senator miriam defenser santiago – “short of declaring Binay guilty” of charges
Miriam cites SC rulings vs Binay’s ‘silence’ on allegations
Short of declaring Vice President Binay guilty of the allegations against him, Senator Miriam Santiago cites a number of Supreme Court rulings that scoff at the silence of the accused
MANILA, Philippines – It has become Senator Miriam Santiago v. Vice President Jejomar Binay.
It was an event sponsored by the Catholics for Reproductive Health, but Senator Miriam Santiago veered her topic towards the end of her speech to slam Binay’s refusal to attend the Senate probe on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall II Parking Building.
Binay’s strategy to resort to speeches to respond to the allegations, she said, is tantamount to forum shopping.
“In the cascade of corruption cases that have fallen on the heads of the hapless Filipino people, the most spectacular are the plunder and allied charges against Vice-President Jejomar Binay,” Santiago began the section of the speech titled, “The Curious Case of the Taciturn Vice-President.”
Short of declaring Binay guilty of the allegations against him by former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, the former trial lawyer cited 6 Supreme Court rulings that scoff at the silence of the accused.
“The presumption of innocence means only that it is the prosecution which bears the burden of proof. Once the prosecution has presented evidence, then it becomes the obligation of the respondent to present his evidence. After hearing both sides, then the tribunal makes a decision based on the evidence,” Santiago said.
Vice President Binay dismissed the probe of the Senate Blue Ribbon Subcommittee as pre-judged and politically motivated while his son, Makati Mayor Erwin Jejomar Binay, challenged the jurisdiction of the subcommittee but was junked for lack of merit.
Santiago said Binay cannot and should not evade the jurisdiction of the Senate for this simple reason: “If the VP has truth to tell, what is he afraid of?”
She added: “Binay appears to be content in defending himself by delivering speeches accusing his enemies of lying. That is not sufficient. He must present his own evidence.”
Santiago explained how the ruling of the High Court in 7 cases work against Binay’s reasoning in skipping the Senate probe.
She cited the following as jurisprudence to support the Senate jurisdiction over the Makati building probe:
Dela Paz v. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
read in full here: http://www.rappler.com/nation/72067-miriam-binay-supreme-court