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Binays unfazed; son will run

JUDGMENT DAY  Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales appears determined and defiant, after ordering the dismissal of suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay (right), shown into a huddle with his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, during the 341st anniversary of Makati City.  INQUIRER PHOTO

JUDGMENT DAY Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales appears determined and defiant, after ordering the dismissal of suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay (right), shown into a huddle with his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, during the 341st anniversary of Makati City. INQUIRER PHOTO

No way will Makati be without a Binay at the helm.

Makati Mayor Junjun Binay will not be deterred from running for reelection next year by the Ombudsman’s order permanently disqualifying him from public office, the Binay camp said on Friday.

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“Until there is a final judgment, Mayor Junjun Binay can still run … the order will not stop the mayor from running for reelection in 2016 for him to serve again the people of Makati,” said Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesperson for media affairs.

And if her brother cannot run, Rep. Abigail Binay said she will “probably have to run for mayor” of Makati.

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“We have substitution until Dec. 10, so there’s time to decide. Who knows, we might succeed in overturning the Ombudsman’s decision,” she said.

READ: Abi Binay may run in Junjun’s stead

Afraid of Binays?

“Why are they so afraid of the Binays?” an angry Sen. Nancy Binay said as she denounced the Ombudsman’s order.

She said there were pending resolutions in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court regarding her brother’s case and that was why the family was wondering about the haste in the Ombudsman’s order.

“My brother will file his candidacy next week and our lawyers will file the appropriate motions to fight the harassment of our family,” the senator told reporters after attending Mass at the Basilica Menore de Sto Niño in Cebu City with her parents.

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She said the family believes that the order was issued so they could force a “technical knockout” of her brother who is up against Acting Makati Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña of the ruling Liberal Party.

‘Demolition of perception’

In Cebu City, Vice President Jejomar Binay said they are expecting the “continuation of the demolition of perception” against him and his family.

Aside from his son’s dismissal as mayor, he said he expects that he himself would be arrested in connection with the plunder complaint filed against him in the Office of the Ombudsman.

He said his son will be able to answer the Ombudsman’s order.

“This is both funny and sad,” he said.

Options available

Salgado said the dismissed Makati mayor will definitely go to court to contest and question the order of the Ombudsman, whom the Binay camp denounced for resorting to “dismissal by press release” and “harassment.”

Claro Certeza, Binay’s lawyer, said that as soon as they receive a copy of the Ombudsman resolution, they would study it and “question it.”

He said there were options available to them, such as the filing of a motion for reconsideration, or the elevation of the issue to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.

He said they would also consult their election lawyer.

Salgado accused Morales of rushing the disqualification order as the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) by those running in 2016 starts on Monday, apparently in a bid to stop the mayor from seeking reelection.

“The mayor has not even received a copy of the order. The Ombudsman resorted to dismissal by press release,” he said.

According to Salgado, what was clear was that the Binay family was being harassed by the Ombudsman’s bias and selective justice.

He accused the Ombudsman of conspiring with other government agencies in vilifying and harassing the younger Binay “because of his wish to serve the poor.”

Salgado said Binay was “immediately suspended” and was now “even” being dismissed from government service “even if he was only being asked the other week by the Commission on Audit to answer initial findings into their special audit into the Makati City Hall Building II.”

“The Court of Appeals had issued an injunction stopping Binay’s suspension and the Supreme Court is still hearing the issue,” he said.

He compared the treatment of Binay with that of Budget Secretary Butch Abad who is being investigated by the Ombudsman for his part in the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) that was outlawed by the Supreme Court.

“More than P72 billion was the amount involved in the (DAP) but Abad who is from the ruling Liberal Party was not even suspended while there was a preliminary investigation,” Salgado said.

Another trial for VP

Certeza said it was not just the mayor who is being harassed but also his father, the Vice President, who has declared his intention of running for president in 2016.

“Because they know the COCs will be filed already, they know his (the Vice President’s) survey ratings did not go down as much. So now we are here again, at a time when our Vice President is filing the COC. They give him another trial. That’s like the hearings in the Senate, right?” Certeza said, referring to the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearings into the allegedly corrupt practices in Makati allegedly involving both Binay father and son.

Certeza said he did not know of anyone who was going through the same situation as the Binays.

Not the real target

In Cebu City, Elenita, the mayor’s mother, said she was saddened by the Ombudsman’s action.

She said the Binays had been expecting that this would happen.

“We are ready for whatever will happen to my family,” she told reporters.

Abigail Binay, who is serving her third and last term in Congress, said she actually had no plans of running for office again in 2016.

“It’s my last term. I had no plans of running, even for the Senate, or for Vice President. But if needed, I will run for Makati mayor,” she said.

The Binays are fielding Abigail’s husband, Luis Campos, to run as representative of Makati’s second district to replace her.

Abigail said it was always clear to the family that Junjun was not the real target.

“We know who’s the real target, and the target is my father, Vice President Jejomar Binay. I wouldn’t be surprised if they came out with an order against the Vice President,” Abigail said.

“Unfortunately, that’s how politics works … If we weren’t Binays, we would not be targeted,” she said.

Binay said she considered the Ombudsman’s decision as one way of discouraging prospective recruits from signing up with the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), her father’s party.

“Many want to join us but they are being threatened. They would say: ‘I can’t join UNA because I have cases in the Ombudsman,’” she said.

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TAGS: candidate, Elections 2016, Jejomar Binay, Junjun Binay, Makati, mayor
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