Binay camp vows to sue foes behind black prop
LUCENA CITY—A group of lawyers supporting Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday vowed to pursue legal action against anyone found to be behind attacks on the presidential aspirant in both traditional and social media.
“May this serve as a warning. We will [sue] those who are responsible [for] the flood of black propaganda against the Vice President,” Vicente Joyas, chair of the newly organized Abogado ni Binay (Anib), said in a phone interview.
Joyas, a former national president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, described Anib as a group of volunteer lawyers who believe that Binay is the most qualified among the presidential candidates that also include Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas, Sen. Grace Poe, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
The group, which was organized last week, is composed of more than 500 lawyers around the country whose primary task was to help refute “malicious allegations against the VP and his family,” Binay said during a campaign rally in this city.
Binay on Friday led a group of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) candidates, including his running mate Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, on the second leg of his campaign in Quezon province, and motored to Tayabas City and the towns of Lucban and Mauban. On Thursday, the Vice President campaigned in the towns of Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya and Lucena City.
Joyas said Anib members would also act as poll watchdogs for Binay and UNA to protect their votes, and actively engage in media interviews to enlighten the public, especially on legal questions concerning what he described as “the continuous barrage of unfounded accusations that only aim to demonize the Vice President.”
The Alpha Phi Omega Lawyers League Organization (Apollo), composed of lawyers from the APO fraternity, also committed to help defend “Brod Jojo,” according to Carlos Mayorico Caliwara, secretary general of the APO National Presidents’ League in an interview here on Friday.
Almost all APO lawyer members are ready to help defend Binay against what the group called “the spread of false information on legal issues hounding him,” Caliwara said, adding that Apollo counts close to 500 members from different provinces.
The lawyers are now “active in their respective communities, civic organizations, social groups and local media to explain the true motives behind the (series) of black propaganda against the Vice President and his immediate family,” the APO official said.
Binay has been charged by the Ombudsman with malversation, graft and falsification of public documents for the allegedly overpriced design and construction of the P2.2-billion Makati City Hall Building II when he was city mayor. Owing to Binay’s immunity from suit as Vice President, the Ombudsman said it would file the charges against him after his term.
The Vice President was indicted with his son, dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, who was similarly charged with graft and falsification of public documents by the Sandiganbayan.
The Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, which investigated alleged kickbacks from graft-ridden infrastructure projects when Binay was Makati mayor, also recommended plunder charges against him. Binay, who refused to attend the Senate hearings investigating the alleged irregularities, had denied the charges and branded them as “mere politics” meant to derail his presidential bid.
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