turns down impeach-Binay plan
MANILA, Philippines–Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the House of Representatives had more important things to do than to impeach Vice President Jejomar Binay in light of recent revelations about his wealth.
“I’m against involving the House in that. We have other priorities,” the Liberal Party (LP) vice chair said in a text message. “In the House, we will not investigate the VP.”
But one of Binay’s staunch critics, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, whom the Binay camp earlier accused of conspiring with his political enemies to derail the Vice President’s chances in the 2016 elections, said there was enough basis to impeach the embattled official.
Erice suggested that the 290-member House might have the numbers to succeed at this. “In real politics, I think there is [a chance], especially, when [Binay’s survey ratings] keep sliding,” he said.
But Erice, also an LP member, added that he had not really consulted his colleagues on the prospects of impeaching the Vice President.
A one-third vote in the House—about 97 representatives—is required for any impeachment complaint to succeed and to go to trial in the Senate. There are 115 LP members.
At a press conference, Erice said he might “possibly” lodge an impeachment complaint against Binay once the Senate blue ribbon committee wrapped up its inquiry into the alleged corrupt practices of the Binays.
Erice told reporters he saw two reasons justifying an impeachment complaint against Binay, whose approval rating has dropped in the wake of allegations against him and his family.
“First, [former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto] Mercado said during the Senate hearing that proceeds used from corruption were used to finance the campaign of Binay [in the 2010 elections],” he told a press conference.
“Second, [United Nationalist Alliance interim secretary general] JV Bautista said the property in Tagaytay was sold in 2012, but in his SALN [statements of assets, liabilities and net worth] in 2008 and 2009, those properties were not there. So, the SALN was wrong,” Erice said.