The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday dared pro-administration Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th to answer categorically whether he bullied and cursed a representative of the contractor of the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.
Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, Binay’s spokesman for political concerns, hurled the challenge after Trillanes, instead of answering the allegations of bullying, employed diversionary tactics and accused Binay of connivance with Hillmarcs Construction.
Trillanes, according to Remulla, should be straightforward in answering the statement made by Binay that the senator had cursed and bullied the representative of Hillmarcs Construction during Tuesday’s Senate hearing.
“Applying his way of questioning resource persons, then the good senator should just give a categorical answer. Did he or did he not bully and curse the representative of Hillmarcs?” he said.
“Simpleng tanong, simpleng sagot lang ang hinahanap ng taumbayan [Simple question, simple answer is what the people are looking for],” Remulla added.
He said it was disappointing that Trillanes, a plotter of a failed coup during the Arroyo administration, is now asking the Vice President to show proof that the bullying and cursing happened, and even raised the issue of connivance.
“When it’s the Vice President making statements, Senator Trillanes says, ‘Show proof first.’ But when it’s their local political allies who are the Vice President’s detractors making baseless and malicious remarks in a Senate hearing, he does not demand proof and in fact coaches and guides them in their answers. This is a clear case of double standard,” Remulla added.
This was also evident, he said, when his former party-mate at the Nacionalista Party, failed to ask former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado how much he received as kickbacks for the project.
Mercado had admitted during the hearing that he got kickbacks from the project during his term as vice mayor.
“I am glad that the senator, in an interview, said the hearing is not a court trial and that there are proper venues for airing evidence. This has been the Vice President’s position from the start. The way the hearing is being conducted and the demeanor and statements of Senators Trillanes and Alan Peter Cayetano are those of a prosecutor not an impartial legislator crafting laws,” Remulla said.
“There is clear double standard when you allow a person like the former vice mayor to get away with a tacit admission of violating the laws without so much as an admonition from Senator Trillanes. In contrast, auditors and specialists from the COA (Commission on Audit), the contractor and Makati officials including Mayor Jejomar Erwin) “Junjun” Binay are bullied,” he added.
Remulla also cited the case of lawyer Renato Bondal, who admitted that his claim that the birthday cakes being given to Makati City’s senior citizens supposedly costing P1,000 each was just a “guess.”
“Why didn’t Senator Trillanes admonish this person, or charge him with perjury for lying under oath? These persons are flouting the law in front of the senators yet they are being treated with kid gloves,” he said.