Binay camp: Ombudsman is LP ‘propaganda machine’

Mara Cepeda
Binay camp: Ombudsman is LP ‘propaganda machine’
UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan says Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales is out to derail the candidacies of Vice President Jejomar Binay and his allies

MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday, April 6, accused the Office of the Ombudsman of allegedly harassing the political allies of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer.

UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan alleged that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has become “overzealous” in damaging the reputation of the following Binay supporters: former Special Action Force commander Getulio Napeñas Jr, Cebu Third District Representative Gwendolyn Garcia, and former Laguna governor ER Ejercito. 

Ilagan issued the statement a day after the Ombudsman announced it will file usurpation of authority and graft charges before the anti-graft Sandiganbayan against Napeñas and sacked Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima over the bloody Mamasapano clash in 2015.  

On the same day, the Ombudsman also filed 11 charges of graft against former cebu governor Garcia, and 11 other ex-Cebu provincial officials before the anti-graft court over the alleged anomalous procurement process behind the Cebu International Convention Center in 2006.

Ilagan also cited the Ombudsman’s March 31 resolution affirming an earlier decision finding probable cause to charge Ejercito and 7 others with graft for an insurance agreement the Pagsanjan municipal government in Laguna entered into 8 years ago without public budding.  Ejercito was Pagsanjan mayor at the time.

The 3 UNA allies are all running for positions in the May polls: Napeñas for senator, Garcia for Cebu representative, and Ejercito for Laguna governor.

“Look at the timing of these cases being filed. Halos isang dekada nila inupuan, tapos biglang bubuhayin (They sat on these for almost a decade then they will revive them)?” said Ilagan.

“It’s quite sad that the Office of the Ombudsman allows itself to be used as a tool by the administration to harass the political opposition. It has also become a willing accomplice to the administration party’s propaganda machine,” he added.

He is echoing the opposition party’s longstanding accusation that several government agencies are allegedly colluding with the ruling Liberal Party (LP) to damage the reputation of Binay and his allies.

Morales, meanwhile, said she has received a “threat to her person” from the camp of Binay, who faces multiple corruption allegations and has now lost his frontrunner status in the latest election surveys.  She has strongly denied allegations of selective justice. (READ: ‘Impeach me,’ Ombudsman dares critics)

The Vice President’s camp has denied Morales’ claims. 

How about LP allies?

Ilagan hit the Ombudsman for going after opposition bets and while ignoring cases that could be filed against LP allies. 

Sa ginagawa ngayon ni Ombudsman Carpio Morales sa mga kasamahan at kaalyado namin sa UNA, malinaw na nakikialam na rin sya sa eleksyon sa pamamagitan ng pagsasampa ng kaliwa’t kanang mga kaso—pero ang nakakapagtaka eh ayaw niyang galawin ang mga kakampi ng Liberal Party,” said the UNA spokesperson.

(The actions of Ombudsman Carpio Morales against UNA allies clearly show that she is involving herself in the elections by filing cases left and right. But what’s puzzling is why she isn’t doing the same against supporters of the Liberal Party.)

According to Ilagan, the Ombudsman is yet to file cases against LP stalwarts who were involved in the Disbursement Acceleration Program like Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, the subject of a plunder complaint filed by youth groups.

The Supreme Court had declared two executive actions under the DAP as unconstitutional.

“[We already know] we can never expect any fairness and impartiality from this administration. Despite the harassment on the ground and in the courts, we remain committed and dedicated in getting our message on poverty through. Our focus is to help the poor and address the issue of poverty decisively,” he said.

Napeñas was indicted along with Purisima, a close long-time friend of President Benigno Aquino III. (READ: Charges set vs Purisima, Napeñas over Mamasapano)

The Ombudsman has also charged former customs chief Rufino Rozzano “Ruffy” Biazon, an administration ally, in connection with the pork barrel scam, along with former Bukidnon representative Nereus Acosta, Aquino’s environment adviser. Acosta was found guilty of one count of graft in March. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

author

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.