In 23 hearings spanning an entire year and worthy of a slot in the Guinness Book of World Records, the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee investigating alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2 has produced “nothing truthful or credible,” according to Vice President Jejomar Binay.
When asked if he expected another “explosive revelation” in the next two hearings on August 20 and 26, Binay told Bombao Radyo in an interview on Monday that he would not be surprised if those conducting the hearings and their witnesses produced “falsified documents.”
The Vice President laughed off the “open invitation” of the sub-committee for him to attend the hearings, saying he has already explained his side but was snubbed by senators.
“Alam po ninyo, hindi ko malaman kung bakit po ipinakakagat ho nila ‘yong issue ng hindi pagharap eh. Sabi, kaya ayaw kong humarap ay dahil sa ako ay may kasalanan, ito po naman ay sabi ko, kung kayo po kaya ang mapalagay sa posisyon ng Pangalawang Pangulo, at ang makakaharap ho ninyo ay nambabastos o nanghihiya, dadalo ba kayo [I do not know why these investigators make an issue of my not appearing before them. They say, I refuse to do so because I am guilty, and I am telling them that if they were in my shoes, as the Vice President of the Philippines, would they face their interrogators who are rude and who are bent in shaming you]?” Binay said.
For the record, he added, he sent the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee his sworn affidavit but the probers did not pay any attention to it, while those affidavits submitted by so-called witnesses were read before the panel.
“Pero may pinaliwanag po ako, mga kababayan na para bang nando’n na rin ho ako. Wala nga lang ako physically, pero ‘yong dokumento pong ‘yon ay paliwanag po do’n sa mga ibinibintang na pulos kasinungalingang sinasabi po nila [I explained to the investigators, my countrymen, as if I was there physically. My sworn affidavit was a rebuttal of their accusations against me that were all lies anyway],” Binay said.
The sub-committee previously made a show of placing an empty chair with a place card bearing the Vice President’s name, which Binay’s spokesman on political concerns, lawyer Rico Quicho, branded as a “cheap gimmick” in a “badly-written telenovela.”
“The senators have resorted to the cheap gimmick of putting an empty chair in the Session Hall when the only thing empty in this sorry excuse for a Senate inquiry is credible proof,” Quicho said.