TOUR” FOR DETRACTORS SET
The Office of the Vice President (OVP) last week revealed that Renato Bondal, one of the complainants in the plunder complaint against Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay and several city officials, will go on a nationwide speaking tour starting with the Visayas region.
Bondal will be visiting key cities in Region 6, 7 and 8, said Joey Salgado, spokesman for the Vice President. The tour also shows that the complainants are “apparently well-funded,” he said.
Salgado described the speaking tour as a “circus of lies” where Bondal will be repeating baseless attacks on the Vice President, who is the perceived frontrunner in the 2016 election.
“The Bondal roadshow is nothing more than a circus of lies. He will be visiting the Visayas region, the first of several stops in a planned national tour, shows that his group has graduated from local opponents to a well-funded demolition crew,” he said.
Salgado reiterated the reply of the Vice President and Mayor Binay to the plunder complaint filed by Bondal alleging overpricing in the construction of Building 2 of the Makati City Hall.
He said the 12-storey building is an office building with parking floors and not solely a parking building/facility as alleged by the complainants.
“That they presented it as a parking building/facility shows their intention to mislead both the media and the public,” he said.
Salgado also said the project passed COA scrutiny.
“From the start until formal turnover, the project was subjected to COA audit. The project passed all the audits,” he said.
He added that the COA did not issue any adverse findings for the project and in fact, found the contract price for the project reasonable.
Salgado also debunked claims that the project did not go through bidding.
“The project underwent bidding as prescribed by law, contrary to the claims of the complainants. All budgetary releases for the project were approved by the City Council in several ordinances, contrary to the claims of the complainants. At no point did the Vice President during his term as mayor, and incumbent Mayor Jun Binay release funds without City Council approval,” he said.
He also said the National Statistics Office (NSO) is not the final arbiter on overpricing.
“To prove overpricing, an actual canvass of similar items is needed. This has been established by the courts and also part of COA rules. Not NSO statistics but an actual comparison of similar items,” he said.
The P7,000 per square meter construction cost claimed by the group as the standard building cost “is the approximate cost for a socialized housing unit, not an office building.”/MP