• In aid of demolition

    9

    Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has called for a Senate investigation into the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall “parking building.” He has most likely been instructed by his Palace and Liberal Party allies—masters?—to help in demonizing Vice-President Jejomar Binay, who is the presidential aspirant leading everyone else in opinion surveys.

    A Senate hearing would give Trillanes lots of TV time for his personal promotion. But he could also end up being punished with the unwanted consequences of looking foolish and being seen by the public, including his own fans, of obviously just grandstanding.

    The senator with military provenance obviously loves to fire all his guns at the same time and, if he could, he would carpet-bomb Makati’s government installations. He has not only called for an investigation into the new 12-story City Hall 2 building, but also into old allegations against the Binays, including alleged irregularities in the construction of the older city hall building and “related anomalies” during Vice President Jejomar Binay’s term as mayor of Makati.

    It is unfortunate that Trillanes is willing to waste the Senate’s time and resources to further his own political interests. The allegations that the Makati City Hall Building 2 is supposed to be overpriced have already been definitively refuted by the Commission on Audit no less. The COA, responding to a demand by complainants, intensively reviewed the processes, the contracts and the documents and found the allegations untrue.

    Stupid and unprincipled is Trillanes’ stubborn insistence that the Makati City Hall Building 2 is a mere “parking building” and so is his use of the contractor’s description of the building in its website to justify the claim. An ocular inspection would show the fact that the building indeed houses offices of the Makati City government. He has, we presume made a personal visit to the building and seen the truth. Yet he insists on the “parking building” claim. This can only suggest that his conclusion has been made even before any investigation has started.

    Trillanes admits that the Vice President’s presidential bid motivates his calling for the investigation. This reveals the true nature of his intentions. It is clear that his aim is not to get at the truth but to use the Senate hearing to malign the name and reputation of Jejomar Binay.

    Trillanes is rumored to be eyeing the Vice Presidency, with Senator Alan Cayetano as his running mate. Interestingly, in his resolution, Trillanes also mentions, and asks the Senate to investigate, an infomercial campaign which started in 2009 allegedly using Makati funds. He was apparently alluding to the “Ganito Kami sa Makati” infomercial. If Trillanes wants this investigated, shouldn’t the Senate also investigate the infomercial of the Taguig City government touting it’s anti-corruption campaign? The same infomercial bafflingly starred, not the chief executive of Taguig, but her husband, Senator Alan Cayetano, who, in his entire political career, was never chief executive of that city.

    Allegations of misuse of public funds aside, why was Senator Cayetano in the infomercial? In Binay’s case, at least he really did serve as Mayor of Makati for more than 20 years.

    And while the Binays are not taking offense at the Trillanes-proposed Senate investigation, the Office of the Ombudsman should. The Ombudsman has already asked the parties to comment, meaning its investigation process has started. What will the Senate investigation accomplish that the Ombudsman cannot?

    Granted that any misuse of public funds is a matter of public interest, why is the issue of the alleged overpriced building—one that the Commission on Audit has cleared—more important to the Senate than the Malampaya Fund probe that has been in limbo for quite some time now? Or that of the DAP, the documents of which DBM Secretary Florencio Abad vowed to submit to the senators in the Senate hearing about three weeks ago but has so far not done so? Or so many other national issues that need urgent attention?

    No wonder the Senate has the lowest trust and satisfaction ratings in surveys. The antics of senators such as Trillanes erode the people’s trust in the Senate.

    The probe Trillanes seeks is a waste of taxpayers’ money. It is not in aid of legislation, but rather, it is in aid of demolition to further the political ambitions of lightweights.

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    9 Comments

    1. Bert O.Romero on

      Where there’s smoke, there is fire. Too much smoke has attached to the vice-president and to his family as well. I hope it will not reach the point that fire eventually consumes them. If they have nothing to hide, why are the Binays afraid of senate investigation ? As trapos, they should welcome the inquiry as it will provide them a free vehicle for nation-wide publicity. Or have they reached that level of opulence, they no longer need freebies? It is sad how wealth and quest for power have transmogrified Jojo from a simple, idealistic and reform-minded UP student leader into a power and wealth – hungry trapo who will leave no stone unturned from his 2016 presidential ambition. We were classmates in college and would spend countless after-class evenings with other like-minded idealists dissecting the ills of Philippine society. His being a firebrand as a student and as a MABINI human rights lawyer gave me hope that in Jojo the Filipino nation has finally found not only its hope but more importantly its salvation. The past twenty eight years , alas, have found me completely mistaken. Jojo has made himself a threat to the nation. He is not the leader the Philippines needs.

    2. Naririto ang pangalan ng mga kamukha ni Trillanes sa senado: ping Lacson, allan Cayetano and his sister at tayopwesto Gungona.

    3. Kung talgang wala kayong bahid ng kurapsyon. Bakit hindi kayo humarap sa Blue Ribbon para matapos na ito? Puro “Demolition Job”, “paninira lang nila ito”. Why dont you answer the accusations?

      • Ilang inbestigasyon ang nais mo upang masatisfy ang iyong pagdududa? Ikanga e hindi maaring litisin ang isang kaso ng paulitulit dahil ito ay tinatawag na double jeopardy. Cayetano and Trillanes ay magagaling na tahol ng tahol para makatawag lang ng pansin.

    4. The Makati City Hall Building 2 is not of national import. Mr. Trillanes should better revisit the mandate of the Senate. And adequately understand it. And have it sink into his brain.

      No offense meant. But I really wonder how come this dude became a senator. And two terms at that.

    5. Halata namang maka-Binay yung author nito. Hahaha. Scared that your boss will get busted by this Senator?

    6. I don’t think this is a demo job at all. If you think there is an anomaly going on, anybody should feel free to investigate it. I admired Trillanes bravery. It’s hard to face one of the big names in the politics. Infairness, you’re being true to what you are fighting for.

      Now we have the proper venue to raise the issue.

      Just do your job to scrutinize if there is corruption going on in the car park and city hall building!

    7. opinion reader on

      nuff’ said, kung pwede paki-tuon na lang ng bopol na senador na ito ang attention nya sa pag gawa ng mga may kabuluhan na batas, pero malamang wala, kasi nga bopol. Di-ako Pro-Binay, pero, bakit pa kailangan ng senate inquiry and investigation, if nagawa naman ng COA ang trabaho nya? Tila yata wala ng maiisip na mabuting magagawang batas ang ating mga sendaor, tulad nung isa na kamag anak ni Pnoy, gusto rin mag karoon ng inquiry sa MRT incident. Nanjan po ang kapulisan at ang DOTC para mag investigate sa nangyari, naman mga senador, tama na ang media papogi, trabaho din kayu dahil marming time.

    8. Claro Apolinar on

      Grandstanding is Sen. Trillanes’ aim plus serve the 2016 election gals of President Aquino, Sec. Abad and Senate President Drilon.
      Pity Vice-President Binay if the Senate probe resolution is approved. It will add to the bad smell of the Senate,