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PIA Press Release

Palace backs Binay suspension

Quezon City (17 October) -- Malacañang said Tuesday it supported the suspension of Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay but was quick to deny the administration was cracking down on staunch critics of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the political opposition.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) handed down a suspension order against Binay, Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado and seven councilors in connection with charges filed by a political rival accusing them of maintaining so-called “ghost” employees.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the Palace has been "evenhanded by addressing not only cases against known critics (of Arroyo) but (also) cases against known supporters of the administration."

Bunye cited the case of the mayor of Sta. Rosa in Laguna, the chief of the National Printing Office and the general manager of government-owned Radyo ng Bayan as proof of the administration’s fairness.

"This is part of due process and we can see that the administration has been fair in treating the different cases (that have been) filed, the pending cases, (there is) no favoritism,” Bunye told reporters.

Asked if the Palace was concerned about the effect of tensions in the country's central business district arising from Binay’s suspension, Bunye said: "What is important is to let the law take its course and the concerned parties do not lose recourse to the law, (retain) access to all legal avenues, and let justice prevail.”

Bunye also said the suspension order against Binay was only preemptive in nature.

"We're not making a ruling as to (the) guilt or innocence of the parties involved," he added.

Upon the suspension of Binay, he said the Department of Interior and Local Government will assign a temporary caretaker for the city. (PIA) [top]

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