Allegedly overpriced cakes for senior citizens were just an icing on the cake on the perceived demolition job against the Binay family and the Senate leadership should not allow the institution to be used by some people
Joey Salgado, spokesman for Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay said the incident at the hearing on Wednesday where lawyer Renato Bondal brought several cakes was a crude attempt to use the Senate “as a platform to raise malicious, baseless and non-existent allegations against the Binay family.”
City Administrator Eleno Mendoza said the purchase order for the cakes would show that they were bought by the city government for only P306.75 each, not P1,000 as claimed by Bondal before the Senate blue ribbon committee. The committee is probing the allegedly ovepriced P2.7-billion Makati City Hall 2 office and parking building.
“The figure cited by Mr. Bondal is totally false. Our documents will prove that and we will submit these documents to the Senate blue ribbon committee,” Mendoza added.
The city government gives cakes to its senior citizens on their birthday and wedding anniversaries.
Salgado said the city government has all the documents on the purchase of the cakes, and the purchase went through bidding as required by law.
He pointed to the alleged pattern of lies being peddled by Bondal, starting with his claim of overpricing in the construction of the office and parking building and other infrastructure projects.
Meanwhile, an ally of Taguig City Mayor Laarni Cayetano alleged that the Binays are behind the filing of graft and plunder charges before the Ombudsman against the mayor and her husband Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.
At the same time, Taguig Councilor Darwin Icay said the charges were just diversionary tactics to distract the public from the ongoing investigation of overpricing of construction of the controversial building.
In a complaint filed before the Ombudsman on Wednesday, Roderick Vera, a law professor at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), accused the Cayetanos of allegedly anomalous purchase of multi-cabs, priced at $11,381 each, using the senator’s P9-million allocation in Priority Development Assistance Funds or pork barrel in 2012.
The mayor is also accused of hiring thousands of alleged ghost employees.
Icay described Vera’s allegations as “bogus.” He claimed Vera was a classmate of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s daughter and Rep. Abigail “Abby” Binay of Makati City.
“Any citizen has a right to file charges but the politics in this are clear – Atty. Vera is a law school classmate of [Congresswoman] Abby Binay and this is a law firm with close ties to [Vice President] Binay. The organization was also used as a shadow organization that attacked [Interior] Secretary [Manuel] Roxas [2nd] during the Delfin Lee arrest. Their agenda is clear, make up bogus charges and distract from the ongoing investigation [of]the Binays’ corruption involving the Makati parking building. These are purely lies based on maliciously distorted facts,” Icay said in a statement.
The charges were filed by Vera just as the Senate was conducting the hearing on the controversial Makati building.
Icay said the City of Taguig made a smart investment in new ambulances and emergency response vehicles and contrary to Mayor Binay’s claim, “these vehicles were not refurbished. We’re making a lot of smart investments to build for the future, including free education, medicine for our seniors and families, and creating jobs.”
He said the Commission on Audit (COA) itself had no questions on the purchase of 18 brand new mini-ambulances and firetrucks in the city of Taguig, a project funded by Sen. Cayetano’s PDAF.
“The Binay camp is free to check the figures released by the COA in their reports. Instead, they distort these facts and figures to mislead the public and destroy the reputation of the Cayetanos,” Icay added.