MANILA, Philippines – The camp of suspended Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr on Tuesday, June 30, denied reports that Vice President Jejomar Binay threatened police officers who were deployed around the Makati City Hall late Monday, June 29.
In a press conference, Senator Nancy Binay alleged it was her father and the mayor’s supporters who were pushed around and treated roughly when police attempted to stop them from entering city hall Monday evening.
The younger Binay is holing up in his office at the city hall, in defiance of the second suspension order issued against him by the Ombudsman over plunder charges in connection with the alleged overpriced Makati Science High School building.
On Monday, the elder Binay confronted police officers who had set up barricades around the city hall grounds, ordering Senior Superintendent Elmer Jamias to remove the barricades and allow their supporters to enter the building.
In an interview with radio dzMM, Jamias also claimed Binay’s security detail assaulted his officers.
Several members of the Southern Police District may file a case against the Vice President over the incident, Jamias added.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Interior secretary Manuel Roxas II said at least two police officers were hurt in the scuffle, including a female officer who said she sustained a large bruise on her chest after being struck by one of the security men. (READ: Roxas to Junjun Binay: ‘Makati is not your kingdom’)
Roxas added that the Philippine National Police will be sending formal requests to news networks for copies of video footage on the alleged confrontation. He also congratulated the police officers at the site for their “professionalism” and for following orders to exercise “maximum tolerance and absolute restraint.”
But Binay’s camp denied the reports, recounting how their supporters and city hall employees were hurt by police during another scuffle Tuesday morning.
Tension again broke out at the city hall grounds after Binay’s supporters threw chairs and bottled water at the police and officials of the interior department, who had arrived to post the suspension order against the mayor.
In a press conference, a female city hall employee narrated how she was pushed around during the scuffle at the city hall.
“I was pushed around. I shouted, ‘Stop, I’m hurt, I’m a woman,'” the employee said.
Mayor Binay questioned why the police are not being investigated for allegedly roughing up their supporters. He also called on the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) to look into the incident.
“Bakit hindi iimbistigahan ‘yung mga pulis na nananakit?” he asked. “Bakit hindi nagsasalita ang CHR? Tama ba na hinaharangan ng mga pulis ang mga tao na magtipon?“
(Why isn’t there an investigation on the policemen who hurt [our supporters]? Why isn’t the CHR saying anything? Is it right for the police to stand in the way of people who want to gather?)
The mayor, who has already contested the Ombudsman’s order with the Court of Appeals, has said he will not leave his position as he criticized what he called “selective justice.”
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Romulo Peña has been sworn in as acting mayor. – Rappler.com