Palace washes hands of Binay graft charges
Malacañang on Thursday disputed Vice President Jejomar Binay’s claim that the allegations of corruption against him were “just demolition through perception” designed to derail his plan to become president of the country.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma on Thursday pointed out that the corruption charges against Binay and his family “arose from investigations conducted by the Senate blue ribbon committee.”
President Aquino had no hand in the filing of corruption complaints against Binay and his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, before the Ombudsman, he said.
“In our system of law, the Senate is a separate and co-equal branch while the Ombudsman is an independent constitutional body,” Coloma said.
“The decisions and actions of these bodies are not influenced by the President and the executive branch,” he said.
Coloma said the Aquino administration “stands by the principle that charges should be filed only after a thorough investigation and build-up of sufficient evidence.”
“We also affirm that under our bill of rights, there is presumption of innocence accorded to all who are accused of any wrongdoing,” including the Binays and their co-respondents in the Ombudsman case, he added.
During a visit to Bolinao, Pangasinan province, on Wednesday, Binay said that if he had not aspired for the presidency, “perhaps I would not be treated this way.”
Meeting with town residents and distributing wheel chairs to senior citizens, Binay dismissed the latest hearing by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee looking into corruption allegations against him, members of his family and associates, as “just allegations, demolition through perception.”
He said he was unfazed by reports that some pro-administration lawmakers were planning to initiate impeachment proceedings against him. “There are no grounds to impeach me,” he declared.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda earlier assailed the Binay camp for “dishing out lies” against President Aquino.
The vice president “continues to attack the President because he refuses to answer convincingly all allegations of corruption and ill-gotten wealth against him,” he said.
“We have yet to hear a response (from Binay) other than, ‘It’s politics,” Lacierda said.
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