Binay, de Lima sort out differences on pork probe

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2014 06:01 PM | Updated as of Feb 13 2014 02:01 AM

MANILA - Vice President Jejomar Binay and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima had the chance to sort things out during Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting amid their public disagreements over the testimony of Ruby Tuason.
“Kahapon ay nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na mag-usap si Vice President Binay at si Secretary de Lima, at nagkaroon ng paliwanagan tungkol sa kani-kanilang posisyon dito at pagkakaunawaan din hinggil dito,” Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said.
“Ang alam ko lang ay napag-usapan nila ‘yung tungkol sa mga pahayag na nailahad at nagkapaliwanagan sila at mukha namang mainam ‘yung naging pag-uusap.”

Binay earlier reminded de Lima that legal processes need to be followed even in the case of Tuason, the former aide of ex-President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

“Vice President Binay wishes to remind the Secretary of Justice that the presumption of innocence is enshrined in the Constitution. That some personalities involved in the PDAF controversy are his political allies is incidental. This Constitutional right extends to all, allies and foes alike. This is what the Vice President fought for as a human rights lawyer—along with countless others— during martial law. This is the Vice President's personal crusade,” said Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman.

Binay earlier scoffed at de Lima’s reaction that Tuason’s statements in the pork scam was a “slum dunk” for the prosecution.

In answer, de Lima said Binay seems to be “belittling” the prosecution’s efforts.

"Well, he (Binay) is entitled to his opinion and I respect his opinion. Ang parang nakakalungkot lang is instead of encouraging us to further strengthen evidence, [instead of] encouraging us to pursue what we are doing now ay minamaliit nila. Bini-bellitle or they're even scoffing at our evidence," de Lima said.

Binay said the issue has nothing to do with alliances. Linked to the pork scam are members of the United Nationalist Alliance, senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada.