VICE President Jejomar Binay will get a breather from the negative publicity he has been getting when the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee suspends its investigations of allegations against the Vice President to give way to plenary deliberations on the proposed 2015 national budget.
The Senate will begin the deliberations on the proposed 2015 General Appropriations Act (GAA) this week. This means that other items being tackled by various committees will be suspended to ensure that the budget is approved before Congress goes on Christmas break.
Congress will adjourn on December 20 and will resume session on January 18, 2015.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, a member of the blue ribbon sub-committee, said the panel will adhere to the tradition of the Senate giving priority to budget deliberations and will suspend the Binay probe until the Senate passes the proposed GAA.
“We will be prioritizing the budget hearing that is why after the hearing on Tuesday, we will not be setting another hearing until the budget is finished,” Trillanes said in a radio interview aired over dzBB.
The sub-committee is scheduled to conduct another hearing tomorrow in connection with allegedly overpriced structures funded by the Makati city government when the now Vice President was still the mayor of the city.
The committee will tackle charges that the P1.3-billion Makati Science High School was overpriced.
According to Trillanes, documents from the Makati city government showed that each classroom of the school could cost P24.6 million.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, chairperson of the blue ribbon sub-committee, earlier said he intends to conduct three to four more hearings on the Binay case. He added that the panel is expected to finish the probe by February 2015.
Meanwhile, Trillanes denied the claim of Binay’s spokesman on political affairs, Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, that the Senate spends P50 million for every hearing.
The senator said the committee is only spending for the meals of resource persons and committee members.