A member of the majority bloc in the House of Representatives has opposed moves to impeach Vice President Jejomar Binay, deploring the “selective kind of justice” being practiced by the administration against the vice president.
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian said he supports House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.’s decision not to involve the House in the investigation on VP Binay as the Lower Chamber has more important things to do than impeach the vice president.
“I’m against involving the House in that. We have other priorities. In the House, we will not investigate the VP,” Speaker Belmonte, who is concurrent vice chairman of the Liberal Party, was quoted as saying.
Gatchalian, a stalwart of National People’s Coalition or NPC that is allied with the administration, said the party is not likely to support VP Binay’s impeachment because of so many pending priority measures that need immediate action from congressmen.
“For one, Congress should immediately act on President Aquino’s request for emergency powers to address the looming power shortage in Luzon next year,” Gatchalian explained.
“The joint congressional resolution should come out before the end of October and failure to do so will affect the power situation,” he added.
The House of Representatives needs one-third vote – about 97 representatives—is required for any impeachment complaint to succeed and to go to trial in the Senate. There are 115 LP congressmen out of the 290-member House.
Gatchalian believes Binay is a victim of the administration’s “selective justice,” which is swift in investigating and prosecuting members of the opposition while slow in doing the same to government officials who are close to Malacanang.
“This is very evident in the way the Department of Justice slowed down with its probe of the pork barrel scam after three opposition senators have been jailed,” Gatchalian said.
“We have yet to see administration allies being charged in court for the misuse of their Priority Development Assistance Fund,” he added.
The lawmaker also pointed out the kid gloves treatment by Malacanang on Philippine National Police (PNP) Director-General Alan Purisima after he was accused of unexplained wealth and not being truthful in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).
Gatchalian said Purisima’s house in Nueva Ecija province and his luxury vehicles were exposed in the media much earlier than the supposed Binay farm in Rosario, Batangas and yet, no action was made by the Department of Justice and National Bureau of Investigation on the allegations of unexplained wealth against the chief of the Philippine National Police.
“Compared to VP Binay, the DOJ was very fast in directing the NBI to investigate the allegations against the vice president, even ahead of the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee which has yet to wrap up its inquiry and come out with a report,” Gatchalian pointed out. (R. Burgos)