MANILA, Philippines—With his son Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. facing possible arrest by the Senate for refusing to appear in its inquiry, a defiant Vice President Jejomar Binay said they are ready to face the consequences head-on.
Speaking in a radio interview in Isabela province, Binay reminded everyone they have already answered all the allegations of corruption against them, yet they are still being hounded by the Senate.
“To make things worse, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has already pre-judged us with their line of questioning,” he said.
“Those invited to inquiries are resource persons, yet they are treating us as if we were accused criminals undergoing a trial,” he added.
The Binays are being accused of receiving millions of pesos in kickbacks from Makati City’s various infrastructure projects.
The charges stemmed from a series of revelations by ex-Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado who said the Binays overpriced the Makati City Hall Building II and secretly owned real estate including the 350-ha farm in Batangas. He also admitted to being the family’s “bagman” who delivered bags of cash to him and his children.
In his latest disclosure, Mercado said the Vice President took P200 million as part of a deal between the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and Alphaland Corp. for developing a 1-ha BSP property in Makati.
Mayor Binay has only appeared once before the inquiry and has since refused to answer several subpoenas sent by the Senate, prompting subcommittee chairman Senator Aquilino Pimentel III to issue a recommendation citing him in contempt.
Senator Teofisto Guingona III, Blue Ribbon Committee chairman, has already issued a final call for Binay as well as six other personalities of interest to appear in the Senate.
Guingona said if Binay does not heed the call, he will be arrested and cited for contempt.