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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

UNA Slams De Lima for Double Standard Brand of Justice

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) yesterday accused Justice Secretary Leila de Lima of “double standard brand of justice” after the Department of Justice (DOJ) failed to pursue cases against President Aquino’s allies who were involved in the multi-billion peso Malampaya Fund scam and in the P10-billion “pork barrel” fund scam.
UNA Interim President Toby Tiangco questioned De Lima’s sudden interest in the Makati building controversy, claiming that the allies of the President were behind the demolition job against Vice President Jejomar Binay.
“It is deplorable that Secretary De Lima, who should administer justice equally, is doing everything to protect the allies of the Administration even beyond 2016. We are aware that members of the Liberal Party who were recipients of the Malampaya Fund, PDAF and even DAP, are being shielded from the investigation. This only goes to show that De Lima is not keen in sending to jail allies of the President,” he said in a statement.
He lamented that the 97 mayors who were recipients of the Malampaya Fund were not investigated by the DOJ or by the National Bureau of Investigation after they supposedly pledged their support for De Lima in case she decides to seek higher officer in 2016
“Justice Secretary De Lima ironically is the epitome of the prejudice, double-standard kind of justice and ulterior agendas. She personifies the Administration’s mantra that ‘no one is above dilaw’,” Tiangco said.
He lambasted the DOJ for not releasing its report on the $30-million MRT3 extortion attempt by LP stalwart Wilson de Vera; and for not taking action on the Napoles affidavit and PDAF list that implicated 18 senators and more than 100 congressmen.
“Why the inaction? The answer is simple: Because members of the LP and other administration allies are included in the list, and this includes one hypocritical senator-inquisitor,” Tiangco said.
He insisted that the 97 mayors allied with the President who were involved in the Malampaya Fund scam should have been subpoenaed or charged in court.
“Anong nangyari sa affidavit ni Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa inilalabas ng NBI? Anong nangyari sa affidavit at listahan ni Napoles na sangkot ang 18 senador at mahigit 100 congressman? Anong nangyari sa imbestigasyon sa Malampaya Fund scam na halos puro politiko ng LP ang nakinabang? What made her switch priorities and put so much interest in the Makati probe?” he asked.
Tiangco claimed that De Lima is part of the witch-hunt against Binay and his family.
“Secretary De Lima, like the three senator-inquisitors, have pre-judged the matter. The NBI will not contradict their boss or issue findings that will embarrass her. The NBI and the DOJ are now parties to the witch-hunt,” he said.
De Lima was also criticized by UNA Secretary-General JV Bautista after De Lima described Binay’s principal accuser, former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, as a “credible whistle-blower.”
Bautista accused De Lima of using the NBI to “merely harass” the personalities identified with Binay.
“Even if the Senate issues an order of arrest against any of these personalities, assuming they have been cited in contempt, De Lima cannot use her NBI attack dogs to serve such order, since jurisprudence is very clear that only the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms can do so,” he said.
“Besides, there is no crime determined yet by the Senate sub-committee for the simple reason that there is still no committee report. The DOJ has no place in this Senate investigation. Either De Lima stops her acts of harassment using the NBI, or court remedies, as well as disciplinary actions against her would now be called for,” he added.

Former Justice Secretary-turned- 1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III, for his part, asked De Lima not to step in the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman to look into allegations against the Binays.
“They should leave the investigation to the Ombudsman which has the primary jurisdiction over the case,” he stressed, insisting that Binay is entitled to his right to due process.
Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting, an UNA stalwart, agreed with Bello, saying that the legal process should prevail.
“Everyone is entitled to due process. This is what we have been saying all along. Let’s stop this obviously politically motivated process and let the legal processes take their course,” he said.
Meanwhile in Malacanang, Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. tried to steer away from the controversy hounding Binay, saying President Aquino has already said his piece on the matter.
All Coloma could say was the Palace respects Senator Miriam Santiago’s statement about the possible impeachment of the Vice President over corruption charges. The Palace official declined to comment further.

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