MANILA — Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II on Friday called on the public to remain calm in the face of the “drama” being staged by Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Jun-jun” Binay and his supporters in Makati City.
“Nananawagan ako sa publiko na manatili tayong mahinahon dahil ito naman ay regular lamang nating gawain (I am calling out to the public to remain calm because this is just our regular protocol),” Roxas said during the press conference after he receive the BOI final report from PNP held at Camp Crame.
He said the process of serving the suspension order on Binay is part of the mandate of the DILG, and it was the Office of the Ombudsman which suspended Binay “dahil sa pangungurakot sa kaban ng bayan (for stealing from the nation’s funds).”
He further asked, “nirerecognize ba natin ang Ombudsman as an independent authority o hindi? (Are we recognizing the Ombudsman as an independent authority or not?)”
Roxas reiterated that “ang batas ay batas. Lahat tayo ay sakop ng batas (The law is the law. We are all under the law.)”
The Ombudsman Order also directed Roxas to immediately implement the preventive suspension order against Binay. Roxas said, “kami sa DILG ay gagampanan namin ang aming trabaho (We at the DILG are simply doing our job).”
Calling it a “high school” thing, he said the “drama” prevents residents of Makati City from availing of basic services. He said, “ang governance at pamamahala ay isang seryosong gawain. Nakasalalay dito ang kabutihan ng ating mga kababayan (Governance and management is a serious job. The good of the people relies in it.).”
The Office of the Ombudsman placed Binay and 20 others under preventive suspension in connection with alleged irregularities in the construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building.
For his part, Binay asked Roxas to “show some maturity” after the latter reportedly described Binay’s decision to contest his suspension as “high school maturity.”
“Ako sinabihan ni Secretary Roxas? (Secretary Roxas is saying that to me?) I would have expected some maturity on the part of Secretary Roxas. Let’s not resort to name-calling and nitpicking,” Binay said in his separate press conference held in Makati City Hall.
He again said the DILG has been selective in enforcing suspension orders, saying there had been cases where the agency did not enforce suspension orders involving party members and allies.
“It is a manifestation that implementation can be selective,” he said.
The mayor had asked the Court of Appeals to issue a temporary restraining order on the suspension order issued by the Ombudsman.
Binay said the order is void, since it suspends him for actions done during the previous local administration where he was not even the mayor.
Binay also said they have received plans for a second wave of suspension in Makati to include the entire city council.
Once all the city councilors are suspended, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will then appoint an officer-in-charge.
Binay said if this pushes through, it would be a circumvention of the mandate of the Makati voters.
“Dapat respetuhin ang mandato ng nakakarami, hindi ang gusto ng iilan (We should respect the mandate of the majority, not the will of the few),” Binay said.
The Makati mayor said his suspension’s goal is to keep him out of office until the 2016 elections.
“They want to suspend me so I won’t be able to complete my term until 2016. In the supposed second wave of suspensions, according to our sources, they intend to suspend all the councilors who were also elected by the people of Makati,” Binay said.