VP Binay on accusations: 'Foul and below the belt'
MANILA, Philippines – "Foul and below the belt."
Vice President Jejomar Binay lambasted the supposed "politics" behind corruption allegations hurled against him.
The Senate probe that originally meant to look into the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall II Parking Building has branched out to several other issues including the new exposé on his alleged 350-hectare farm in Batangas.
The controversial farm exposed by former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado is registered under the name of businessman Antonio Tiu of Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corporation. But Senator Antonio Trillanes IV accused him of being Binay's dummy.
Trillanes traced the ties of Tiu to Binay and noted that Sunchamp's corporate secretary is the vice president's counsel, Martin Subido, a partner at the law firm of Binay's daughter, Abigail, who is Makati City's Representative. (READ: Mrs Binay's royal taste? 'Kew Gardens,' aircon piggery)
"You know I'll be a hypocrite if I don't tell you sometimes I get mad, especially foul na. Below the belt na. Kung magsinungaling, hindi daw ito pulitika. Nagdaan na ako diyan. Karamihan diyan, lalo na yung lately, lumang kaso na iyan. Na-dismiss na iyan. Yung nagsasalita na sinasabing dummy, siya yung kumukuha ng kontrata. Sinong nakikipag-usap sa mga kinukuhang korporasyon?" Binay told reporters in Davao City after a speech at the 2014 International Public Administration Conference.
(You know I'll be a hypocrite if I don't tell you sometimes I get mad, especially when it's foul. It's already below the belt. They're lying when they say this is not politics. I've been through this. Most of the allegations, especially the ones they made lately, are old cases. They've been dismissed. The one talking and making claims about dummies is the one getting the contracts. Who is talking to those corporations that were chosen?)
Binay said Tiu of Sunchamp is willing to face his accusers. "Bilang ilang beses na iyang bintang-bintang na iyan, palabasin mo naman na nagagalit yung may-ari ng lupa. Si Mr Antonio Tiu, sabi niya I'm willing to face these politicians. Sana naman maging balanced. Kapag may ganoong charges, sana malagay din naman ang explanation. Alam naman naming lalabas iyan. Ngayon ang lumalabas parang first time lang namin narinig iyan. Hintayin natin si Mr Antonio Tiu."
(These allegations have been repeatedly made. The owner of the property, Mr Antonio Tiu, is already angry. He said he is willing to face these politicians. We only ask for balance. If there are charges like these, the explanation should also be included. It's appearing like it's the first time it was exposed. Let's wait for Mr Antonio Tiu.)
Binay lamented how the Senate probe has gone beyond the Makati parking building. But Mercado also claimed the unpaid construction work in the Batangas farm led Hilmarc's Construction Company to recover costs in their construction projects in Makati City Hall.
The senators leading the probe invited the Vice President to the next hearing so he can explain his side, a call supported by Senator Miriam Santiago.
Reacting to Santiago's claim that non-attendance is an impeachable offense, Binay said, "Pare-pareho naman tayong abogado. Pero kung ikaw ako, kung sasabihin ko sa iyo na ang pupuntahan mo ay pre-judged na, kung sasabihin ko sa iyong babastusin ka, tatakutin ka, kung sasabihin ko sa iyong meron na namang kaso sa Ombudsman tutal, kung sasabihin ko sa iyo na hindi na in aid of legislation dahil wala na sa resolution, sisipot ka ba? Gusto mo bang mabastos?
("We're both lawyers. But if you were me, if I told you that you have been prejudged, if I told you they would disrespect you, scare you, if I told you there's a case with the Ombudsman anyway, if I told you that it's no longer in aid of legislation because this is no longer covered by the resolution, would you appear? Would you want to be put to shame?") – Rappler.com