Binay camp: Ombudsman under LP 'remote control'

MANILA, Philippines – The Binay camp on Saturday, October 10, launched fresh attacks against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and the ruling Liberal Party (LP) over the recent dismissal of suspended Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr.

In response to Malacañang's defense of the Ombudsman against allegations of selective justice, Rico Quicho, a spokesperson for Vice President Jejomar Binay, accused Morales of being under the "remote control" of the LP.  The Vice President had said as much on Friday.

In an interview on state-run Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte dismissed the selective justice allegation against the Ombudsman as an "old tune" belted by the Binay camp.

"Makikita naman po natin na ang Ombudsman malinaw hong walang kinikilingan. Mayroon ho ‘yang mga kinakasuhang taga-administrasyon, mayroon hong kinakasuhang oposisyon. So tingin ko ho mas mabuting sagutin na lang nila, harapin na lang po nila, kaysa kami pa ho ‘yung pinatutungkulan nila," Valte said.

(You can clearly see that the Ombudsman does not favor anyone. People from both the administration and the opposition have been charged. I think it would be better if they just face [the charges], instead of venting out on us.)

'Misleading'

In response, Quicho said in a statement: "The Palace once again misleads the public. The so-called allies that the Palace says were charged by the Ombudsman were mere sacrificial lambs. They are aware that selective justice will be an election issue so the so-called charges against these individuals are attempts to disguise its bias and partisanship."

He pointed to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, who is under preliminary investigation by the Ombudsman for technical malversation and administrative charges in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

"Hardcore allies like Secretary Butch Abad – media hype notwithstanding – hardly got a slap on the wrist for masterminding the P72-billion raid on the people's money that is DAP. Halatang de-remote control ang Ombudsman mula sa simula. At ang LP ang may hawak ng remote control," Quicho said.

(It's obvious that the Ombudsman has been under remote control from the start. And the LP is holding the remote control.)

Quicho said that "in stark contrast," the Ombudsman "moved heaven and earth to hastily investigate and remove Mayor Junjun Binay without giving him the benefit of properly answering the charges against him and despite the dearth of evidence presented."

The case involves the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Parking Building II.

"Halatang-halata na may kinikilingan at pinoprotektahan (It's obvious that there is bias)," Quicho added.

The Binay camp had questioned the timing of the Ombudsman's decision, as it comes a few days before the filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2016 elections. The order also recommends Mayor Binay's perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

Morales had earlier maintained that she is independent and apolotical, and challenged those accusing her of selective justice to impeach her. (READ: 'Impeach me,' Ombudsman dares critics)

She had said that the decision to dismiss from the service former Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima, a close friend of President Benigno Aquino III, is “another argument against criticism lodged with the Ombudsman that there is selective justice in their office.” (READ: Ombudsman sacks Purisima, 10 others from PNP) – Rappler.com