The Office of the Vice President on Thursday cried foul over a news report claiming that Vice President Jejomar Binay “lobbied” for former military comptroller Carlos Garcia.
The Binay camp also expressed its concern over the leak of the vice president's “private and confidential memorandum” to President Benigno Aquino III which, it said, can sabotage the relationship of the country’s two highest officials.
Rappler.com, in an exclusive report, released a copy of a memo alleging that Binay told Aquino to consider a plea bargain deal with Garcia since the government had weak arguments in the plunder case.
Garcia was accused of plundering P303 million in public funds but avoided conviction by entering into a plea bargain in which he offered P135 million to return to the state. Sandiganbayan dismissed the plunder charges for insufficient evidence but he was eventually jailed on the basis on his court martial conviction.
Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesperson, called Rappler’s story “reckless, irresponsible and malicious.”
“Rappler failed to mention in their story that the Vice President, in his memo, personally preferred charging Garcia with plunder. But having been a trial lawyer for many years, and having been appraised of the evidence at hand, his instincts told him otherwise,” Salgado said in a statement.
The spokesperson further slammed the leak saying it was apparently a part of the "continuing mudslinging” against Binay.
“Are there personalities and groups so insecure of the Vice President’s long-standing relationship with the President that they would disclose confidential government documents to sabotage this relationship?” Salgado said.
Salgado pointed out that there are rules and penalties governing the handling and disclosure of confidential documents covering national security, economy, and foreign relations, among others.
“It seems that those who leaked the Vice President’s memo could care less. They would flaunt the rules to push their selfish political agenda. And that is what worries the Vice President,” he added.