VICE PRESIDENT Jejomar Binay on Tuesday vowed to confront his accusers in court and to unravel the “lies” spread against him as another plunder complaint was filed against him and his son, Makati City Mayor Erwin Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr., at the Office of the Ombudsman over the allegedly overpriced Makati Science High School Building.
Former city officials and officers of Hilmarc’s Construction Corp. were included in the complaint filed by Renato Bondal.
But the Vice President said he will not back down even if his political detractors continue to spread lies.
“I am used to life’s challenges. And even if they are not fair or just, I do not back down.
To those who filed the complaint and their backers, I say, I will answer all your lies before the Ombudsman. Let us face each other before the eyes of the law. I will go through the right process,” he stressed.
Bondal, who called for the preventive suspension of the public respondents, first filed a plunder complaint against the father and son and several city councilors in July this year over the allegedly overpriced construction of the New Makati City Hall Parking Building.
Bondal ran against Junjun but lost in the 2013 elections.
In a 13-page complaint, he accused the respondents of plunder for the “unconscionable overpricing of the construction” of the school, which was built at a cost of P1.33 billion.
Citing National Statistics Office (NSO) records, Bondal said the average construction cost in 2007 was about P8,013.
Multiplied by the supposed total floor area of 18,373 sq.m., he said, the project should have cost only P147,222,849.
Bondal then cited 2013 construction industry guidelines, which provided an average cost of P25,620 per sq.m. for a similar building, in saying the total cost should have been only P470 million.
“The overprice then for the high school building was P862,000,000,” he said.
Bondal added that the project, which started in 2007, was “made to appear to have been finished, completed and accepted by responsible officers of the Makati City Government in 2014.” He also cited the Senate inspection in November “which showed that the 8th, 9th and 10th floors were unfinished.”
“[T]he respondents chopped up the project into six phases and conducted a simulated bidding for each phase, a practice prohibited under Republic Act 9184,” Bondal said, referring to the Procurement Law.
“Undeniably, then Mayor Jejomar Binay is liable for gross misuse of precious government funds. This practice continued when his son, Erwin Jejomar S. Binay Jr., took over as mayor in June 2010,” he added.
Also named respondents were former councilors Ferdinand Eusebio, Arnold Magpantay, Romeo Medina, Tosca Puno-Ramos, Maria Alethea Casal-Uy, Virgilio Hilario, Monsuor Del Rosario 3rd, Vince Sese, Dr. Nelson Pasia, Salvador Pangilinan, Elias Tolentino, Ruth Tolentino, Henry Jacome, Leo Magpantay, Nemesio Yabut, Armand Padilla, Israel Cruzado, Ma. Theresa De Lara, Angelito Gatchalian and Ricardo Javier.
Other respondents are members of Makati City’s school board in 2009; ex-Makati resident state auditor Cecila Caga-anan; Bids and Awards Committee Chairman Marjorie De Veyra, Chairman (Phase VI) Eleno Mendoza Jr. and members Lorenza Amores, Pio Kenneth Dasal, Gerardo San Gabriel and Rodel Nayve and Hilmarc’s officers and directors Efren Canlas, Damian Ramos, Ma. Trinitas Canlas, Susan Ramos, Ma. Shiela Dayrit, Edouard Ferdinand Canlas, Juan Paolo Canlas, Cristina Elisse Canlas, Hak Jin Kim and Robert Henson.
Binay said he will face the charges head on to unravel the truth behind all the allegations of his detractors.
“I am ready to present myself before the Ombudsman to shed light on the truth behind the allegations against me,” the Vice President added.
He said he was wondering why charges are being filed against him now when his detractors have been quiet in the past.
“I only have one question for the people accusing me and those behind them. In 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, there was not one question or finding or irregularity in the projects they mentioned. But since the beginning of 2014, we had a special audit, special findings and others,” Binay noted.