The refusal of Makati City’s Mayor Junjun Binay to respect and follow the Ombudsman’s preventive suspension order is no longer surprising given his reputation for throwing his influence around and showing that he is above the law.
One would recall that Binay was also involved recently in a heated argument with the security personnel of a posh village in Makati for the security personnel’s refusal to allow him to pass through an already closed gate in the village. A video of the incident also showed him as he taunted the security personnel saying, “Hindi niyo ba ako kilala? (Don’t you know who I am?).” In 2011, Binay also had an altercation with then Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo when he refused to follow Robredo’s orders not to proceed with the demolition of a site in Barangay Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City, without exhausting all means for dialogue with the affected parties towards a peaceful settlement.
As for his allegation that his suspension was pure politics, this argument can probably be even remotely considered if the order came from the Department of the Interior and Local Government given that its current head, Secretary Mar Roxas, and his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, ran against each other in the 2010 presidential elections. However, the suspension order did not come from DILG but was issued by the Office of the Ombudsman, an independent constitutional body whose leadership is known for utmost integrity. It is therefore a futile effort for the younger Binay to try to pin his suspension on Roxas.
If I were Binay, I would have followed what three senators, Bong Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, did—which was to respect the rule of law by following the order of the Ombudsman. This would then have given the Ombudsman a free hand to conduct an unbiased investigation on the Makati parking building scam and ensure that justice is served.
It is very scary to think that the Binay family, not yet in Malacañang, are already acting as if they are above the law. One can just imagine what will happen if the elder Binay becomes president in 2016. God help the Philippines!
—HARVEY S. KEH,
Institute for Governance and Strategic Partnerships,
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