SEN. Grace Poe on Tuesday said Vice President Jejomar Binay should explain the allegations against him and not the senators who signed the Blue Ribbon sub-committee report recommending the filing of plunder against him and his associates in connection with the overpriced Makati City hall II parking building.
Poe made the statement shortly after Sen. Nancy Binay dared the 10 senators to admit their personal motives in signing the report.
Binay said it was likely that some of the senators signed the report thinking that it would boost their chances in the next political survey.
“My colleagues have their own reasons for signing and I respect that. But I wish those who signed it thinking it would boost their plans to run for president or vice president will be candid enough to admit their personal motives,” Binay said.
Those who signed the report were Senators Grace Poe, Francis Escudero, Miriam Santiago, Sergio Osmeña 3rd, Pia Cayetano, Alan Peter Cayetano, Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th, Antonio Trillanes 4th, Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, and Teofisto Guingona 3rd, chairperson of the committee.
Binay said some of the signatories may only be after media exposure.
She insisted that the 46-committee report drafted by Pimentel contains inadmissible evidence and a recommendation that was based exclusively on the malicious statements of defeated local politicians.
But Poe said senators need not explain why they signed the report.
“He (Vice President) owes us his explanation and shed light to the accusations against him,” she said.
Escudero said it is not right for the vice president to site politics as the reason behind the allegations hurled against him.
“We have a job to do and that is all that, nothing less, nothing more,” he stressed.
Poe and Escudero were originally part of the senatorial lineup of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in 2013 but were dropped by Binay for their failure to join the campaign sorties.
UNA also on Tuesday said Poe cannot run for president because she has been in the Philippines for less than 10 years.
UNA’s Interim President Tobias Tiangco cited Article 7, Section 2 of the Constitution which provides that candidates for president and vice president should have resided in the Philippines for 10 years. Based on Poe’s certificate of candidacy (COC) filed for the 2013 Senate elections, Tiangco said she has only resided in the country for six years and six months—meaning she would have only been a resident of the country for nine years and six months which is short of the 10-year requirement.
“She claims to be honest. Bakit hindi siya nagiging tapat na ‘di siya kwalipikado sa 2016? (Why is it that she refuses to come clean that she is not qualified to run in 2016?),” Tiangco said.
“She has been raising the issue of honesty [on Vice President Binay]. Now, we are raising the same issue on her. Why is she not being honest about this?” he added.
The UNA leader was referring to Poe’s previous statements that she can’t coalesce with Binay’s UNA because the Vice President has not been transparent in dealing with corruption allegations against him.
Tiangco also denied that UNA wanted to recruit Poe as Binay’s runningmate in 2016.