Complainant vs Cayetano downplays link with Binay

Posted at 08/25/2014 1:22 PM

MANILA – The complainant in the plunder and graft complaints against Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and his wife, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, denied that the charges against the couple are politically motivated.

In a statement, the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Civil Liberties (PAACL) said Sen. Cayetano should directly address the alleged overpricing of the city's multi-cabs, hiring of ghost employees, and ill-gotten wealth.

PAACL said Sen. Cayetano is muddling the issue by connecting the complainant, Prof. Rod Vera, to Rep. Abigail Binay, ''who was merely 1 out of the more than 100 batchmates in Ateneo Law School of the former."

The Cayetano family is a fierce political rival of the Binays. The Cayetano and Binay strongholds, Taguig and Makati cities, respectively, are battling for control of financially lucrative Fort Bonifacio.

Sen. Cayetano is also aspiring to become a president, making him a potential opponent of top presidential contender, Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The senator believes the charges against him, his wife, and several Taguig officials are politically motivated.

Responding to the allegation, the PAACL said, ''It should be noted that one of the members of PAACL is Atty. Fhilip Sawali, who is a law partner of Cong. Kit Belmonte of Quezon City, the nephew of House Speaker Sonny Belmonte.

''Is Sen. Cayetano saying that the House Speaker and the Liberal Party also ordered the filing of the complaint against him?"

PAACL also noted that lawyer Renato Bondal, the complainant in the plunder case against Vice President Binay and Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, was a candidate of the Nacionalista Party, to which Cayetano belongs.

''Sen. Cayetano and Sen. [Antonio] Trillanes [IV] are both members of the Nacionalista Party, does it mean that Sen. Cayetano is admitting that the on-going investigation before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is politically motivated and instigated by Senators Trillanes and Cayetano in preparation for the 2016 Elections?'' Vera said.

The PAACL also noted that it impleaded all other Makati City government officials connected to the plunder complaint filed against Vice President Binay in order to ensure that everyone is held accountable.

''As shown by our actions, PAACL does not have any political leanings, but is motivated by the principles of good governance and accountability for all,'' Vera said.