MANILA (Mabuhay) – The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday insisted that the recommendation to indict him, his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and other local officials in connection with the alleged overpricing of the construction of a parking building in 2007 has no basis.
An earlier report said the Office of the Ombudsman’s special panel found probable cause to indict the Vice President and other co-accused in the graft complaints stemming from the alleged overpriced Makati building.
In a statement on Saturday, lawyer Rico Quicho, vice presidential spokesperson for political concerns, said VP Binay remains firm that the complaints filed against the VP, his son, and other Makati City Hall officials “have no basis in fact and in law.”
“There is absolutely no evidence to show any criminal liability on the part of the Vice President and the other respondents,” he added.
Quicho said there may be an “unscrupulous group” behind the allegations to “condition the minds of the public that the Vice President is guilty of a wrongdoing by mere perception without the benefit of a fair and impartial appreciation of the parties’ respective position.”
A special panel of investigators from the Office of the Ombudsman reportedly found probable cause to indict VP Binay and other respondents in the case stemming from the alleged overpricing of the P2.2-billion Makati parking building.
“There is probable cause to indict the Vice President, his son and other respondents for the crimes and offenses charged in the complaint filed on March 5, 2015,” a report on Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted the panel’s findings as saying.
The report also said the Vice President, then-Makati mayor, had committed 14 offenses for his participation in the overpriced construction.
But Ombudsman’s spokesperson Atty. Rawnsle Lopez said that the PDI report was based on unofficial information.
“The resolution that appeared in the PDI report was unofficial,” said Rawnsle in a text message.
But Quicho slammed the supposed recommendation of the special panel, saying the Vice President fears the Ombudsman may be biased against the Binays, as evident in its issuance of a preventive suspension order against his son, incumbent Makati Mayor Junjun Binay.
“It is incumbent upon the Office of the Ombudsman to be insulated from politics and not to allow interested groups to use it for political persecution and witch hunt, which the Senate is presently employing for the benefit of partymates sorely lagging behind the presidential surveys,” he said.
“It cannot be denied that the timing of the Ombudsman’s action is geared to discredit the Vice President during this time when the survey firms are about to start with its fieldwork,” he added. (MNS)