Binay: Senate hearing on killings replay of ‘demolition telenovela’
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - September 17, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Looks and sounds familiar.

Former vice president Jejomar Binay saw last Thursday’s Senate hearing on the spate of extrajudicial killings as a “replay of the demolition telenovela” against him.

In a statement yesterday, Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado said some senators accepted as truth every accusation presented – complete with dramatic pauses and gestures – every rumor, half-truth, and hearsay broadcast or published. 

“Once again, a so-called investigation is being conducted in aid of demolition, not legislation,” he said.

“Once again, a political personality – this time no less than the President himself – has been declared guilty even before the start of the hearing. Once again, senators are lawyering for a witness, and the public is treated to a barrage of shocking but unsubstantiated statements on live radio and television.” Salgado said 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,” he said. “And this looks like a warm up only.”

Salgado was referring to the testimony of confessed hit man and vigilante Edgar Matobato during the joint hearing of Senate committees of justice and human rights, and public order on the alleged extrajudicial killings.

Matobato accused President Duterte of ordering the killing of criminals and enemies when he was mayor of Davao City.

Salgado said 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,” he said.

Salgado said last Thursday’s Senate hearing was a page from the Liberal Party playbook, with only a minor casting.  

“It’s now De Lima and (Senator Antonio) Trillanes as BFFs (best friends forever), with Sen. (Alan Peter) Cayetano as the spurned ex-friend,” he said.

“Having said that, we cannot help but be amused by the antics of Senators Trillanes and Cayetano.

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