Binay: Ban cases vs candidates a year before polls
MANILA, Philippines – Facing multiple plunder complaints, Vice President Jejomar Binay proposed a ban on the filing of cases against public officials one year before elections.
The opposition's presidential candidate said investigations and cases are used to threaten and to harass politicians.
“Sa halalan, inaabuso ang pananakot na ihabla sa Ombudsman at iaakyat ang kaso sa Sandiganbayan,” Binay said on Monday, September 28.
(In elections, they are abusing the threat of filing cases before the Ombudsman, and elevating this before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.)
The Vice President made the proposal as he sought the support of the National Unity Party (NUP), the 3rd largest political party composed mostly of former allies of ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
According to NUP's website, the convention had 500 delegates including city and municipal mayors, vice mayors, and councilors. The party also has 30 congressmen and 9 provincial governors.
Binay said that a ban on the filing of cases will remove the fear of politicians that they will be subject to political persecution.
“Ito naman ay hindi storya. Tunay na nangyayari. Maraming tinatakot para sumuporta lang,” he told reporters after the speech. (This is not just a story. This happens in real life. Many are being threatened just to support a certain politician.)
A reporter asked Binay whether the proposal was self-serving. The Vice President is facing possible lawsuits from a Senate, Ombudsman, and Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) investigation into allegations that he got kickbacks from overpriced Makati infrastructure projects.
Binay responded: “Bakit naman? Kasi natatakot, tinatakot eh. Di ba, kailangan ang mga magkakandidato ay hindi tinatakot at magkakandidato kaya magpapatuloy sa magiging miyembro ng NUP.”
(Why would it be self-serving? Because politicians are afraid. They are being threatened. The candidates should not be threatened and continue to campaign as members of NUP.)
Binay cries political persecution against him and his family. He said the ruling Liberal Party (LP) is also threatening friends and politicians against supporting his candidacy.
The Vice President's son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr, was suspended for the allegedly overpriced Makati Science High School.
The Court of Appeals also froze the bank accounts of the Binay patriarch, wife Elenita, and Mayor Binay, and their alleged dummies for supposed illegal activity in relation to the Makati science building, and the Makati parking building.
The AMLC found suspicious activity in their bank transactions but the Binays dismiss the investigation as political harassment.
Binay is the chairman and standard-bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). – Rappler.com
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