Alan Cayetano: Binay setting bad example, bad precedent
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said that Vice President Jejomar Binay had set a bad precedent as an aspiring future leader of the country when he snubbed an invitation from the Senate blue ribbon committee to appear at the hearing on Thursday.
Cayetano, one of the senators leading the probe, said Binay had set a “bad example” not only for young political leaders but for students as well.
Unlike Binay, former Vice President Noli de Castro and even former President Fidel V. Ramos faced Congress after their names were dragged into controversies, setting a good precedent, he said.
“We will agree on bad precedent. He will be a bad president. In fact, he’ll be worse than GMA (former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo). At least GMA, in one sense or the other, responded to the issues [against her], and did not merely dismiss them as politics,” the senator told reporters in Taguig.
Binay refused to attend Thursday’s hearing, flying to Cebu instead. He argued that for the second highest executive official of the land would be summoned to the Senate would set a bad precedent.
Back affidavit with evidence
But he promised to submit an affidavit detailing his response to the charges.
Cayetano advised Binay to submit an affidavit backed by documentary or testimonial evidence, otherwise this would not have any value.
“We will look at the logic of the affidavit. For instance, if the affidavit mentions that the account [used to pay electric bill of the farm] is fraudulent, and carries a waiver allowing a bank to look into the account, I will follow the evidence even if he’s not there [at the hearing]. If the affidavit has evidence, or lead, I will follow that in pursuit of truth,” he said.
The senator said the problem with Binay was that he was more preoccupied with monitoring the surveys than responding to the allegations.
“For him, this is all a campaign. He wants to slow this down so that when he becomes President he has immunity from suit, and as President, he can appoint 10 to 11 justices,” said Cayetano.
‘Get out of jail’ card
“He views 2016 as his ‘get out of jail’ card. He looks at the presidency as his great escape,” he added.
“We only have a simple question: How come two buildings cost twice more than other buildings? His only explanation was that private buildings cost less than public buildings. But all engineers and architects who testified in the Senate [hearings] said this should not be the case,” Cayetano said.
In his own words
Should Binay still refuse to appear at the Senate hearings, Cayetano proposed that he issue a waiver allowing the examination of all his bank accounts.
Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, interim president of Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), on Friday used Cayetano’s words to defend Binay’s refusal to attend the Senate hearings.
“The answer comes from the mouth of Senator Cayetano himself in 2010,” Tiangco said in a statement.
Cayetano had served as the spokesperson in 2010 for former Sen. Manny Villar, a presidential candidate who was in roughly the same situation as Binay now.
Villar was heavily criticized by some of his Senate colleagues over the alleged P200-million double entry of the C5 road extension project in the national budget, which Villar was accused of having done to benefit his property development business.
Tiangco quoting Cayetano as saying in Villar’s defense at the time: “It is not true that a person is a coward just because he chooses the venue where he will defend himself. It means he has the qualities of a true President. It means he will not drag down his office because one senator or a couple of senators believe that they will win the election by throwing the C5 issue and wanting the debate on the floor.” With a report from Niña P. Calleja
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