SENATOR Grace Poe said Friday there is enough evidence to support the Blue Ribbon subcommittee’s recommendation to file plunder charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay over the alleged P2.7 billion overpricing of the Makati City Hall parking building.
Poe was among the four signatories to the draft partial report which also suggested the filing of similar charges against the Vice President’s son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay and others, including former and incumbent Makati City officials.
“I have read the subcommittee recommendation and found the same supported by documentary evidence as well as expert and personal testimonies that remain unrebutted by competent evidence to the contrary,” said Poe in a text message to reporters.
Poe said she did not have second thoughts in signing the report because it was clear from the over 20 hearings that those involved were all liable and should be held accountable.
“As in the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) inquiry, I join my colleagues in seeking further investigation by the Ombudsman of the matter and the consequent filing of the appropriate criminal complaint which in this instance appears to be plunder,” further read the text message.
In a radio interview over dzMM Friday night, Poe said she believed that an infraction was committed. “It’s difficult to believe that it was just a mistake because there was an overprice worth P1 billion,” she said in Filipino.
“I believe this is a very important issue in our country. We need to give an example to our people, whether you are in a position or not– that we are all equal before the law. And most of all, whether you are a friend or a member of the family… one’s utmost goal should be geared towards loyalty to the people who voted for you,” said Poe.
She said she still thought of herself as a friend of the Binays, though they might not feel the same.
She said it was hard for her because the Binays had been loyal to her late father, movie star and failed presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr.
Poe declined to say if she thought Binay was an honest leader, saying it was the wrong time to ask her since she had just signed the committee report against him.
“I know there is a need for loyalty, but one should also have the courage if one is in the government,” Poe said.
Poe said she would definitely slug it out with Binay if she decides to seek the presidency.
The Vice President admitted Poe was among the candidates being considered in the UNA (United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) presidential slate.
UNA interm secretary general JV Bautista on Thursday warned Poe she would be running with the “tormentors and cheaters” of her late father if she joins the Liberal Party slate.
But Poe took a swipe at Bautista, saying he should think first before speaking because they have many allies who were the most involved in cheating his late father.
Poe said if she seeks higher office in 2016, she would not team up with Binay.
In a phone interview, however, UNA interim president Toby Tiangco said Binay never said he was getting Poe as his running mate.
“He never said he wanted somebody to be his running mate because he will not say that. There is a search committee tasked to look for a candidate who will run in tandem with him,” Tiangco said.
Tiangco said Binay had set two criteria for his prospective running mate— one who will work and one who will attend to the poor to alleviate their standard of living.
Tiangco said the UNA objected to the findings of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee, which he said was based on lies.
He also said the Senate probe, supposed to be in aid of legislation, was motivated by the desire of some senators to destroy the Vice President.
On Thursday, Bautista said the draft report would probably have the “weight of a toilet paper.”