SENATE President Franklin Drilon said Wednesday that the non-cooperation of Vice President Jejomar Binay and other personalities involved in the alleged "systematic corruption" in the Makati City Government delays the probe of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee.
"Probably the reason why it has been extended that long is that because those invited disappear," said Drilon at a forum in Manila. "That is why the length of these hearings has reached that point, because of the non-cooperation of the witnesses of this Senate."
Drilon cited in particular Binay's financial officer Gerardo Limlingan who was ordered arrested for repeated refusal to attend Senate subpanel hearings. To date, the Senate President said Limlingan continued to snub hearings despite the arrest order against him.
The Senate leader said the subpanel had no intention to ruin the reputation of the Vice President who wanted to run as president in 2016, noting that the investigation's purpose "was in aid of legislation."
Drilon said he was not spared by the Senate investigation after his former ally accused him of pocketing money from his pet project in Iloilo, the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC).
To prove that he did not benefit from the project, Drilon said he chose to appear before the Senate and refute all the allegations against him.
"I was charged with the blue ribbon committee and as the President of the Senate, I appeared and I explained to them," Drilon said.
"What the Senate did is to only investigate and exercise our functions," he added.
Drilon said it was up to Binay if he would continue to snub the invitation of the subcommittee.
The sub-committee chaired Senator Aquilino Pimentel III has so far conducted 20 hearings and already drafted its partial report, recommending the filing of plunder charges against the Vice President and several others in connection with the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.(Sunnex)