Makati Mayor Junjun Binay arrested
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – After snubbing 3 Senate hearings on alleged anomalous contracts in his city, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr was arrested after being cited for contempt by the Senate blue ribbon committee.
On Thursday, January 29, Senate sergeant-at-arms Jose Balajadia Jr enforced the detainment order against the son of Vice President Jejomar Binay at the Makati City Hall at past 9 am.
The mayor's convoy left for the Senate at around 10:15 am, where the chamber was holding another hearing on the alleged corruption involving Makati city officials.
As early as 6:30 am, the mayor's supporters started crowding the area outside the city hall.
Before proceeding to his office, Binay visited the remains of his late wife, accompanied by his children. They also attended an 8:30 am mass held inside the city hall in support of the mayor.
In an interview with reporters before heading to the Senate, Binay reiterated that he will not face the Senate despite the detainment order.
"Mali po ang nangyayari doon kaya matatag po tayo [na] sabihin nang paulit-ulit na hindi na tayo haharap diyan," he said.
A day earlier, after more than an hour of debate, the Senate rules committee upheld the decision of the blue ribbon committee last Monday to cite Binay and 5 others in contempt, and ordered them detained.
The blue ribbon committee is leading the probe into allegations city officials, including the mayor and his father, were involved in various illegal activities.
Committee chair Teofisto Guingona III signed the detention orders Monday afternoon, January 26, but it later deferred the service of the orders after acting Minority Leader Vicente Sotto III questioned the committee's procedures in issuing the orders.
Mayor Binay earlier said he was ready to be detained, even as he criticized what he called biased and unfair proceedings against his family.
Aside from Binay, the following were also cited in contempt:
- Makati City Administrator Eleno Mendoza
- Makati Assistant City Engineer Line Dela Peña
- Former Makati City Administrator Marjorie De Veyra
- Eduviges "Ebeng" Baloloy, Vice President Binay's aide and alleged bagman
- Bernadette Portollano.
The mayor and his father, who used to be Makati mayor for two decades, face plunder raps for alleged overpricing of a city building, the issue that triggered the probe last August 2014.
The Senate inquiry has since dug up other supposed anomalies, including allegations of rigged bids, a vast estate allegedly owned by the Binays, and kickbacks the Vice President allegedly received when he was city mayor.
Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said the Thursday hearing will again focus on the alleged overpriced buildings, and senators will ask Mayor Binay to explain.
The Binays have dismissed the Senate probe as their political rivals' ploy to derail the elder Binay's 2016 presidential bid. – Rappler.com