VP Binay must face the music

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VICE President Jejomar Binay must now man up and answer point-by-point all the charges being leveled against him.

After stopping his men from testifying before a subcommittee of the Senate blue ribbon committee, he could no longer argue that the Senate probe that resulted in a recommendation to file plunder charges against him was one-sided. Neither would full credence be given to his frequent contention that all of the charges are politically motivated. Further, he shouldn’t use his showing in surveys as justification to stonewall the issues.

The sub-committee report was officially adopted as a full report of the Senate blue ribbon committee after it was signed by 10 out of 17 members of the mother committee. The recommendation was based on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2 by up to P1.3 billion while Binay was still the city mayor.

Sure, Binay, his son and namesake who succeeded him as Makati City mayor, and his political leaders all denied the alleged overpricing but mere denial wouldn’t wash – not after their claims of “world-class and green building” were torn to shreds by the physical evidence. It’s neither world class nor green, so the Binay camp will have to look for other justification in paying the contractor way above the standard cost of P35,000 per square meter for such kind of building construction as testified by technical experts.


Binay’s political spokesman, Rico Quicho, Binay’s political spokesman, said in a statement that the “supposed” findings and recommendations of the “hostile and highly partisan investigation” conducted by the sub-committee were conveniently based on “hasty conclusions, inadmissible evidence and malicious narrative of defeated local politicians.”

The denials would have carried more weight if they contained detailed explanations of expenses. At a previous subcommittee hearing, a Makati official said the P350 million spent for the transfer of one department of the Makati city government to the new city hall cum parking lot was responsible for the added cost. That official was asked to bring records in the next hearing about that expense. Certainly, the Binay camp couldn’t merely shrug off as “malicious” and “hasty” the claim of one senator that the P350 million spent just to transfer one department to a new building was “huge and unheard of.”

The Makati official agreed to bring the records but she never did because that hearing was the last one to be attended by the Binay camp. To this day, Binay’s men had kept quiet about this revelation at the subcommittee hearing.

Campaign contributions
Oh yes, Vice President Binay did itemize his assets and liabilities in a bid to answer questions about the increases in his net worth. I note that Binay had included among his income the P13,541,711 excess contributions he had received in his 2010 campaign for the vice presidency. He said that he spent only P217,938,289 out of the P231,480,000 in total contributions given him in that campaign.

This raises the question: may unspent campaign contributions be considered as income? Or should they be considered donations and therefore subject to a higher tax rate? But more than the rates, the personal ownership of unspent campaign contributions by a candidate raises moral issues. If we are to mature politically, we should put a lid on the misuse of campaign funds.

I believe there should be a law prohibiting candidates from pocketing campaign contributions. This may take some doing to implement as Filipino candidates generally don’t report their actual expenses. Some candidates also run “for the fund of it.” I’ve heard rumors of some senatorial candidates who were even able to buy a new house after the elections! And how about the supposedly serious candidates who withdraw before Election Day? Oh well, as they say, these candidates may have withdrawn but they have also made deposits.

In August 2013, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, son of the famous human rights leader, was sentenced to 30 months in jail for misuse of campaign funds totaling $750,000 from 2005 to 2012 on luxuries, including a Rolex watch. Jackson and his wife admitted that among their purchases were $60,000 at Antiques of Nevada, where Jackson bought two hats belonging to the late singer Michael Jackson costing more than $8,000; a $5,000 football signed by US presidents; and memorabilia involving the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and martial artist Bruce Lee.

The Jacksons also used campaign funds to purchase Blu-Ray DVD players from Best Buy, dresses and jewelry from a small boutique and fur capes and parkas from a Beverly Hills, California, furrier.

We should have a law on campaign contributions like that in the US and then, have a Jackson in Munti.

19espiloy47@gmail.com

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20 Comments

  1. I Remember... on

    If all attacks on Binay and his family were easy to prove, all complaints would be already files with the proper Court and most of the family in jail like GMA.

    It is obvious they have no strong evidences… so those politicians (that are corrupted big time… PDAF, DAP, remember???) can only do a Senate Investigation with dirt campaign!

    So useless… people are dying while those useless crooks are playing games for POWER and CONTROL

  2. This raises the question: may unspent campaign contributions be considered as income? Or should they be considered donations and therefore subject to a higher tax rate? But more than the rates, the personal ownership of unspent campaign contributions by a candidate raises moral issues. If we are to mature politically, we should put a lid on the misuse of campaign funds.

  3. Yes, of course. Binay has been saying that he will answer all the charges against him in the proper forum, meaning the court of law. If plunder accusations will reach the court, Binay have no choice but reply to all the accusations, all of them.

  4. I could have believed all the accusations hurled at VP Binay in this never-ending investigation of the yellow-ribbon sub-committee if only all those involve have no axe to grind against the VP. Unfortunately, that is not the situation.

    • You dont have to believe them you only have to look at them to see they need answering. Then you will see the evidence for yourself & hopefully you are clever enough to work out for yourself if innocent or guilty. Like cj corona, P180,000,000 in a bank account that couldnt be explained. Its simple, evidence will show binays innocence or guilt. Saying im innocent means nothing.

  5. Amnata Pundit on

    Can somebody explain to me why Binay defenders who are also BS Aquino bashers attack BS for his lack of transparency and propensity to hide behind excuses but find it perfectly alright that presidential wanabee Binay refuses to answer the charges against him directly and instead prefers to hide behind the ever convenient “rule of law”? This is one reason why we drive outside observers crazy, this complete disregard for consistency.

    • P.Akialamiro on

      VP Binay has the prerogrative to answer or, to refuse to answer the charges against him directly,

    • Generally speaking, they should have attended the hearings. However, the lack of fairness and respect of the panel members renders any further participation as futile. An easy example is their treatment of the head of PAG-IBIG which dutifully attended the proceedings. The STI group who Trillanes deemed an unworthy partner for nursing courses at UMAK without further justification except that it started and was more well known as an IT school.

    • He may not be answering them because he will incriminate himself, or he has to show evidence & he doesnt have the evidence. Only he knows. In court he will have to produce evidence showing his money is all legal, then we will know if he is innocent or guilty.
      Questions arise why so many joint bank accounts with all these different people, i find that very strange, dont you. If not tell me who you know that has joint bank accounts with so many different people. Maybe with your wife, yes, your child yes, but so many others, hhhhmmmm. Then the ammount of money supposedly passing through the said bank accounts. It all needs explaining.

  6. Atty. Dabs Mamao on

    In my view, if there was a strong case against VP Biinay, the witnesses against him should have initiated an impeachment complaint against him. In the Senate hearing, witnesses against him cannot even be cross-examined by VP or his lawyers. VP Binay is a lawyer and he knows definitely the difficulty of having a fair hearing in a congressional investigation. The President and the Vice President may be removed from office on impeachment. VP Binay may question before the Supreme Court action of the Ombudsman requiring him to answer plunder charges against him if this is the final action of the House of the Senate. Criminal indictment against the President and Vice President may follow after impeachment. Impeachment is a necessary condition for a criminal indictment while in office. Criminal charges can be filed against the President and Vice President even if there is no impeachment but they can only be criminally tried after they left office.This includes investigation by the Ombudsman.

    • The unfairness of the senate panel members were also very evident. The senators themselves gave testimony which they themselves would deem as correct and which resource persons weren’t allowed to challenge.

      If it was in a court, it may be tantamount to the presiding judge testifying and providing evidence for the prosecution.

    • It will very soon be in court then he will have the chance to answerall allegations against him, but never never never just take their word for it. Remember cj corona said ill prove everything in court. Tell me what evidence did he show that the P180,000,000 was legal money. Not a single shred of evidence. Instead we got a 2 hour sermon telling us how thrifty the coronas were, how they worked so hard all their lives, saved hard all their lives, & invested in the dollar all their lives. Words words words, no documents to prove any of those words. & why were there any, because it was stolen money, it was illegal money, they wouldnt show us where it came from because then all would see it was illegal money. Legal money is so easy to prove.

    • You are a lawyer and you should know that your contention is at best very weak. Section 1 Article 7 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution expressly provides that the executive power of the government is vested ONLY in the president.The immunity from suit stems from the nature and scope of this power and the accompanying responsibilities. The VP if appointed by the president to cabinet positions only derives his power from the appointed positions and as such is not essential in running the government. If and when he is indicted and criminally prosecuted, the president can relieve him of his duties and will have the time defending the cases filed against him without prejudice to the affairs of the country. Simply put-the VP is just a spare tire.

  7. jose btaganahan on

    The Binay are the most corrupt political family dynasty in the Philippines today. Diffinitely they surpassed the Marcos” conjugal dictatorship.

  8. In the court of public opinion binay has been found guilty.
    Any innocent man/clan, especially when about ti run for higher offuce, would not be churning out trite, predictable, responses but fighting to clear his name with facts, and if innocent would also put his accusers in a bad light.
    Without a running mate and with plunder charges ready to be filed it would be no surprise if he steps down, keeps his ill gotten gains, and avoids jail.
    Self-preservation is the most important thing to binay.

    • Hector you are spot on & people who are crooks try to use smoke & mirrors, take binays lawyer bautista he is now attacking grace poe, huh whats that all about its to get away from binay, take people mind off him. It wont work we want to see evidence he is innocent, i dont think they have that evidence thats why he wont answer questions, binay is anything but stupid.

  9. done & dusted on

    From the moment these allegations arose against binay he sould have resigned to face them. But in this country its unheard of for a politician to resign. The money they make is what keeps them there. The longer they are there the more they make. I wonder if binay has signed a waiver for his dollar bank accounts to be looked into. & i wonder how many of the politicians have also signed a waiver as i thought after the corona fiasco all politicians had to sign a waiver. Mind it would be much easier to repeal the bank secrecy law.

  10. I agree full circle! Let us now wait for the senators for their final action after the end of the investigations. Remember, the senators said that they are going to do just that:
    craft the necessary/appropriate law or laws governing all matters related to their investigations.

  11. P.Akialamiro on

    What a ‘dream’ to have a law similar to the United States regulating the use of campaign contributions!

    With the membership we have in the Philippine Congress, it is quite impossible to have a member to have thought of, or brave enough to introduce a law curtailing the use of campaign fund contributions. What more, with the many corrupt members, it may not even pass the first reading as it would, surely be, one of “self-destruct”.

    Politics involved or not, VP Binay should clear his name. It is incumbent upon him to show that he is an honest public servant. He is not running for a Barrio Captain; he would like to run for the highest position of the land. For God’s sake, I never want a suspected corrupt and one with a ‘dynasty’ to be my president! By all means he, and all others for that matter, should clear his name.

    Our politicians and political leaders are really “kapalmuks” and “elephant-skinned”. (They are a different breed of people). Despite, criticisms and ‘general iperception’ that they have enriched themselves because of their poliical positions in the government, they still have the audacity to run. These people should have deep inside them,”the honesty” to fhat person they see in the mirror everyday. Yet, they even have the “audacity” to appear prayerful and act like Christians in public, forgetting totally, their mortality.

    All hypocrites of the first kind!

  12. Nancy Bulok Cake on

    If corrupt Binay will not explain his amassed wealth and continually makes a lot of LIES and alibis then the Filipino people will conclude that the Binay family really stole billions of pesos from the Makati government. With or without explanations from the Binay family it is so obvious and already a common knowledge that the Binay family is a family of stealers. Alam na ng buong sangkatauhan ang pagnanakaw ni Binay. Yong pagbisita nga ni Pope Francis ay hindi man lang pinansin ng papa dahil ng humalik si Binay sa singsing ng papa ay gusto pa yatang nakawin ni Binay.