MANILA, Philippines–Amidst mounting allegations of corruption and speculation that these could possibly lead to his withdrawal from the 2016 electoral race, Vice President Jejomar Binay will defend himself and his family via a 15-minute address to the nation on Monday afternoon.
Aides to the second-in-command say that the speech will be “emotional, heartfelt and presidential in tone.”
The Vice President’s camp has invited the press to cover the speech, the delivery of which will take place at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) at 2 p.m.
Binay, who served as Makati City mayor for three terms before being voted into the vice presidency, has been accused by former Makati City officials of corruption. Allegations include the overpricing of city projects and buildings, and the receipt of kickbacks, among others.
The allegations are now under investigation by a Senate blue ribbon subcommittee headed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III. The weightiest of the charges against Binay are the purported overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II and the alleged cut of 13-percent Binay receives of the cost of all development projects in Makati City for the release of mayor’s permits.
A plunder complaint has also been filed with the Ombudsman’s office by the ex-city officials against Binay and his son, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, relative to the allegations.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said that anything Binay will disclose in his speech – which was penned mostly by Binay’s spokesperson, Cavite Gov. Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla – will not be of more significance than statements made under oath.
Binay has been invited by the investigating committee to appear at the Senate inquiry to address the charges, but there has been no indication whether he will accept the invitation.
However, he has been issuing statements – mostly thorough his aides – saying that the allegations against him are promulgated by his opponents and critics, and are designed to besmirch his reputation and eliminate him from the presidential elections in 2016.
The Vice-President’s speech on Monday will mark his first official, public efforts to answer the allegations.