Malacañang denies hand in Binay suspension
MANILA, Philippines – Did Malacañang have anything to do with the Ombudsman's suspension of Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr?
Not at all, said the Palace.
On Thursday, March 12, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr reitereated that putting the Makati mayor on preventive suspension is part of the standard procedures of the independent constitutional body.
“The administration has no participation or involvement in the actions of the Office of the Ombudsman,” he said.
Coloma also said it was up to Binay – who refuses to step down, saying the decision has no basis – whether to follow the suspension order.
“That is up to him. He is after all an elected public official who is fulfilling his duty according to his views,” he said. “All our public officials are accountable to the people and, of course, our government will stand by the fact that all public officials – whether elected or appointed – should make themselves accountable to the law and to our people.”
Asked whether the suspension would affect the relationship of Aquino and the younger Binay’s father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, Coloma did not give a categorical answer. He only emphasized “the government has no involvement in this.”
The older Binay plans to run for president in 2016 when Aquino leaves his post.
Mayor Binay and a few other city officials have been preventively suspended for 6 months without pay while preliminary investigation into one of the contracts for the allegedly overpriced Makati City building is being conducted.
Binay has slammed the moves against him as political persecution, because of his father’s upcoming presidential bid. It is widely believed the President will endorse not Binay, but Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
On Wednesday afternoon, March 11, Binay said he would continue discharging his duties as mayor until the Court of Appeals has decided on the petition for certiorari that he filed asking for a temporary restraining order against the Ombudsman's decision. – Rappler.com