Binay fears being treated like a criminal
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2014 - 1:05pm

MANILA, Philippines - Senators' treatment of witnesses and his allies prompted Vice President Jejomar Binay to skip the Senate hearing on Thursday.

In his letter to Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Binay said he initially wanted to accept the invitation to the hearing set today.

But Binay changed his mind after Senators Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV sent his representatives out of the session hall in the hearing last week.

Binay was referring to Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco and lawyer JV Bautista,  members of his United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) who gatecrashed the recent hearing. The Vice President claimed that he authorized the two to speak on his behalf.

"Kung ang aking mga awtorisadong kinatawan ay trinatong parang mga kriminal, wala akong makitang katiyakan na ako ay bibigyan ng pagkakataon na magpahayag nang malaya, kikilanin ang aking karapatan o tatratuhin ng may paggalang," Binay said in his letter, which was read by Bautista in a televised press conference at the Senate.

"Ang inasal nina Sen. Cayetano at Trillanes noong Oktubre 30 at sa mga nakaraang pagdinig ay patunay na hindi sila handang makinig sa anumang paliwanag na sumasalungat sa kanilang konlusyon na ako ay nagkasala na," he added.

Binay also admonished the senators for not giving some witnesses the proper treatment fitting for resource persons.

"Sila ay inimbitahan upang makatulong gumawa ng magagandang batas ayon sa nilalaman ng resolusyon. Ngunit sila ay trinatong parang mga kriminal," Binay said.

"Ito ay ipinapakita nila sa kanilang patuloy na panghahamak, pangmamaliit, pambabara at pananakot sa mga ordinaryong mamamayan na ang mga testimonya ay knotra sa kanilang konklusyon," he also said.

Binay believes that attending the probe will set a bad precedent, where the Vice President, the second highest official of the land, can be summoned to a hearing by some senators.

"Sa mga kadahilanang ito, nagdesisyon ako na huwag dumalo sa pagdinig ng Senado ngayong Nobyembre 6," he said.

Guingona, who invited Binay to the hearing, was disappointed with Binay's absence despite the Blue Ribbon Committee's assurance that he will be treated with respect and fairness.

The Blue Ribbon Committee voted not to allow Binay's representatives to read his statement and affidavit during the hearing. The documents, however, could still be submitted to the Senate records, according to Guingona.

Binay said the affidavit would disprove the allegations that he profited from various projects in Makati and that he concealed his alleged ill-gotten wealth by using dummies.

BAUTISTA BINAY BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE BUT BINAY GUINGONA HEARING NAVOTAS CITY REP SENATE BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE VICE PRESIDENT
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