Santiago: ‘What is Binay afraid of?’
MANILA, Philippines—Just what is Vice President Jejomar Binay afraid of?
In a speech dubbed as “The Curious case of the taciturn Vice-President,” during the Women’s Celebration of Life and Faith Convention held at the Philippine Christian University along Taft Avenue on Wednesday, Manila, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago hit Binay anew for his continued refusal to appear before the Senate and answer all the allegations hurled against him.
“Assuming that senators are already convinced that he is guilty, still Binay cannot evade the jurisdiction of the Senate,” the senator said, pointing out that no less than the Constitution provides for the power of the Senate to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.
“If the VP has truth to tell, what is he afraid of? His tormentor cannot use the Senate hearing to humiliate or otherwise prosecute him because the Constitution requires senators to respect the rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries.”
“Hence, I do not approve of this curious tendency to be so taciturn, in the face of such damaging charges against his moral character,” Santiago added.
She said that it appears that the Vice President is already content in defending himself by delivering speeches accusing his enemies of lying but the senator said that was not sufficient, citing previous cases where the Supreme Court said that silence is almost always construed as implied admission of the truth.
“With all these accusations aired on news media and particularly in the social media, the silence of Mr. Binay and his lawyer to present counter evidence is alarming,” Santiago said.
Binay has been accused of, among other things, allegedly receiving kickbacks when he was still the mayor of Makati City, and for allegedly using dummies to his unexplained wealth.
“Perhaps the most dramatic bombshell lobbed by the camp of former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado against Binay is that he owns a P1.2 billion estate in Rosario, Batangas,” Santiago said.
But the Vice President has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying they were all part of an attempt to derail his presidential bid in 2016.
Originally posted at 12:08 pm | October 15, 2014
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