Binay: Senate hearing a badly scripted ‘telenovela’

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 Vice President Jejomar Binay tells reporters on wednesday that he and his family are being targeted by groups out to derail his presidential ambition. Photo By Rene h. Dilan

Vice President Jejomar Binay tells reporters on wednesday that he and his family are being targeted by groups out to derail his presidential ambition. Photo By Rene h. Dilan

VICE President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday accused Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes 4th of orchestrating the Senate hearing on the P2.2-billion Makati City Hall Building 2 to destroy him and his family and derail his presidential plans.

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“The [blue ribbon]hearing is clearly a politicized forum to find criminal liability on our part but certainly it was not in aid of legislation” Binay said at a news conference in his office at the Coconut Palace in Pasay City.

He branded the hearing as a badly scripted telenovela designed to smear him and his family, and influence a survey on 2016 presidential contenders next week.

Binay has his eyes on the presidency, and so do Cayetano and Trillanes.

The Vice President reiterated that he and his family did not get a single centavo from the building’s construction or from any other projects in the city.

He insisted that all the transactions related to the project were above-board and had passed all legal processes including scrutiny by the Commission on Audit.

Binay said the project was broken down into several phases in five years because it was too big for a single year’s budget.

The P1 billion added to the project, according to him, was part of the P2.4 billion estimated for it and that they were able to save P200 million because the building cost only P2.2 billion.

He questioned the credibility of lawyer Renato Bondal, who admitted at the blue ribbon hearing to guessing the actual worth of the “overpriced” birthday cakes for Makati’s senior citizens.

The Vice President also lashed out at former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, who on Tuesday also admitted that he got kickbacks from the City Hall 2 project.

“Are these the kind of witnesses that they are using to destroy us?” Binay said.

He added that it was Mercado who raised funds and handled the transactions for the project.

The Vice President also raised the possibility that a “group” dedicated to destroying his presidential bid could be behind the attacks.

File charges
His daughter, Sen. Nancy Binay, who was being accused of supplying the birthday cakes for senior citizens, dared her fellow senators to file a case against her instead of wasting taxpayers’ money on “useless” Senate hearings.

She said the Senate is not the proper venue to investigate the
supposed overpriced building and cakes.

“This is not the right venue. If there are allegations that I’m the supplier of the cakes, file a case against me, I will submit myself to the process,” the senator said.

She accused some of her colleagues of using the blue ribbon committee to ruin other people.

“It seems that some of my colleagues in the Senate don’t want to spend their own money to gain popularity and instead use the resources of the Senate committee to be in the news,” the senator said without naming names.

These senators are also engaged in “persecution,” according to former Manila Rep. Benny M. Abante, who also on Wednesday asked his former colleagues in Congress to focus on legislation instead.

Besides, Abante said in a statement, the overpricing complaint has been filed with the Office of the Ombudsman and “it is now up to the courts to determine whether these allegations are meritorious.”

The chairman of the Bayan Mamamayan Abante Movement explained that with the 2016 national elections around the corner and the Vice President dominating the surveys, “the temptation is to use these [congressional]inquiries to influence voters by providing a venue to broadcast damning, but unproven, allegations.”

He said a moratorium on such inquiries needs to be seriously considered.

“Our people would be better served if the Senate focused on its primary purpose, which is the passage of laws,” Abante added.

The Binay camp said its political foes have become desperate that they are now resorting to “dirty tricks.”

Joey Salgado, the Vice President’s spokesman, cited a press release attributed to Mercado that was “planted” at the Senate Public Information and Media Relations Office.

The statement purportedly quoted Mercado as saying the Vice President pocketed P1.5 billion from the construction of the city hall building.

Mercado denied issuing the press release.

“Where the press release originated, nobody knows. But one thing is sure, Binay’s political opponents are now employing the services of a dirty tricks department to destroy the Vice President,” Salgado said.

New spo0kesman
The Vice President has named Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, a member of the Nacionalista Party (NP), as his political spokesman.

Senator Cynthia Villar, an NP stalwart, admitted that she was surprised by Remulla’s decision to jump ship without informing his partymates or the party leadership first.

She admitted that Remulla had informed her husband, former Sen. Manuel Villar, the NP president, of his intention to support the
candidacy of Binay.

The lawmaker shrugged off the effects of Remulla’s decision, noting that the NP remains a strong party.

Cayetano, in a separate interview, said he has no problem with Remulla’s decision to join Binay’s camp.

But he added that the Vice President does not need another spokesman to defend him from controversies.

Cayetano said what the people need to see is for Binay to stop making excuses and start explaining the Makati building issue.

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15 Comments

  1. veronica castro on

    Open the books of the city of Makati and just show the records. all others are beside the point.

  2. VP Binay should just explain clearly and straight faced how an 11-storey parking cum office building costs P2.2B when more high-rise and more luxurious buildings in the same area (nearby Pasig River) would cost the same or less. He should present evidences that will prove that it really cost that much. He should not hide on the pretext of political harassment or smearing his family. It’s taxpayer’s money that was used and every Filipino should demand every public official how they spend people’s money for projects. This hearing is good for the Filipino people as it exposes anomalous transactions without which taxpaying Filipinos will never know the corruption going on in local government units.

  3. Binays assumption might be true but how he can explain his accumulated wealth for the past years he has been ruling Makati City. The mathematics of his salary will not be equivalent to his current wealth now. His political enemies envies on his wealth, if he is really honest he should subject himself to a lifestyle check and that will prove his honest intention of serving the Filipino people without any personal interest also will clear the accussations that he is corrupt.

  4. now cayatano and trillanes are now rattled nalalantad na ang kanilang baho mga kababayan nagmamahal sa ph markahan nyo ang 2 senatong ito

  5. This is the end of Binay Mafia Clan(Makati),Blue Ribbon hearing is good so the public will know whats going on.Ayaw mo yan Sen. Binay,libre advertisement yong Nancy Bake Shop,P1,000.00 cake for the senior citizen.Dyan kinakat yong cake.Easy money no tax.thats the mafia way.

    • You doblahsow that do you? I’m not a fan of Binay but really, Trillanes and Cayetanos were Blah, blah senators.

    • Have you not heard the news from the TV that the cakes are not worth 1,000 pesos but a 1 peso more of the 300 peso price? Take note, the cakes receipt can prove its price.

  6. Eliseo Jr. P.Tenza on

    The sandigan Bayan should start the investigation of the alleged over priced Php 2.7 or Php 2.4 Billion parking building that is being claimed to be first class building.This issue will be a big question in the candidacy of vp Binay running for the presidency of the Philippines.
    I am an OFW architect since 1974, working in Singapore, and I cannot understand how that parking building can cost Php 2.4 Billion. For a first class building, we want to know, what is the waiting time for the elevators? What is the brand of the Elevators? I cannot vote for a person who keeps avoiding answering the allegations by making press statements, and alledging poltical harassment.

    • veronica castro on

      Keep giving your opinions and encourage Filipinos in Singapore who are paying taxes to the Phil Gov’t to get involved in every Philipine election. Now, more than in any time of the history of the Phils. the Philippines ,
      the Country we love, our NATIVE LAND, NEED YOUR HELP. We have tilo save the Philippines from the clutches of the criminals, plunderers, scoundrels, the underworld. The Philippines against this group.

  7. very obvious that the senate hearing was use to malign the reputation of the vise president and his family. unprofessional gesture is the image that i have observed of
    the accusers. i gave my votes to cayetano and trillanes during elections and i didnt expect that their true colors will be uncovered by that senate hearing in aid of legistations. self vested interest.

  8. Parang masyadong kompiyansa ang kampo ni Binay na siya na ang susunod na pangulo dahil lamang sa mga survey na yan.Pera lang naman ang pinaiiral din sa survey na yan kagayan kay P-Noy sa survey marami daw gusto siya iextend ang kanyang pagkapangulo.Dapat sa mga survey na yan ipinagbabawal wala naman makukuha diyan kundi ginugulo lang ang isipan ng mga pilipino diyan sa survey na yan.

  9. ATTY. ABDULLAH "DABS" MAMA-O on

    I don’t know why this Senate investigation is not challenged before the Supreme Court. This will create a bad precedent if not resolved by the Supreme Court. Will this be the start of investigating the affairs of city,municipal and provincial governments by both Houses of Congress? There is no problem if the probe involves a department of the national government to expose corruption,inefficiency or waste. This definitely does not involve national interests which Congress might legislate or decide upon due investigation. It is a well established rule that the congressional power of investigation may be employed only in aid of the legislative function. Its outermost boundaries are marked, then, by the outermost boundaries of the power to legislate. It is clear that neither house of Congress possesses a general power of making inquiry on anything including the affairs of city, municipal and provincial governments. We have city councils, municipal councils and provincial boards that can initiate this type of investigation.There is pending criminal complaint against the Binays before the Ombudsman. The investigation and prosecution of this criminal complaint against the Binays must be left to the Ombudsman and ultimately to the Sandiganbayan if criminal complaints will be filed against the accused conformably to the constitutional separation of powers.The exercise of the Senate’s basic power to investigate the affairs of the City of Makati is one very interesting question that should be raised before the Supreme Court.

    • Senate hearings, although being used for grandstanding is good so that the public will know the issues. This will prevent whitewashing and cover-up by powerful people who has the power and money to buy favorable decisions to their side. Once the public know the issues, the sandiganbayan judges will think twice before deciding against the good of the public. Anyway, if there really is nothing to hide, why be afraid of any investigations.

  10. Lets suppose binay is right & certain senators are just trying to destroy his career & making statements that arnt true or are misleading, then they should say let the blue ribbon committee check these things out & if they are found to be false then have them removed from the senate. It is or is not the right & legal way to sort it, i dont know which it is, but if its found these senators were totally wrong they should be punished as you cant just make accusations willy nilly. Now with those cakes its a complete joke & shambles, first they said this is what they were sold at, we now know that to be a complete lie so now the attorney who made that lie should be held liable. De barr him. Being an attorney he should know better & he should be held accountable. But again if they make accusations they should be investigated & again if found to be false heads at the top should roll.

  11. If Jojo Binay and his family continue to sound defensive in all the allegations (mud throwing is an appropriate word), he will be in a very embarrassing position. He must defend himself, so are the members of his family, head-on, point by point, issue to issue so he will dose water to the statements of Trillanes that Binay is in a panic mode. More importantly, as far as my one vote is concerned, he must explain in detail to the public how he became a millionaire (some says he really is a billionaire) by just being a public servant in Makati City.