MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Vice President (OVP) decried how a “private and confidential” memo addressed to the President was leaked at a time of “political realignments.”
In a statement, the Office of Vice President Jejomar Binay denied it had lobbied with President Benigno Aquino III to approve a plea bargain deal with former Armed Forces comptroller Carlos Garcia.
Rappler.com released a letter purporting that Binay told Aquino to consider a plea bargain deal with Garcia since the government had weak arguments in the plunder case against Garcia.
“The Vice President was giving his views as a lawyer, or to be precise, his years of experience as a trial lawyer. There is a portion in the letter where the Vice President said that personally he would want Garcia charged with plunder, but his years a lawyer has taught him to set personal feeling aside when handling a case. This portion appears to have been omitted in the Rappler story,” the OVP said.
The office said one private and confidential memo could hardly qualify as “lobbying.”
“We cannot reveal how many private and confidential memos the Vice President has sent to the President on a host of issues. The Garcia memo was just one of them. And it was sent more than year ago,” the OVP added.
It questioned how the letter got its way to the online entity “at a time when there are political realignments.”
“It raises the possible political motives behind the leak. But beyond that, there are issues on the handling of all private and confidential memos to the President,” the OVP said.