Junjun Binay lawyer urges DOJ to initiate libel case vs Trillianes
THE camp of Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. on Thursday urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to approve the criminal indictment of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
One of Binay’s lawyers, Claro Certeza, said Trillanes’ failure to present proof that the suspended mayor paid P50 million to two Court of Appeals Associate Justice to stop the implementation of his first suspension order should be enough basis to initiate the libel case.
“Our position has been where is the evidence (of the bribery)? We will let the prosecutor decide on that,” Certeza told reporters after the preliminary investigation.
Trillanes appeared before the DOJ and personally subscribed to his counter-affidavit with motion to dismiss.
Trillanes invoked parliamentary immunity in seeking for the dismissal of the libel case. He said his statement about the alleged bribery is part of his duty as a senator.
But Certeza said “the senator’s defense of parliamentary immunity applies only to acts done as part of his official functions. And his official function is to legislate laws – not to investigate (anomalies) and determine who should be held liable.”
“They can investigate in Congress, but when a lawmaker tags someone as a criminal or law breaker even without evidence yet, that’s a different story because that’s concluding already,” Certeza stressed.
Trillanes maintained he has witnesses to support his bribery allegations. However, he said the witnesses are reluctant to come out.
He said he cannot force the witnesses to come out because “their world will turn around.”
“Hindi ko pwedeng hilahin sila at sabihin, oh kita nyo totoo sinasabi ko tapos babaligtarin ko ang buhay nila,” Trillanes said.
“Once this issue is over, we will move on with our lives pero sila maiiwan and in a few months, what if something happens to them,” he added.