Binay mulls filing criminal charges vs critics

The Philippine Star

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday warned critics he would pursue criminal charges against them.

“I will sue them. I will not accept the lies they are peddling against me,” Binay said in Filipino in a press conference here.

Binay, however, refused to name those who would be facing his wrath.

He said he has been accused of graft and corruption before the Office of the Ombudsman even when he was the mayor of Makati City.

“These accusations against me are all lies. There is nothing new, even when I was the mayor of Makati, sacks full of accusations were hurled against me and I was not even suspended, even once,” Binay said.

Binay said his family had been hurting from the accusations.

“I am a hypocrite if I wouldn’t admit that I am hurting. But one thing good about this controversy, my family remains solid,” he said.

Binay denied the recent allegations of former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado before the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee.

Mercado alleged Binay owns a condominium unit in Makati using Ariel Olivar as a dummy.

Binay said Mercado was getting desperate in his allegations.

Binay said he is confident that despite his critics “crucifying” him, it would not stop him from pursuing his presidential ambition in 2016.

Binay added he has been explaining to the Filipino people his side about the ongoing Senate hearings and sees no need to attend them. 

His wife, former Makati mayor Elenita Binay, however, is facing graft and malversation charges before the Sandiganbayan.

The anti-graft court yesterday decided to postpone the arraignment of Mrs. Binay and other respondents in the case until all pending motions and petitions yet to be filed are resolved.

The Vice President arrived here last Tuesday and visited residents in Barangay Tisa and had a boodle fight while attending the barangay assembly in Lapu Lapu City.

Binay also went to the towns of Tabogon, Medellin, San Remegio, Daanbantayan and Bogo City, which were some of the areas affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Binay said the government has bidded out the construction of 200 housing units for the families displaced by Yolanda in Tabuelan, Cebu last year.

“On the basis of our studies, there were 200 houses here totally wrecked by Yolanda. So I gave an update. The 200 houses were bidded out yesterday,” he told Cebu-based journalists after his meeting with local officials.

Binay is concurrently chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and head of the Yolanda Resettlement Cluster.

Binay said the HUDCC is drafting the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Administrative Order (AO) 44 signed by President Aquino last Oct. 30.

AO 44 intends to fast-track the issuance of permits and clearances for housing and resettlement projects for areas affected by Yolanda.

“There is an AO 44 to hasten the process. So this is one of the things that we will discuss tomorrow with the agencies concerned,” Binay said, noting many of the affected areas have no alienable and disposable lands.

In other areas, such as Bantayan island, there are problems with the land titles, as well as forest lands and many other inalienable properties.

Binay said Yolanda destroyed 22,423 houses in 16 towns of Cebu, including Tabuelan, 220; Bantayan, 3,520; Bogo City, 1,500; Borbon, 400; Daanbantayan, 4,363; Madridejos, 3,693; and Medellin, 1,200.

The monster storm also ruined 660 houses in Pilar, 275 in Poro, 1,960 in San Francisco, 1,224 in San Remegio, 2,305 in Santa Fe, 491 in Sogod, 184 in Tabogon, 170 in Tuburan, and 258 in Tudela.

Binay also led the turnover of wheelchairs, sphygmomanometers, nebulizers and stethoscopes in Daanbantayan.

 He also met with local officials of Lapu Lapu City, Tabogon, Medellin, Bogo, San Remigio and Asturias to get an update regarding their housing projects and offer the assistance of key shelter agencies. – Mitchelle Palaubsanon/The Freeman, Helen Flores, Michael Punongbayan



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