Trillanes to Binay: Prepare for 6-hour grilling
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay should prepare himself for a minimum 6-hour "grilling" by the Senate panel probing the alleged overpriced Makati parking building, should he decide to appear at the hearing on Thursday, November 6, a committee member said.
In an obvious challenge to the Vice President, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV also said in a news briefing that Binay's decision on the invitation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to attend the Thursday hearing would have a bearing on public perception of his trustworthiness, particularly in terms of keeping his word.
"Let's say he attends. We will make sure he sits there for at least 6 hours. That is being generous. Marami kaming itatanong sa kanya (We have a lot of questions for him). He should clear his schedule, cancel his appointmens. Marami siyang ipapaliwanag (He has a lot of explaining to do)," said Trillanes.
The Binay camp said on Wednesday that the Vice President can announce his decision as late as the morning of the Senate hearing. Trillanes said they are preparing for the possibility that he will show up inspite of Binay camp's many excuses. (READ: Binay to decide till last minute of Senate invite)
"What he does or will not do, he is accountable for that. Si Vice President Binay – nakikita ng tao 'yan (The people can see that)," said Trillanes.
He added: "Kapag hindi siya magpakita, ibig sabihin hindi mo talaga mapagkakatiwalaan itong taong ito. He will say one thing pero hindi pala niya tutuparin (If he doesn't show up, it means you can't really trust this person. He will say one thing but he won't make good on his promise)."
Trillanes is one of 3 senators actively involved in the probe into the corruption allegations against Binay, which stemmed from the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall II Parking Building. The others are Senators Aquilino Pimentel III and Alan Cayetano.
Binay and his allies oppose his appearance in the Senate hearing, citing how the senators supposedly insult the resource persons. Even if Guingona presides the hearing, there is concern that he will not be able to "control" Trillanes and the other senators.
To this, Trillanes said: "Bakit naman ako kokontrolin (Why should I be controlled)? I'm not a wild animal. I can promise him that. But my questions probably will bite him."
If Binay attends, Trillanes vowed to give him a chance to explain. "This is an opportunity for him. Hindi lang ako ang kukumbinsihin niya (I'm not the only one he needs to convince). I'm just a representative of the people. If people at large will be convinced, automatically, I will be convinced, too," he said.
If Binay doesn't attend, Trillanes said the Blue Ribbon mother committee will adjourn to make way for its subcommittee to continue its probe.
The senator said they will reveal "new information in relation to the corrupt activities" of Binay, specifically the supposed overpriced construction of the Makati Science High School Building.
Senate Blue Ribbon committee chairman Senator Teofisto Guingona III decided to intervene after the Binay camp refused to recognize the jurisdiction of the subcommittee, and suggested that the Vice President may attend the hearing if the the mother committee invites him. – Rappler.com