Binay camp, PNP official in heated exchange
MANILA, Philippines—The Makati City standoff continues.
Despite the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) by the Court of Appeals to stop the preventive suspension of Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and other city officials over the allegedly overpriced Makati City Building 2, Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel continued to man their positions in the Makati City Hall complex.
Atty. JV Bautista, interim secretary general of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), called the presence of policemen surrounding City Hall an “unnecessary provocation” which could lead to a “tyrannical takeover” by Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña.
Tempers flared as Bautista demanded an answer from SSupt Elmer Jamias why his men were still deployed in the area and manning barricades. “The city of Makati is trying to normalize its functions. But your presence is an unnecessary provocation,” Bautista told Jamias.
Jamias, ground commander of the policemen deployed at the Makati City Hall, said the cops were there to “maintain peace and order.”
‘A new acting mayor’
When pressed further by Bautista why there was a need for policemen to remain at the City Hall complex, a heated exchange ensued.
“Bakit kami papaalisin dito? (Why should we pull out from here?)” Jamias said.
To which Bautista replied: “Kasi hindi dapat kayo nandito. (Because you shouldn’t be here.)”
“Are you a police officer ordering me?” the ground commander countered.
“No, I’m an officer of the court,” Bautista replied.
Jamias said they were only following orders from the Department of Interior and Local Government which served the suspension order against Binay and had sworn in Peña as the acting city mayor.
“There is a new acting mayor here this morning. We are just only respecting the order coming from the DILG,” Jamias said.
He said that the cops will remain in the premises until the DILG issued a recall order.
“Hangga’t nakikita namin na dapat nandito kami, magse-stay kami (As long as we see that we are needed here, we will stay),” Jamias said.
Jamias’ stance was echoed by NCRPO Police Director Carmelo Valmoria.
“We are still maintaining peace and order to ensure that no untoward incident would happen between the supporters of both sides. Half of the contingents were already pulled out today,” Valmoria said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.
Binay still mayor
Atty. Claro Certeza said that the Binay camp will go to the Court of Appeals on Tuesday to report the PNP’s refusal to subscribe to the TRO. He maintained that Binay was still the city mayor following the issuance of the TRO.
Bautista meanwhile accused Jamias of colluding with Peña and threatened to lodge an administrative charge against him.
The CA issued the TRO hours after Peña was sworn in as the acting mayor of Makati after the interior department served the suspension order against Binay Monday morning.
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