Drilon: Binay not immune from lawsuits
Senate President Franklin Drilon contradicted on Tuesday a lawyer’s statement that Vice President Jejomar Binay was immune from suits, saying that “no one is above the law.”
Drilion said it would be difficult to accept the argument of University of the Philippines law professor Harry Roque Jr. that any case that would be filed against the Vice President would be dismissed since he was enjoying immunity from lawsuits while in office.
“Medyo mahirap pong tanggapin ang ganung klaseng position dahil sa ating sinusunod sa demokrasya, tayo po ay pantay-pantay sa ilalim ng batas. Mayaman ka man o mahirap, makapangyarihan o pangkaraniwang mamamayan, kung tayo po ay may pananagutan sa batas, dapat tayo ay (panagutin),” the Senate leader said in a radio interview on Tuesday.
(That kind of argument is a bit hard to accept because in our democracy, we are all equal under the law. Whether you are rich or poor, powerful or ordinary citizens, if you have violated the law then you should be held liable)
“No one is above the law. Under the theory of Professor Harry Roque, kung ikaw ay nagnakaw, basta impeachable official ka, hindi ka pwedeng sampahan ng kaso. Ako po ay hindi sang-ayon diyan at ‘yan po ay labag sa ating basic principle of justice dahil lahat po tayo ay pantay-pantay sa ilalim ng batas. Kung tayo po ay nagkasala, dapat po may pananagutan tayo. No one is above the law,” Drilon stressed.
(No one is above the law. Under the theory of Professor Harry Roque, if you stole from the people, you can’t be charged as long as you’re an impeachable officer. I do not agree with it and that’s a violation of our basic principle of justice because we are all equal under the law. If we committed a crime, then we should be held liable. No one is above the law)
In his blog, Roque also said that the Anti-Money Laundering Council’s (AMLC) petition to freeze Binay’s assets and any court action to declare these funds as proceeds of crimes would violate the Vice President’s immunity from suits.
The Court of Appeals has reportedly granted the AMLC petition and subsequently ordered to freeze the bank accounts of Binay, his wife and son, and some of his alleged dummies. IDL
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