MANILA - Sen. Jinggoy Estrada is asking Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano not to use the pork barrel scam to bash Vice-President Jejomar Binay.
In a press briefing on Thursday, Estrada said Cayetano should just concentrate on his presidential bid instead of using the scam to boost his chances in the 2016 polls.
Cayetano earlier criticized Binay for not declaring outright that he will jail his own allies if they are found guilty of pocketing public funds. He said he doubted Binay would prosecute Estrada since the Vice-President wants Estrada to be his running-mate.
"Alam mo, kaming nasa oposisyon, nasa kabilang partido, sana wala na lang nakikialam na taga labas dahil hindi naman siya kasama sa amin. Wala naman siyang bilang sa amin. Huwag na siya makikialam sa desisyon namin, sa desisyon ni Vice President. Tumakbo na lang siya, huwag na lang niyang banggitin ng banggitin ng banggitin ang pangalan ni Vice, tumakbo na lang siya," Estrada told reporters.
He also said he will accept the offer to be Binay's running-mate if the Vice-President offers it.
Estrada earlier took a swipe at Cayetano and accused him of "grandstanding" for allegedly using the whole pork barrel scam controversy to advance his own political agenda.
He said Cayetano has been engaging in "trial by publicity," through the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, against him and the 2 other senators facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.
Cayetano, who recently admitted he wants to become president someday, then lashed back at Estrada, saying that there is no such thing as "trial by publicity" in the pork barrel scam case since there is no trial yet, noting that the complaints are still before the Ombudsman.
He also pointed out that Estrada has so far only provided "blanket denials" and has yet to give direct answers on his alleged involvement in the anomaly.
He said it is the responsibility of the embattled senator, being a public figure and a celebrity, to answer the allegations against him.