BY ROGER M. BALANZA
This was reportedly the advice of President Aquino to Vice President Jejomar Binay during a private meeting where the embattled Binay asked the President to stop a Senate investigation into alleged corruption Binay committed as Makati City Mayor.
Aquino, earlier accused by the Binay camp as having instigated his allies in the Senate to probe Binay, confirmed the meeting in Malacanang on Tuesday night.
Aquino said during the meeting Binay asked him if he (Aquino) could talk to his allies in the Senate about the ongoing blue ribbon committee investigation.
Aquino said he told Binay to himself talk to the Senators.
The President said he assured Binay that he will be afforded his right to due process in facing the corruption accusations.
“What I told him was this: We will not countenance anybody manufacturing evidence against you. We will try to keep all the processes on a very professional level,” Aquino said.
TO CASE TO PEOPLE
Vice President Jejomar Binay is unfazed by the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey that wanted him to face the Senate to answer allegations of corruption he allegedly committed as mayor of Makati City.
The SWS survey on Sept. 26-29 had 79 percent of 1,200 Filipinos polled agreeing that Binay should appear in the Senate inquiry.
Binay’s camp said the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee probe is a “farce” and the Vice President will not dance with the sentiment of the people sounded off in the SWS survey.
The Vice President would rather go directly to the people to air his side, said Binay’s camp following release of the SWS survey.
Binay would not attend the “farcical proceedings” of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee because its inquiry was “not in aid of legislation but in furtherance of political persecution, said Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, Binay’s spokesman
“It would be futile for the Vice President to dignify such farcical proceedings and subject himself and his family to ridicule,” Remulla said in a press statement.
Former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado is at the core of providing evidence to the Senate probe on the alleged corruption by Binay, his wife former Mayor Elenita Binay and his son, incumbent Mayor Junjun Binay.
Mercado, now under the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice, has told the Senate probers that the Binays fleeced 13% commission from Makati City projects. He also said the Binay family owned the 350-hectare Binay Hacienda in Batangas.
Remulla said Binay had already been prejudged by the Senate subcommittee and pointed to the way its members—Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV—had been unfairly conducting the inquiry.
DON’T BE AFRAID
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Vice President Jejomar Binay should not be afraid of attending a Senate probe into his wealth and his transactions as a mayor of Makati City years ago.
Binay, according to Belmonte, will have defenders if he enters the lions’ den to face his inquisitors,
He would be surrounded by his allies, including his daughter Senator Nancy Binay, he said.
“For me, the Vice President has many adherents in the Senate, there are many who are for him there,” said Belmonte. He however did not name Binay’s supporters in the Senate, other than Senator Binay.
“My advice is for him to go ahead and appear in the Senate. That’s the best way to respond because a great number of people are not happy about his decision not to appear,” said Belmonte.
About 79 percent of Filipinos think Vice President Jejomar C. Binay should face the Senate and answer allegations of corruption thrown against him and his family, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results revealed.
The nationwide survey conducted last September 26-29 among 1,200 respondents found that eight in 10 Filipinos or 79 percent agree that the embattled Vice President should answer corruption allegations before the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing.