MANILA — House Deputy Majority Leader Mar-Len Abigail Binay on Wednesday said Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV should apologize to the Court of Appeals (CA) for his “nasty and irresponsible accusation” that justices supposedly received payoffs to keep Makati City Mayor Erwin Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr. in his post.
“Senator Trillanes clearly risks facing contempt charges. Since he has already confessed that he has no evidence to support his reckless allegation, other than purported ‘raw intelligence reports’, or hearsay, then the right thing for him to do is promptly say sorry to the court,” Representative Binay, the mayor’s sister, said in a statement.
“Better yet, the senator should resign his seat. Frankly, he is a big embarrassment to the Senate,” she said.
Contempt of court is the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful towards a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies authority, justice, and dignity of the court.
“We all have to exercise self-restraint before accusing members of the judiciary of any wrongdoing. Otherwise, we risk unnecessarily harming the institution,” said Binay, whose father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, has become the target of a long-drawn-out Senate inquiry into the alleged overpricing of Makati City Hall Building II.
“The problem with Senator Trillanes is that he wantonly resorts to wild guesswork first, then tries to gather evidence to support his claim. Sorry if he fails to present any proof,” Representative Binay said.
“Senator Trillanes has thrown all standards of objectivity and fairness out the window in his bid to destroy the Vice President and everybody else that gets in his (Trillanes’) way,” she added.
When Pulse Asia Inc. recently reported that the Vice President’s ratings improved despite the political mudslinging in the Senate inquiry, Binay said Trillanes was also quick to accuse the survey firm of taking bribes.
The CA has issued an extended stay order for an indefinite period against the preventive suspension meted out by the Ombudsman to Binay Jr., who is also under investigation in the alleged overpricing of Makati City Hall Building II.
The court barred the Ombudsman and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas from enforcing the Ombudsman’s March 10 order suspending Binay for six months.
The CA also directed the respondents “to preserve and respect the status quo before the issuance of the (Ombudsman’s preventive suspension) order.”
According to Rep. Binay, Trillanes is counting on a Liberal Party-Nacionalista Party (LP-NP) coalition to draft him as the vice presidential running mate of Roxas, the presumed LP standard-bearer in next year’s polls.
“Senator Trillanes has been desperately trying to sell himself to voters and more importantly, to Roxas. This is why the senator has been leading the charge against the Vice President, who remains the biggest obstruction to Roxas’ own aspiration to become president,” she said.
Surveys have shown that if the presidential elections were held today, Vice President Binay would still be the runaway winner, despite the decline in his approval ratings.