MANILA — Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Sunday he is mulling the filing of perjury cases against former Iloilo Rep. Augusto “Buboy” Syjuco Jr. after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) junked the latter’s malicious and unfounded vote-buying allegations against the Liberal Party stalwart in connection with the May 2013 elections.
Syjuco alleged that Drilon, along with several others, including incumbent Iloilo 2nd district Rep. Arcadio Gorriceta and Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor, committed vote-buying through several means to secure Gorriceta’s victory.
Syjuco lost to Gorriceta during the 2013 local elections by a wide margin of 20,906 votes. Gorriceta, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, garnered 44,310 votes, while Syjuco, who ran under the United National Alliance (UNA) party of Vice President Jejomar Binay, only got 23,404 votes – way lower than the 30,773 votes received by another candidate, Kiting Cabaluna, who ran independently.
In a seven-page decision, the Comelec en banc said that it finds no reversible error in the findings and recommendations of the Office of the Regional Election Director of Iloilo, which had earlier decided that Syjuco’s complaint was unsupported by evidence that would substantiate his allegations.
“This is a clear proof that Mr. Syjuco would do everything to put my name in a bad light. He has fabricated lies and baseless accusations against me and he will continue to do so just to satisfy his selfish motives of destroying my reputation and credibility as a public servant,” said Drilon.
He thus extended gratitude to the Comelec for a speedy resolution of the case.
”We are extremely grateful for the speedy decision rendered by the Comelec not only to clear our name but more importantly, to uphold the votes and the will of the people of Iloilo,” he said.
“The decision of the Comelec only validates the fact that all the allegations Syjuco hurled against me were nothing but mere lies and fabrications,” Drilon added.
Drilon noted that Syjuco has filed approximately a dozen of malicious and unfounded graft and plunder cases against him before the Office of the Ombudsman, including a graft and plunder case against him and President Aquino in connection with the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center.
Syjuco, who is out on bail, is facing trial at the Sandiganbayan’s special Fifth Division for Php60-million worth of irregularities over the disbursement of funds for TESDA’s Ladderized Education Program.
Drilon said he expects Syjuco to continue in his efforts to besmirch him
“Mr. Syjuco has constantly been peddling lies against me and as his recent tirades against me would suggest, we are not seeing the end of it. That Syjuco would not cease from imputing malice in everything I do,” said Drilon.
Drilon said he will avail of the right any ordinary citizen has under the law to be able to protect his name, which is to file a perjury case against Syjuco.
“I have to protect my rights. I want to protect my name. I have nothing else to leave behind as legacy except my reputation,” he stressed.
The Senate chief, however, reiterated his willingness and readiness to answer the malicious and baseless allegations being hurled against him, as he has nothing to hide and will not hide anything.