Face Senate, Binay urged amid plunder report

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino Pimentel III urged Vice President Jejomar Binay on Sunday, May 31, to face the Senate as a blue ribbon subcommittee report recommended plunder charges against him.

"He is running out of time," Pimentel said in an interview with journalist Nimfa Ravelo on dzBB.

"This will be the last chance for him to appear," he added, explaining that the Senate will conduct only 3 to 5 more hearings on corruption allegations against the Vice President.

Pimentel said Binay can appear at the Senate even "on the spot," as the Senate will no longer send Binay a formal invitation to attend its hearings. 

Pimentel, however, said, "Siya welcome, hindi representatives." (He is welcome, not his representatives.)

Binay had shunned previous invitations to join Senate hearings. 

In this radio interview on Sunday, Pimentel also confirmed that a Senate blue ribbon subcommittee is pushing for plunder charges against the Vice President, his son Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, and others. 

"Sa mata namin, kung kami ang naging Ombudsman, plunder na 'yon," he said. (In our eyes, if we were the Ombudsman, that would be plunder.)

Pimentel, the subcommittee chairman, had submitted a partial report to the Senate blue ribbon committee asking the Ombudsman to file plunder charges against the Binays and co-conspirators over the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall parking building II.

Pimentel and Poe are among the 4 senators who have signed the report as of May 28. The others are Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. 

Pimentel had declined to divulge details of the report, in deference to the Senate blue ribbon committee chairman, Senator Teofisto Guingona III. 

A copy of the report seen by Rappler showed that father and son Binay should face plunder charges for signing documents as the agency heads for preliminary services for the parking building. The facility started construction during the term of the elder Binay, and was completed under the younger Binay's watch. – Rappler.com