THE ruling Liberal Party (LP) and its ally, the Nacionalista Party (NP), are allegedly conniving to suspend Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay and the entire city council in connection with the allegedly anomalous construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2 to pave the way for the designation of an administration ally as acting mayor.
Binay revealed the alleged plot of his political detractors, who he claimed omitted from the evidence submitted to the Ombudsman an ordinance that included the names of their political allies as principal sponsors of a measure appropriating funds for the controversial building.
In a statement, Binay said the complainants failed to provide the Ombudsman a copy of City Ordinance No. 2008-035 titled: “An Ordinance Appropriating Two Billion Two Hundred Sixty Million Pesos (P2,260,000,000.00) as Supplemental Budget No. 2 for Calendar Year 2008 Intended for Various Projects, Plans and Programs Enumerated in the Explanation of Expenditures Copy of Which is Hereto Attached as Annex A, Funds Shall Be Taken from the Approved Land Bank Loan, Subject to All Laws and Auditing Procedures.”
The measure was principally sponsored by several councilors, among them Romulo Peña, who was then sectoral representative for the Liga ng mga Barangay, and then Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado.
The building is the subject of a plunder complaint filed by Renato Bondal against the mayor, his father Vice President Jejomar Binay and members of the city council.
Peña is the incumbent vice mayor and a member of the LP, while Mercado ran for mayor in 2010 as official candidate of the NP. Bondal also ran for mayor in 2013 as official candidate of the NP. A Senate probe of the plunder allegations of Bondal is being pushed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, also a member of the NP.
“The group of Bondal cannot say that their allies were merely presiding officers. The ordinance is very clear: their names appeared as sponsors. By failing to include this ordinance among the pieces of evidence they submitted to the Ombudsman, our detractors are deliberately trying to mislead the public and the Ombudsman into thinking that the NP and LP in the city council are not involved when the evidence points to the contrary,” Binay said.
“Their plan is to have me and the entire city council suspended, to pave the way for the designation of their LP ally as acting mayor. The city council will now be filled with NP, LP and other characters who have not won a single election but may now be appointed, thereby subverting the will of the people of Makati,” he added.
The plan, Binay said, is “no different from the 2006 suspension of my father and the entire city council ordered by the Arroyo regime to get back at my father for being the leader of the opposition.”
Both the mayor and the camp of Vice President Binay have maintained that the allegations of overpricing did not have factual nor legal basis, and were made as part of an organized demolition campaign against the Vice President, the leading contender for the presidency in the 2016 elections.
The mayor earlier said Trillanes had “prejudged the issue” and was apparently not interested in ferreting out the truth. He added that it was apparent from the legislator’s statements that he had made up his mind and intended to use the Senate hearing as “a platform to malign the name of the Vice President.”