UNA hits 'smear campaign' against Binay

Posted at 02/28/14 3:51 PM

MANILA – The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Friday criticized the Aquino administration for allegedly launching a smear campaign against presidential aspirant Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family ahead of the 2016 elections.

In a statement, UNA spokesperson Toby Tiangco said the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman to revive the cases against Vice President Binay's wife, former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay, is one of the indications that the administration is leading a black propaganda against the Binays ahead of the 2016 elections.

"The dismissal of these cases are final and executory but the Office of the Special Prosecutor has willfully ignored the law and the constitution in pursuing its mad obsession with harassing the vice president's wife. This is obviously a demolition job orchestrated by forces outside the Ombudsman's Office," Tiangco said.

Tiangco was referring to the graft charges filed against Elenita over the purchase of allegedly overpriced pieces of furniture for the Ospital ng Makati in 2000 and 2001.

The charge against the former mayor was dismissed by the Ombudsman on May 9, 2011 for lack of evidence, but was revived by the Office of the Special Prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman.

"Nakakapagtaka lang na biglang nabuhay ang mga kasong matagal nang na-dismiss. It is just saddening that the Ombudsman is submitting to the whims of Malacanang to allow the Administration to wring the cases for more media mileage against the Binays," he said.

"The filing of cases against Dra. Binay smacks of political persecution because these cases have long been dismissed and locked in the archives. Naniniwala akong mananaig pa rin ang hustisaya."

Selective prosecution

Tiangco also accused the administration of practicing double standard due to its failure to release a list of beneficiaries of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds.

"This Administration can dig and find records of more than 10 years ago, but cannot release any recent records of DAP. Maliban sa pangha-harass sa oposisyon, ano ba talaga ang gustong mangyari ng Malacanang? Sana naman ‘wag magpagamit ang Ombudsman," he said.

"Kapag kakampi sa politika pinoproteksyunan at tinotolerate tulad ng hindi paglabas ng DAP records. Pero pag hindi kakampi, yung patay pwedeng buhayin."

Tiangco believes the administration will also resurrect or file charges against UNA members in an effort to discredit the opposition in the 2016 polls.

"Why is this Administration so eager to pin down the Opposition, in this particular case, the Binays? Given the actuations of the Office of the Ombudsman to revive 'zombie' cases, I can only suspect that there’s someone directing how the movie plot should take its course,” Tiangco said.

Two UNA stalwarts, Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, are facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged pocketing of their respective Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).