Vice President Jejomar C. Binay’s camp yesterday, said that Sen. Francis Escudero’s tolerance of the abuses of his colleagues is unforgivable and opportunistic.
“What is unforgivable is for a lawyer turned politician to skirt the abuses of an institution to discredit and disrespect the rights of individuals for political convenience and opportunism,” vice presidential spokesperson and lawyer Rico Quicho said as he reacted to Escudero’s statement that the former’s criticisms of the Senate were appalling and unbecoming of a lawyer.
Quicho also shot back that pointing out an institution’s frailties and misdeeds is not appalling and unbecoming of a lawyer.
Quicho earlier put Escudero to task for turning a blind eye on the actions of his colleagues conducting the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearings on alleged corruption by the Binay family.
Quicho also said that rather than chide him for pointing out the faults of the subcommittee, Escudero should instead lecture his colleagues about respect and civility.
“Perhaps, Senator Escudero must lecture his colleagues about respect and civility because shouting at resource persons and intimidating them is certainly unbecoming of a senator and a public official. It is incumbent upon Senator Escudero to check the voluminous documents submitted by the City Government of Makati disputing all the allegations against the successful projects of Vice President Binay. Sadly, these pieces of evidence were never considered by the sub-committee, including Senator Escudero,” argued Quicho.
Quicho maintained that while institutions should be respected, they should be put to task if they are not functioning correctly and resorting to oppression and bullying.
“Senator Escudero must be blind if he seriously believes that the sub-committee is in aid of legislation. Institutions should be respected but must also be put to task if they are not functioning correctly and resorting to oppression and bullying. An institution that cannot accept valid criticisms is bound to stagnate,” Quicho said.
Escudero yesterday said it was the Vice President who turned a blind eye to all accusations against him, noting the number of times the Senate invited him to attend the hearings with the latter choosing to ignore the proceedings.
Quicho countered Escudero, saying that the proceeding before Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee is far from being fair, impartial, and just.
He added that the subcommittee hearings disregard the proper use of the rules of evidence and allow bullying and humiliation of resource persons who do not follow the narrative espoused by the Senators conducting the hearings.
Quicho also lamented that the affidavit submitted by the Vice President was not even considered by the subcommittee. He added that the documents requested and submitted to disprove the allegations were not even read and remain in storage.
Quicho also clarified that his reference to a “kangaroo court” was with respect to the subcommittee, and not aimed at the whole Senate.
“The reference to a “kangaroo” court was made with respect to the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-committee. The sub-committee function should be in aid of legislation. Clearly, the sub-committee has overstepped its bounds,” said Quicho.
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