The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday challenged Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th to face the charges filed against him in court.
In a statement, Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman on political affairs, dared the senator to answer the charges against him instead of casting doubt on the integrity of the courts.
He said the senator showed his “aversion to fairness and impartiality” when he asked the court administrator to transfer the hearing of the civil suit filed by the Vice President to another venue.
“Senator Trillanes’ request to move the venue of the hearing showcases his lack of respect for the independence and integrity of the courts,” Quicho said.
Binay filed the suit before the Makati City Regional Trial Court.
“Again, ours is a country of laws and not of Senator Trillanes. Allegations, just like sincerity, is subject to proof. Anything less, which Senator Trillanes implies, is tyranny and opportunism [of the]highest order,” Quicho said.
“The people and institutions maligned by Senator Trillanes must have their day in court with a fair and impartial proceeding,” he added.
In a two-page letter addressed to Supreme Court administrator Jose Midas Marquez, Trillanes asked the High Court on Monday to move the venue of the hearing from the sala of Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 133 Presiding Judge Elpidio Calis “to any of the courts in Metro Manila.”
The senator believed that hearing the trial in Makati City, where Binay was mayor for two decades and where his son, Jejomar Erwin, is the current city executive, “can endanger the lives of the defendants in the case.”
“Trillanes appears to believe that the support of the Makati constituents can be a possible source of danger for him, the 13 other respondents, and even witnesses that may be called to testify. If that is not paranoia, I don’t know what is,” he added.
Quicho noted that this is the second time that Trillanes questioned the integrity of the courts yet the senator has not provided any evidence to prove his allegations.
More than a month ago, Trillanes said in a television interview that members of the Court of Appeals were bribed to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the enforcement of the Ombudsman’s suspension order against Mayor Binay.
Binay filed a P200-million civil suit for damages against Tillanes, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Rep. Edgar Erice, Amando Tetangco Jr., Emmanuel Dooc, Teresita Herbosa, Julia Abad, former Makati officials–Ernesto Mercado, Mario Hechanova, Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso 6th–and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The Vice President said the 13 respondents violated Articles 19, 20 and 21 (human relations), 32 (constitutional rights), and 2176 of the Civil Code “when they repeatedly spread allegations of plunder graft and corruption and other illegal activities against him based on unverified and even fabricated sources, and despite the fact these have not been proven in court.”
The Vice President also said the respondents were guilty of libel, violating Article 33 of the Civil Code in relation to Articles 353, 355 and 358 of the Revised Penal Code.