Binay ‘gatecrashers’ may be penalized, warned against repeat
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said the spokesmen of Vice President Jejomar Binay who “gatecrashed” in a Senate investigation may be penalized under the law.
At the same time, however, Cayetano said he was not suggesting that a criminal case be filed and warned that the incident should not be repeated.
Cayetano was referring to lawyer JV Bautista and Navotas Representative Tobias “Toby” Tiangco who “gatecrashed” last October 30 the blue ribbon subcommittee that was investigating corruption allegations against Binay when he was Makati City mayor.
At the resumption of the same investigation Thursday, Cayetano cited a provision under the Revised Penal Code that penalizes individuals who disrupt Senate hearings with aresto mayor and a P200 to P1,000 fine.
Cayetano said while the investigation was open to the public, it wasn’t a public hearing after the Binay allies accused the subcommittee of allegedly trying to silence the vice president.
The senator said a public hearing was an official meeting by citizens called to testify on a given policy while a hearing open to the public involved allowing members of a committee and resource speakers to speak on an issue.
He also said Binay’s representatives did not exercise parliamentary courtesy when they tried to grab the microphone to speak before the panel.
Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado has testified that both Binay and his son, namesake and incumbent Mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay earned kickbacks from various infrastructure projects in Makati when the vice president was mayor.
Mercado also testified about a 350-hectare “Hacienda Binay” allegedly owned by the vice president using dummy corporations.
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