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‘Useless, wasteful expenditures’

02:25 AM July 23, 2015

To some people P4 million may just be a drop in the bucket (“barya”); but to the great multitude among us, that’s nest egg to tide them over their twilight years.

Vice President Jejomar Binay paid about that much in docket fees alone for the P200-million damage suit he filed before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City against his detractors, including Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Senators Antonio Trillanes III and Alan Peter Cayetano, and others who, he alleged, conspired to do a “demolition job” on him (“Binay sues PDI, 3 solons, 9 others,” Front Page, 7/21/15).

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What a useless, wasteful expenditure! Like Antonio Tiu (alleged dummy of Binay who had earlier filed a P100-million damage suit against whistle-blower Ernesto Mercado and paid about P2 million for docket fees alone), Binay must really be awash with cash to be just throwing away that kind of money. In the first place, everyone knows it’s just a ploy, a diversionary tactic: The best defense is offense! The general idea is that a strong counterattack will preoccupy the adversary and ultimately hinder his ability to sustain his attack. It’s nothing new. Machiavelli, Mao Zedong, et al. had written about that war strategy eons ago.

In the second place, it is such a long shot. The Ombudsman’s actuations are reviewable only by either the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, not by a lower-ranked regional trial court. And senators cannot be questioned anywhere about matters taken up during their Senate investigation in aid of legislation and therefore deemed absolutely privileged. They are the principal defendants. The others are “damay lang.”

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We think it is no more than a smoke-screen which will come in handy when the campaign period officially starts. To all charges of corruption, we expect the Binay camp’s stock reply to sound like this: Those charges are already “sub judice” (pending in court), much as we want to, we cannot talk about them.

And does it matter that the RTC hearing the case is nestled on the top floors of the City Hall of Makati whose judges are said to have been recipients of generous perks and privileges granted by a succession of Binay administrations? We are not sure, but it does seem so very convenient—and distressing!

—GEORGE DEL MAR, [email protected]

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TAGS: Antonio Tiu, docket fees, Ernesto Mercado, Jejomar Binay
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