Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday said his detractors knew that their allegations against him and his family will not stand in court thus they opted to stage a circus at the Senate.
“Wala sa ipinangangalandakan nilang testimonya ang tatayo sa isang hukuman ng batas. At dahil hindi tatayo sa hukuman ng batas, ipinalalabas na lang nila sa mala-circus na pandinig sa Senado [Nothing in their testimonies will be given its day in court. As such, they came up with the allegations in a circus-like hearing in the Senate],” Binay told the people in his live television address from the Coconut Palace in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
He denied charges that the Makati City Hall Building 2 was overpriced, saying his accusers failed to present evidence.
The Vice President said the building, which was constructed in five years, was audited by the Commission on Audit (COA) every year until the project was finished.
“The accusation that Makati City Hall Building 2 was overpriced is based only on the estimates of the National Statistics Office (NSO).
But the NSO itself has said that their estimates are not the correct basis. Meaning, it is not evidence,” he noted.
Binay described as hearsay the claim of former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado that he, as Makati City mayor, made money from the building project and that bags of money were delivered to him.
“The accusation that the mayor allegedly made money from the project because the vice mayor admitted to making money from it, this is what we lawyers call hearsay, like gossip, words in the wind,” the Vice President said.
He also noted that issues of corruption against him are resurrected during elections.
“In my more than 28 years of public service, two administrations have attempted to silence me. Now, once again, they are prosecuting me because ambitious politicians do not want us to extend to the whole country the programs we have introduced in Makati. They do not want us to help the poor, surely because they come from the rich and their attitude and prejudice is to look down on everyone else,” the Vice President said.
“When I became mayor of Makati, I came upon a city deeply in debt, almost bankrupt, the schools were dilapidated and classrooms were lacking. And when someone fell ill, the poor had no recourse for help, like my poor departed mother. We united in order to face the problem. And by the grace of God, we triumphed. Makati now has become a model of service to the people,” Binay added.
He noted that Makati “residents receive care and attention from a government that listens to them and understands their plight.”
“What every Filipino dreams of, the people of Makati experience daily,” Binay said.
“Our Yellow Card health program, with free medicines and hospitalisation, is a model for the whole country, our public education is free from elementary to high school and our college tuition is so low. Food is served free, books, uniforms, modern equipment are free, the children and the youth of Makati only have to go to school with their heads held high, and for our senior citizens, free movies, birthday cake, medicine, and there is even cash allowance,” he added.
“I am not new to being put to the test. And every time I am put to the test, I do not turn back or surrender. I always confront it and fight. But the fight I am facing now is not only for Jojo Binay. This is a fight for the nation. This is a fight for the Filipino people,” said the Vice President, whose nickname is Jojo.
He called on his critics to elevate the political debate and stop hurling lies and their character assassination.
“Let us all face clean and fair elections. Let us show the people our capabilities and experience so they have a basis for choice,” Binay said, apparently referring to the 2016 polls.