MANILA – Anti-kidnapping advocate Teresita Ang-See on Thursday expressed sympathy for businessman Antonio Tiu, who earlier decried the comments made by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano over his wealth.
Ang-See, founding chairman of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order, described as "uncalled for" Cayetano's remark that Tiu has already exposed himself to kidnappers by revealing the estimate of his wealth just to prove ownership of the Batangas estate being linked to Vice President Jejomar Binay.
''Nakakalungkot. Hindi ito pagsuporta kay Antonio Tiu dahil siyempre yung pagsisinungaling dapat ituwid niya. Pero it is unfortunate na yung pasaring ni Cayetano is uncalled for. Kahit na he's poking fun at Antonio Tiu, it is still in bad faith,'' she said in a radio DZMM interview.
''Talagang nakakalungkot. Parang ano ba ang gusto iparating, kapag kaya magbayad ng ransom okay na?"
Tiu, owner of Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp., on Thursday said the repeated attacks against him and his family have affected his security and that of his family.
Tiu is accused of being used by Binay as a front to hide the vice-president's allegedly unexplained wealth, particularly the 145-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas.
The businessman has repeatedly insisted that he owns the Batangas estate, but senators critical of the vice-president said the documents and statements given by Tiu have so far failed to debunk the allegations.
In last week's hearing, Cayetano dared Tiu to open his bank accounts in order to prove that he is capable of buying the sprawling estate. Tiu argued that by doing so, he would be exposing himself to security risk.
Cayetano said Tiu had already exposed himself by claiming that his firm is worth billions and that he is its majority shareholder.
The senator, giving an example, then said shareholders whose relatives are kidnapped are sometimes forced to sell their shares while negotiating with kidnappers.
''I am saying ikaw na ang nagsabi. Kung ikaw eh private person, lahat ng tao hindi alam kung magkano pera mo… Eh ikaw ang nasa TV eh, sinabi mo, 'Ako dummy? P5 billion ang pera ko e.' So you exposed yourself,'' Cayetano said during the hearing.
''Mayroong kini-kidnap sinasabi 'Within 30 to 40 days, magbayad ka. Problema mo kung san kukunin.' So yung ibang may shares, binebenta nila."
The discussion ended with Tiu saying that the hearing was already veering off from the original topic. He also clarified that the P5 billion is not his net worth, but refers to the assets of his company.
GANGING UP ON TIU?
In a separate dzMM interview on Thursday, Tiu insisted that he will not open his bank accounts, saying it is his right as a private individual.
Tiu claimed he received a threat that government agencies will gang up on him if does not "cooperate" in the ongoing Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee probe into the allegations of corruption against the vice-president.
Tiu said the threat of kidnapping has always been there for his family. He said his family is no longer here in the Philippines.
The businessman has already filed a defamation case against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for calling him a Binay dummy. He said he is also mulling the filing of charges against Cayetano.