Palace believes voters will remember pork scam in 2016 polls

by Aurea Calica, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 09 2014 11:30 AM | Updated as of Mar 09 2014 07:30 PM

MANILA - Malacañang expressed belief that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam would have a negative impact on those implicated in the controversy should they decide to run in the 2016 elections.

Reacting to the call of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago not to vote for those involved in the scam, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Palace could only remind people that they would get the government that they deserve and must choose wisely amid the posturing now going on.

He said over radio dzRB it was obvious that the people’s rage against the misuse of public funds was wide-ranging and deep, and the Palace is “hopeful that they will express this in a concrete way in the coming elections.”

He again refused to comment on the announcements of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano that they would run for president in 2016.

Binay prays for Enrile, Estrada

Binay, meanwhile, is praying for Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and for the truth to prevail over their alleged involvement in the PDAF scam.

“As a support to them, I am praying for the truth to prevail,” he said.
Binay also acknowledged the possibility that his critics might claim that once he becomes president, his allies like Enrile and Estrada would be absolved of the charges.

But the Vice President said he would not hesitate to jail his allies if they are found guilty in the PDAF scam in court, confirming the statement made earlier by Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, secretary-general of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

Binay also admitted that sometimes he talked with Enrile and Estrada about the PDAF scam and that the senators appeared to be in low spirits.

“Who will not be?” he added, reminding the public that the accused is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty and only the court can declare the accused in the scam as guilty.

“The one who will say that they are guilty is the court, not the executive department,” Binay said.

“When people would say they are guilty, wow, they are forgetting the constitutional provision of presumption of innocence. I think the most accurate statement is cases will be filed against them before the court… In America, that is a ground for mistrial… It is prejudging the case,” he added. – With Jose Rodel Clapano