The Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee hearing allegations of corruption leveled against Vice President Jejomar Binay did not read all of the documents submitted by Binay that would prove the allegations wrong.
This information was squeezed by Senate Minority Leader Senator Juan Ponce Enrile from Senator Senator Aquilino Pimentel, chair of the sub-committee, during a hearing on Tuesday, January 26.
The hearing is the 25th and last by the subcommittee on allegations of corruption against Binay, members of his family and alleged dummies.
Binay’s camp said the members of the sub-committee did not read all of the evidence because they have already prejudged Binay even before the hearings started.
Appearing for the first time in the hearing, Enrile, a political ally of Binay, asked the subcommittee members if they completely analyzed the documents submitted by Binay.
“We have gone over a lot of the documents, but I cannot say that it’s 100%,” said Pimentel.
Despite its failure to fully appreciate all of the evidence submitted by Binay, the subcommittee issued a report recommending filing of plunder charges against Binay and his son, dismissed Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr.
Binay has refused to attend the hearings saying he would rather face the charges in the proper forum.
He said the Blue Ribbon probe was part of a “demolition by perception” instigated by rivals to derail his presidential bid in the 2016 election.
Binay, the front runner in the latest pre-poll surveys for presidential preference by Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia, is the candidate of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance *UNA).
Binay has also said that the sub-committee members were out to gain political points from the probe.
Pimentel, along with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Pimentel, formed the trio of “inquisitors” of the subcommittee that conducted nearly a year of hearings on the allegations against Binay.
Trillanes and Cayetano are running for vice president. Pimentel is president of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban), the party of presidential candidate Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman, said it is not surprising if the subcommittee members did not read all of the evidence submitted by Binay.
“This is not surprising because the senators have already prejudged the matter even before the hearings started more than a year ago,” said Salgado in a statement published in Rappler.
Salgado said Binay submitted the evidence to show cooperation with the Senate.
“It shows that all transactions and projects are transparent and in compliance with established rules and procedures,” he said.
“By their own admission, the senators did not read all the documents,” Salgado said.