MANILA - Vice President Jejomar Binay has rejected the challenge of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano for him to attend the Senate probe into the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.
Speaking to "[email protected]" on Friday, Binay's spokesperson for political affairs Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said the vice president is ready to answer all the allegations against him -- but not at the Senate hearing.
Remulla said the Senate probe only serves as a venue for "grandstanding" ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.
Both Binay and Cayetano have expressed intention to run for president in 2016.
"It seems in the Senate, it's more of a grandstanding more than an effort to find the truth... It does not become an issue of 'in aid of legislation' but in aid of politicization," Remulla said.
Cayetano on Thursday said that if Binay indeed wants to become the country's next top official, he has to face the Senate and prove that he did not commit any wrongdoing in the construction of the 11-storey office and parking building when he was still mayor of Makati.
Binay's camp, however, shot down the senator's challenge.
Remulla said Cayetano should be the one to prove to the people that he is worthy of becoming the next president.
"If you really want to become president, are you capable of being respectful and being sincere in ferreting out the truth? Or is it just a grandstanding effort for yourself to look handsome to the voters?"
Remulla also lashed back at Cayetano for saying that Binay just keeps on dismissing the Senate probe as politically motivated to excuse himself from answering the allegations.
He said it is true that the Senate probe is merely a "political witch hunt" against Binay and his family.
"The question should go back to him really... Just stop it. If he wants the truth, let the Ombudsman take it. He is not capable of ferreting out the truth because he has other motives. Let the Ombudsman take care of it," Remulla said.
The governor said the vice president will only face the issues hurled at him before the Office of the Ombudsman, where a plunder case has been filed.
Also facing plunder charges over the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2 are Binay's son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and several other Makati City government officials.
"The vice president's stand is 'Bring it on, throw everything including the kitchen sink. We will take everything, we will answer because it is worth fighting for the Filipino people,'" Remulla said.