Vice President Binay side: Wrap up, let Ombudsman investigate the case

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MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay have agreed with Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Friday, November 7th, as they said that the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee should conclude 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 Governor Jonvic Remulla, Binay’s spokesperson.

On Thursday, November 6, Senator Santiago stated that the subcommittee of Senate blue ribbon has gathered enough evidence against the VP Binay, and that it could already polish off its inquiry and turn over the the gathered evidences to the anti-graft body of the Philippine government.

“They can close its hearing and endorse the matter to the Office of the Ombudsman. Marami na ang ebidensya. Dapat ibigay na doon [There’s enough evidence. It should be given to the right authority];” Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, whose a former regional trial court judge.

Amongst the pieces of evidence cited by Senator Santiago were the interview conducted by the investigative journalist Raissa Robles on Binay regarding the Batangas property, widely known as Hacienda Binay; the Instagram posts by Binay’s youngest daughter; as well as the one-page document submitted by businessman Antonio Tiu supposedly to prove his ownership of the now controversial Batangas agri-property. The vice president has been accused of owning a 350-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas, as well as a log cabin in Tagaytay Highlands, which were supposedly not declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).

The Senate blue ribbon subcommittee is chaired by Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, however, VP Jejomar Binay has refused to attend the Senate proceedings.

For starters, Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay had been accused of involvement in the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II, and has reportedly been receiving kickbacks for every transaction the Makati local government that has been entered into during his term as city mayor.

Plunder and graft complaints have been filed against the vice president, his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and other former and incumbent Makati officials onto the Ombudsman. However, the Binays and his camp have repeatedly denied the aforementioned accusations, stating that 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 land properties in Rosario, Batangas and in Tagaytay, which were not declared in his SALN. — The Centrio Times

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