VP Binay blasts probe: Prejudged, vicious

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 21 2014 12:31 PM | Updated as of Oct 21 2014 08:31 PM

MANILA - Vice-President Jejomar Binay rejected a Social Weather Stations survey that showed majority of Filipinos want him to appear before a Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee inquiry on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II.

In an exclusive interview on ANC's Beyond Politics with Lynda Jumilla, the vice-president said he sees no need to attend the probe since senators conducting the inquiry have gone out of their way to prejudge and humiliate him.

"Yung ibang senador prejudged na, hinatulan ka na. Linalait ka pa, tinatakot ka pa, kinukutya ka pa. Atsaka ano pa ba ang itatanong? Nasabi na lahat ang itatanong e. Sumosobra na nga duon sa pinakapakay nung - imbestigasyon ba yun?" he said.

In a separate statement issued Wednesday, Binay also described the Senate inquiry as an "inquisition designed to bring disrepute to my person by the abuse of parliamentary rules."

He said the senators, referring to Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV, have already admitted that they do not want Binay to launch a presidential campaign.

"They themselves want to be in power and see me as a threat to that ambition," he said.

The vice-president challenged his accusers to present hard evidence that would back up their claims that he pocketed millions of pesos in kickbacks for various infrastructure projects in Makati when he was still mayor.

He also urged the public to "examine closely the direction the so-called investigation is taking."

"So far, they have resorted to humiliating me and my family with such viciousness I have not seen employed by the Senate before,” he said.

For his part, Senator Trillanes said Binay is just relying on excuses not to show up in the inquiry.

He said that while the Senate will not force the vice-president to attend the hearings, his non-appearance "only shows that he is guilty."

Resource persons invited to the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee have accused Binay of various anomalies including the alleged overprice of the P2.2 billion Makati City Hall Building II.

A property appraiser earlier said the construction of the 11-storey building would only cost P877 million.

Binay has rejected the claims of overpricing, saying the building construction had passed audits conducted by a government audit team. He said he is ready to answer the allegations before the Office of the Ombudsman.

On Monday, President Aquino confirmed that he and Binay talked about the ongoing Senate investigation and that the vice-president would need to answer the allegations thrown at him.

He said he told Binay "the truth will come out and that between the two of them, the VP knows the truth."

Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, Binay’s spokesperson for political concerns, meanwhile, said it was President Aquino who offered to help the Vice-President during their meeting in Malacañang last week.

"Our understanding is that in the course of the conversation, the President asked about his family and VP replied the family is hurting from all the lies and baseless accusations, especially his wife," Remulla said in a text message to media.

"At this point the President asked how he can help or 'Paano ako makakatulong?' It was in the context that the Senate was mentioned in the conversation," he said.

Remulla said Binay thanked the President for his concern.