MANILA, Nov 7 (Mabuhay) – Agreeing with Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday said the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee should wrap up its investigation and turn over the evidence it gathered during the hearings on the Makati City Hall Building II to the Ombudsman.
“The Senate has better use of its time than to just merely investigate in aid of demolition. Let the Ombudsman take jurisdiction and let the Senate help move the country forward,” Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, Binay’s spokesperson for political concerns, said.
On Thursday, Santiago said the subcommittee has gathered enough evidence against the Vice President, and that it could already wrap up its inquiry and turn over the matter to the anti-graft body.
“[The subcommittee] can close its hearing and endorse the matter to the Office of the Ombudsman. Marami na ang ebidensya. Dapat ibigay na doon,” said Santiago, a former regional trial court judge.
Among the pieces of evidence cited by Santiago were the interview conducted by journalist Raissa Robles on Binay regarding the Batangas property, the Instagram posts by Binay’s youngest daughter, as well as the one-page document submitted by businessman Antonio Tiu supposedly to prove ownership of the now controversial Batangas property.
The Senate subcommittee is charied by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III. The Vice President, however, has refused to attend the Senate proceedings.
Binay had been accused of involvement in the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II, bid rigging, and receiving kickbacks for every transaction the Makati government entered into during his term as mayor.
Plunder and graft complaints have been filed against him, his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and other former and incumbent Makati officials before the Ombudsman regarding the matter.
The elder Binay has also been accused of owning a 350-hectare land in Rosario, Batangas and a log cabin in Tagaytay Highlands, which were supposedly not declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.
The Vice President and his camp have repeatedly denied the accusations, saying the transactions entered by the Makati government were aboveboard and have passed the audit of the Commission on Audit. They also denied that Binay owns the properties.
The Vice President has repeatedly denied allegations against him, claiming his critics who have testified before the Senate subcommittee have not presented evidence that would stand in court. He described the allegations as part of a demolition job against him in connection with the 2016 elections. (MNS)