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Makati vice mayor takes oath after Junjun Binay suspension order served


(Updated 12:29 p.m.) Makati City Vice Mayor Romulo Peña was sworn into office on Monday morning as the acting city mayor after the suspension order on incumbent Mayor Jejomar "Junjun" Binay Jr. was served.

The Department of Interior and Local Government served the order of the Ombudsman by tacking it on the facade of the Makati City Hall around 8 a.m. Monday.

The Office of the Ombudsman suspended Mayor Binay and 15 others for six months last March 11 over corruption allegations that the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II was overpriced.
 
Mayor Binay has since barricaded himself inside the city hall, in defiance of the suspension, with his supporters camped outside.
 
Tension rose early Monday morning as riot police arrived at Makati City Hall.

Plunder and graft raps have been filed against Vice President Jejomar Binay and Junjun Binay for the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II. The elder Binay was then city mayor and Junjun a city councilor at the time of the construction.

After he took his oath of office, Peña said Junjun Binay remains a friend.

He however urged Junjun Binay to heed the will of the people and the rule of law.


"Sa totoo lang, ako ay sumusunod lang sa gabay ng nagpapatupad dito. Maniwala kayo na simula ngayong araw hanggang sa susunod na araw ay may makikita kayo sa opisina ko," he said.

"Mag-oopisina at mag-oopisina ako. Ibibigay ko ang burden ng hindi pagbaba sa kanilang pamilya," Peña added.

Peña said that among his first steps as acting mayor is to meet with all department heads to discuss normalization of local government transactions there.

"May ilang suspendidong department heads, 'yun ay papalitan namin ng OIC," he said. "Kung hindi kikilos ang mga department head ay binrief na kami diyan ay una may warning, sunod ay suspension."

In a separate report on Balitanghali, GMA News' Tricia Zafra said Peña is still trying to reach out to Binay for dialogue. He also called on Binay's supporters to go home.

"Pasensiya na po kayo. Sana po 'yung iba sa inyo ay magsiuwian na, lalo na po 'yung mga hindi taga-Makati na wala namang kinalaman dito," he said.  —KG/KBK, GMA News


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