Ombudsman playing perception game, says Binay camp
OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio Morales, in announcing there is probable cause to file multiple cases for corruption against Vice President Jejomar Binay knowing he is an impeachable official, is playing a “perception game” meant to derail his presidential bid in next year’s elections, his spokespersons said Monday.
In a press release, the Office of the Ombudsman stressed that the criminal charges against Binay would be filed in court after the expiration of his term, consistent with the constitutional prohibition against lawsuits against officials granted immunity while in office.
Binay’s political spokesperson Rico Quicho said the timing of Morales’ move against Binay and other Makati City officials was “suspicious” because it coincided with the filing by the Vice President of his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the presidency in next year’s elections.
Quicho said Morales’ move was not surprising, pointing out this was based on “lies” that had been heard in the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee investigation of Binay and his family.
“As we’ve always said, we will fight this,” Quicho told reporters. He said the Vice President’s office received a copy of the Ombudsman’s order at noon Monday.
He said Binay’s lawyers were now studying their actions on the order.
Quicho said that the political foes of Binay were apparently afraid of the team-up between Binay and Sen. Gregorio Honasan II whom he said was the “team to beat” in 2016.
Everyone knows that under the Constitution, an impeachable officer could not be indicted, said another Binay spokesperson, Joey Salgado.
“It’s a perception game,” Salgado said, accusing Morales of “harassment.”
“They timed the order with the Vice President’s filing of his COC. They want that people talk about the (Ombudsman’s) order, which when you read it, is not really about filing a case because the recommendation is after the term of the Vice President,” Salgado said.
“It is oppressive and ignores due process and judicial courtesy. As I have said, the Ombudsman ordered the mayor’s dismissal and now recommends his indictment even if the Commission on Audit has yet to conclude its special audit,” Salgado explained.
He added that the younger Binay was asked to comment two weeks ago with the Ombudsman also ignoring the injunction order issued by the Court of Appeals noting that it was also “oblivious to the fact that the case is pending before the Supreme Court.”
“The decision was hurried since it is already election period. The timing of the release is also malicious since it was released during the start of the filing of the certificate of candidacy to destroy the reputation of the Vice President,” Salgado noted.
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