Senator Miriam alarmed on officials resisting suspension: Supporters paid or given incentives?

“I am alarmed that the brazen act of resisting suspension is becoming normal practice. What makes elective officials think that they are indisputably entitled to their offices? They are not absolute rulers; they are subject to the law,” Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said.

The statement of the senator comes amid Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay’s refusal to step down at the power of Ombudsman’s preventive suspension order. Binay’s supporters allegedly barred agents of the Department of Interior and Local Government from entering Makati City Hall to implement the suspension. The authorities were forced to post the suspension order instead of serving it.

“While officials are entitled to relief from penalty, in the form of temporary restraining orders or injunctions, they must seek such from the proper venue and, pending such relief, humbly step down from office,” Santiago said.

“The right to assemble is enshrined in the Constitution. But in cases like this, we should ask: Did the supporters assemble voluntarily or were they paid or given incentives? If it is the latter, were public funds used?” the senator said.

In light of this, the senator is looking for an inquiry in aid of legislation.