'Binay cakes' for seniors overpriced, says lawyer

Posted at 08/20/14 12:46 PM

MANILA – The cakes being given by the Makati government to the city's senior citizens cost P1,000 each, a complainant in the plunder rap against Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin ''Junjun'' Binay and Vice President Jejomar Binay said Wednesday.

During the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2, Atty. Renato Bondal alleged that the cakes being given to the city's senior citizens during birthdays and golden wedding anniversaries are overpriced.

He said the Binay cake costs more than P1,000 each, way more expensive than the similarly sized cakes being offered by two popular Filipino bakeshops which are priced at P570 and P390.

Bondal even brought to the Senate samples of the three cakes to prove his point.

Atty. Renato Bondal, a complainant in the plunder case against the Binays, presents the allegedly overpriced cake being given by the Makati City government to its senior citizens.

''Pansilaw ito sa lahat ng mga matatanda sa buong bansa, birthday cakes for senior citizens. Sa katunayan, wala kahit ni isang anino sa Makati ang nakakaalam kung magkakano ito,'' Bondal said.

'Skip the cake'

Before Bondal could even expound his claim, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, who chairs the sub-committee holding the Senate probe, reminded Bondal and other resource persons to stick to the building issue.

''Although there is a catch on 'related anomalies,' I was expecting it would be related to buildings. So maybe Atty. Bondal, let's skip the cake. Let's make that the subject of another resolution,'' Pimentel said.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who filed the resolution calling for the probe, nonetheless asked the Commission on Audit and Mayor Binay to submit documents pertaining to Makati City's cake purchases to determine whether Bondal was telling the truth.

''I think Atty. Bondal was just trying to prove a point that in Makati, hindi lang ang building ang pagkakaitan kundi pati ang cake. Kasi I think part ito doon sa kanyang plunder case na pinapakita niya `yung pattern of behavior, `yung propensity to commit corruption at all levels,'' Trillanes said.

Mayor Binay, for his part, said he will produce all the necessary documents to prove that the cakes are not overpriced.

More than a year ago, Mayor Binay's sister, Senator Nancy Binay, denied an allegation that she owns the company that supplies the cakes for Makati's senior citizens.

"No. I don't supply that (cakes). First of all, I don't bake. It's my husband who is in charge in the kitchen. It's not my company," Senator Binay had said.

"Why would I do that? I am barred from doing that. My father (Vice President Jejomar Binay) used to be the mayor, my brother (Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay, Jr.) is the mayor. Why would we do that?"