Cayetano out to silence Binay defenders—Tiangco
MANILA, Philippines—The so-called “gatecrashers” in the probe on corruption charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay called the Senate a “kangaroo court” for silencing the opposition who wanted to defend the Vice President.
In a statement on Tuesday, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim president Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco cited Senator Alan Peter Cayetano’s attempts to silence them when he and UNA interim secretary general JV Bautista attended the Senate probe.
Tiangco and Bautista last Thursday arrived at the hearing despite not being among the resource speakers. Cayetano stopped them and called them “‘gatecrashers.”
“They called us ‘gatecrashers’ when in fact we showed them due courtesy and even politely requested that we be made to explain the reason for our presence in the hearing. But apparently, they were afraid of what we were to show and say that’s why they booted us out,” Tiangco said.
“Kulang na lang na patahimikin kami ng mga senador na nag-aastang mafia (These senators acting life the mafia practically want us silenced),” he said.
Tiangco said Cayetano also took back his word when he said the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee is willing to listen to Vice President Binay’s representatives.
“Welcome po ang mga kakampi (ng Vice President) sa Senado na dumalo pero desisyon po nila na mag-boycott at ayaw po nilang mag-attend… Mr. President, let me put on record, bago natin isara iyong hearing sa Makati Building II or Makati Parking Building, welcome po ang kampo ng mga Binay i-submit ang kahit anong ebidensiya. Welcome silang magpadala ng mga witnesses nila na magte-testify dito,” Cayetano was quoted as saying in an October 8 hearing.
(The Vice President’s allies are welcome in the Senate, but it was their decision to boycott (the hearing). Mr. President, let me put on record, before we close the hearing on the Makati Building II or the Makati Parking Building, Binay’s camp is welcome to submit any evidence. They are welcome to send witnesses and testify here.)
Tiangco accused Cayetano of lying under oath.
“Malinaw na walang isang salita itong si Sen. Cayetano. Nasaan na ang palabra de honor ng mga senador na ito. Hindi lang ang kanilang mga testigo ang bumabaligtad, pati ang mga senador din nagsisinungaling under oath!” Tiangco said.
(It is clear that Sen. Cayetano has no word of honor. Where is this Senator’s word of honor? It’s not just their witnesses who are backtracking, even these senators are lying under oath.)
The UNA official said the Senate panel is only a “kangaroo court” to silence the enemies of the administration.
“By putting politics first over the truth, the Blue Ribbon Committee led by these senator-inquisitors has become the Administration’s ‘protection umbrella’. The Blue Ribbon Committee has openly made itself a convenient cover and insulation from public scrutiny and ultimately protect friends and allies of the Administration,” Tiangco added.
Binay faces a plunder complaint before the Ombudsman for the allegedly overpriced Makati parking building when he was mayor in 2007. He was accused in the Senate probe of earning kickbacks from the Makati parking building and other infrastructure projects when he was Makati mayor.
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