• UNA exec questions timing of BSP probe

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    “Why only now?”

    A ranking official of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) questioned on Thursday the timing of the Senate investigation into former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado’s allegation of anomalies in the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), saying it was nothing but “a product of an afterthought.”

    “[Former vice mayor] Mercado is talking nonsense. The alleged BSP anomaly is a very old issue. Why is he trying to recycle an old non-issue? If he is telling the truth, why didn’t he expose it before?” UNA interim secretary general JV Bautista said.

    The UNA official asserted that the senators conducting the investigation were just after media mileage.

    “Ang gusto lang naman ng mga senador na ‘to ay makita ng media, ma-cover ng press. Alam n’yo, tanggalin natin ang mga camera riyan, tanggalin natin ang media, hihinto ‘yan. Ora-orada, hihinto ‘yan. ‘Yun lang ang gusto nila. They want media attention,” he added.

    The vice president’s camp will continue to explain to the public the truth behind the allegations being hurled against the Binay family, Bautista said.

    “We’ll just have to be patient in explaining to the people what really happened here,” he said.

    Bautista criticized Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, calling him a hypocrite for not allowing the vice president’s representatives to enter the Senate session hall where the hearing was being held.

    “That was an insult. Not all the people sitting there are resource persons. I know some of them. Some are guests. Some are plain observers. I am a member of Congress, but they won’t let me in,” he said.

    “We come from the Office of the Vice President. I am a high official of the United Nationalist Alliance party, [which is]identified with [Vice President Jejomar] Binay. Cayetano has been saying that the Binay camp can attend the hearings, they are welcome. But when Congressman [Toby] Tiangco and I tried to enter, they blocked our way and led us out. These senators are hypocrites. They will only ask questions from people they think they can bully,” he added.

    The UNA official said he will continue to attend the hearings and to monitor the proceedings despite the refusal of the senators to allow them entry.

    “We will be here [in the Senate]. We will be patiently watching them.

    Since we’re lawyers, we understand the legalities of all these things that are happening. And we’ll question them later on,” he said.

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