“IF Vice President Jejomar Binay has nothing to hide, he shouldn’t be worried by the National Bureau of Investigation’s probe into allegations that he and his family have amassed ill-gotten wealth.” – Philippine Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and its investigating arm, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), recently announced their interest in investigating the alleged bid rigging, receiving kickbacks from projects, and ownership of undeclared properties and businesses of Vice President Binay and his family.
De Lima has been in a word war with Binay and his allies since her announcement of wanting to do a separate probe—from the Senate subcommittee—on issues thrown at the Vice President. The two parties have been backlashing each other in media interviews.
“If there is nothing to hide, the investigation should be welcomed with open arms, and not questioned at every turn for irrelevant reasons,” De Lima insisted. “Rather than question the department’s jurisdiction and priorities, the VP should instead directly confront the allegations on the systemic corruption of Makati’s procurement system.”
On the other hand, United Nationalist Alliance interim president Navotas Representative Tobias Tiangco called the probe “a fishing expedition in aid of publicity.”
“De Lima is probably thinking, why let the current senator-inquisitors Cayetano and Trillanes, who are milking the free media coverage to advance their political ambitions, have all the mileage? Tiangco said, noting De Lima’s rumored interest at a Senatorial post in the 2016 Philippine National elections.
Another ally of VP Binay, UNA official interim secretary general Jose Virgilio Bautista called De Lima “atribida” for being “an over-eager political wanna-be bureaucrat with no jurisdiction to investigate the Vice President,” in his official statement.
The Justice Secretary riposted that whenever they are investigating, “it’s not about politics.”
The Senate investigation on the Makati City Hall II parking building has caused sudden Binay’s decline in the satisfactory ratings. The Vice President, however, remains the leader in 2016 presidential candidates in independent polls.
Allegations backed by evidence have been laid down in the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearings. Regardless of the motives, this is the perfect time to clear things out. Binay, as a public servant should warrant his constituents the truth.
What is there to fear if there is nothing to hide?