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Binay camp: Anticlimactic after 21 one-sided hearings

Vice President Jejomar Binay INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

Vice President Jejomar Binay INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday played down the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee report recommending plunder charges against him, saying this was not yet the official Senate position.

“This is just the report of the subcommittee. That’s not yet the position of the Senate. This will still be discussed in plenary if the procedure here was right,” Binay said in Marinduque province.

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His spokesman Joey Salgado said the Binay camp was not surprised, calling the recommendation “anticlimactic” after 21 “one-sided” hearings over the past 10 months.

Salgado pointed out that a plunder complaint had been filed in the Office of the Ombudsman against the Vice President over the construction of Makati City Hall Building II.

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He said the Ombudsman had asked the respondents to “comment on the finding of graft and malversation, not plunder.”

“But even these findings are baseless and we are confident that given a fair and impartial venue, these allegations will be dismissed. However, we do not see any impartiality in the Senate and in the Ombudsman,” Salgado said.

He said the senators should disclose how much taxpayer money they spent during the 10 months “of destroying the name of Vice President Binay.”

JV Bautista, interim secretary general of Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance party, said the blue ribbon subcommittee report “had probably the weight of (a roll of) toilet paper.”

He said there was no purpose for making the recommendation when there was already a plunder case in the Ombudsman.

Bautista also said another questionable thing was that Senate President Franklin Drilon “practically allowed the blue ribbon committee to be dragged into the morass of partisan politics.”

But Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, a member of the blue ribbon subcommittee, disagreed with the “wishful thinking” of Binay’s camp, saying the draft report would help “strengthen” the case now pending in the Office of the Ombudsman.–With a report from Leila B. Salaverria

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TAGS: Binay camp, Binays, Jejomar Binay, Joey Salgado, Plunder, Senate Blue Ribbon Subcommittee
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