BINAY SLAMS ‘LIES, SPECULATIONS’
IN BLUE RIBBON HEARING
Vice President Jejomar C. Binay last week criticized the proceedings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building, saying the hearing has become a “politicized forum whose sole purpose is to make wild accusations and false statements” against the Binay family.
In a press conference at the Coconut Palace, the Vice President said the Senate used testimony of a person who has admitted to corruption and testimony of a person who admitted he lied and merely speculated
“The Senate heard the accusations of a person who has admitted receiving kickbacks from a government project. In the first hearing, our opponents were allowed, encouraged, and supported to lie in their sworn testimony,” he said.
Binay answered the allegations of his political opponents and said the construction of the Makati City Building 2 was above board. He reiterated he did not receive any kickbacks from any project of the local government of Makati.
“First, my family and I did not receive any money from any transaction in the City of Makati – from the construction of Building 2 or any building in Makati, from contractors, and from businessmen, and especially from the giving or baking of cakes or any other benefits for Makati residents,” he said.
“Second, the construction of Building 2, including the entire cost, went through the rigorous study and processes mandated by law, particularly the General Procurement Act.
Third, based on the list and documents of the City of Makati, the Makati council allocated budget for the entire project in the span of five years,” he added.
Moreover, Binay said despite the multiple instances audits of all expenses in the construction of Building 2 made by Commission on Audit (COA) through their technical specialists and regular auditors, no trace of any deficiency, excess, or violation of any laws or COA rules are made in the construction of the building.
“In the course of six years, the said project was scrutinized by the Commission on Audit ten times, and each time, they did not find any anomaly,” he said.
“Until now, they have not shown any concrete evidence that the said building is overpriced,” he added.
Binay also slammed Senators Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV, saying they maligned and insulted officials and employees of the COA who gave truthful testimonies based on the results of actions ordered by their head office.
“Senator Trillanes also tried to prevent the testimony of the contractor of the project, who, according to our information, was also maligned and threatened to be included in the plunder charge just because the said contractor’s testimony was not to their favor,” he said.
“What is Senator Trillanes afraid of? That the contractor would say the project was not overpriced? That there are other government projects more expensive that Makati’s Builtding 2? That there are projects that were also divided into phases, including projects of their allies? Is this not preventing the truth to be revealed and a violation of the people’s right to hear all sides?” Binay asked.
“Even the handbook that Senator Cayetano brandished in the hearings states, ‘All buildings are assumed to have no basement (except otherwise stated) and are built on flat ground, with normal soil conditions, and minimal external work. The cost excludes land cost, professional fees, finance and legal expenses.’ Which means, this is not a comparison of similar items,” he further said. /MP