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Belmonte toying with law

12:04 AM November 04, 2014

In imperative tone, he announced that the House of Representatives won’t impeach Vice President Jejomar Binay nor investigate him. He said this with the panache of a commanding general giving orders, thus dimming hopes for Binay’s impeachment.

The clamor for the Vice President’s impeachment is mounting. It’s an issue of national importance, yet Speaker Feliciano Belmonte asserts that the House has better things to do than impeach Binay.

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Belmonte’s statement sounded so obdurate and firm, and his disavowal of a growing public concern, done outside the law, assuming that the call for impeachment is in order, flirts with betrayal of public trust and grave abuse of discretion.

The Speaker’s main duty, aside from the perfunctory, is to preside over the House’s proceedings, and preempting a decision which is to be made only under House rules is contemptible. He can’t make pronouncements on his own, absent House resolution, on constitutional issues like declining an impeachment complaint which is compliant in all aspects. To do so is “taking the law in his own hands.” He’s bound to acknowledge, welcome, respect and act on it.

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The Speaker must mull over the dictum that autocratic behaviors are detestable in participatory bodies where policies and decisions are made collegially—not by one person.

We must stymie Vice President Binay from becoming president for a myriad of reasons unearthed in the Senate committee hearings, foremost of which is his alleged “overpricing” habits. If true, he can manipulate the price of a nail or a tablespoonful of cement into millions of pesos, if only to appease his insatiable appetite for money. Exhibit A is the Makati City Hall II, which experts say costs a little over P700 million. Imagine how many tons of nails, steel bars, cement, sand, water, plumbing materials and paints went into this building. That’s why his price tag was a whooping P2.8 billion.

Where is the rest of the money? Can some of it be in Batangas in the form of a Shangri-la—a Binay paradise where he and his family can wallow hedonistically? The other billion is hiding.

Next to the Makati City Hall II is the City Hall, said to be the epicenter of a smorgasbord of fraud and deceit ranging from “overpricing” to contracts-rigging to buying cheap birthday cakes at the price of gourmet cakes fit for kings and queens. And Binay wants to be president? Look at his buddies and party mates: Erap Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada. He has one thing in common with them: They too have been charged with plunder.

Juan de la Cruz’s schadenfreude won’t be complete unless and until Vice President Binay is impeached/jailed.

—MANUEL BIASON, [email protected]

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TAGS: corruption, Hacienda Binay, impeachment, Jejomar Binay, Makati City Hall building, Sonny Belmonte
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