By: Elena Grace Flores
Binay Latest News features: “A replay of the demolition telenovela” by the Liberal Party against former Vice President Jejomar Binay. It was Binay’s spokesperson described the explosive testimony in the Senate of a confessed hit man about President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged links to the Davao Death Squad (DDS).
President Duterte Era
[VIDEO]: Senator Trillanes interrupts Senator Alan Peter Cayetano’s cross-examination with De Lima’s witness, Edgar Matobato. He testifies that Duterte ordered the killings.
Liberal Party playbook
“Thursday’s hearing (was) a page from the Liberal Party playbook,” Binay spokesperson Joey Salgado says in a statement on Friday. He adds that the Senate investigation was conducted “in aid of demolition, not legislation. It is where every rumor, half-truth, and hearsay was broadcast or published. Every accusation accepted and presented as truth. It is also complete with dramatic pauses and gestures by some senators” especially Trillanes as per video
President under Fire in this Binay Latest News
Said Salgado continues: “Once again, a political personality no less than the President himself is declared guilty even before the start of the hearing.”
He adds: “Once again, senators are lawyering for a witness. The public is treated to a barrage of shocking but unsubstantiated statements. Where else but on live radio and television,” he adds.
This Latest Binay News is not new: Confessed DDS hit man Edgar Matobato claimed during the Senate hearing that Mr. Duterte, when he was still mayor of Davao City, ordered him and other members of the death squad to kill criminals. This was allegedly the same order for opponents in gangland-style assaults that left about 1,000 people dead.
Salgado said the nationally televised hearing was reminiscent of the Senate investigations of the Binay family’s alleged hidden wealth. Widely painting corruption allegations during Binay’s term as mayor of Makati City.
Office of the Ombudsman’s Actions
The Office of the Ombudsman later filed charges of graft, falsification of documents and violation of the Government Procurement Act against the former Vice President in connection with the overpriced parking building constructed when he was mayor of Makati.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales also ordered the dismissal of suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay over the controversial parking building and barred him from serving in any government position.
“No family should go through the harrowing experience of the Binay family at the hands of Senate inquisitors. But no less than President Duterte and his family have been pilloried on live television by senators with patently political motives. And this looks like just a warm-up,” Salgado said of the Senate hearing led by former Justice Secretary and now Sen. Leila de Lima, a Liberal Party member.
Salgado reiterated Binay’s position that the Senate “does not have the competence or the authority to determine criminal liability. Only the courts can determine guilt or innocence, not the Senate, and especially not senators with political motives.”
Binay’s spokesperson also said he was amused by the unintentionally comic interaction at the hearing between Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano, who used to be allies during the Senate hearings on the Binays’ hidden wealth.
Cayetano’s Flaws and Trillanes’ old strategy
“Cayetano’s conversion into a born-again advocate of due process and the rule of law is hilarious, considering that he lawyered for the accusers of VP Binay during the blue ribbon subcommittee hearings,” Salgado said.
He, however, gave credit to Trillanes for his consistency.
“At least, Trillanes was true to form as the session hall bully, this time intimidating his erstwhile BFF. These two deserve each other,”