Cayetano dares VP Binay to attend Senate probe
MANILA - Senator Alan Peter Cayetano urged Vice President Jejomar Binay to appear before the Senate and explain his side on the allegedly overpriced P2.2 billion office and parking building of the local government of Makati.
During the Senate hearing on Wednesday, Cayetano told Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr.: “If your father wants to be president… just like anyone here in this room – anything you would want to throw against them, they are obliged to answer.”
He said he has a lot of questions on the building that remain unanswered.
The older Binay was mayor of Makati during the early parts of the project's implementation.
“I don’t know the protocol if you can invite the vice president… I’m open for him to come here and explain to the public in the same manner that when we were together in street protests, he had asked [then President Gloria Arroyo] to answer the corruption allegations. That was already the president, [on the other hand] he’s just vice president now,” he said.
Cayetano said if it is proven there was no anomaly in the construction of the building, he will apologize.
“If the allegations are true, there are only two scenarios: they got kickbacks, or the people below them got the kickbacks without their knowledge,” he said.
GRAFT RAPS VS CAYETANOS
Meantime, a civil society group filed 3 separate plunder and graft raps against him and his wife, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano.
The Philippine Association for the Advancement of Civil Liberties, Inc. alleged Cayetano misused his P351 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from 2007 to 2009.
“Worse, majority if not all of the PDAF of Respondent Cayetano, who as a Senator has a national constituency, was directed to Taguig, a local government unit with only 325,498 registered voters and where his wife is the incumbent mayor,” the petition says.
The group noted Cayetano had been trumpeting that he was not given his pork barrel during the time of Arroyo because of his crusade against corruption.
“The truth, however, is the total opposite… Cayetano is a sheep in wolf’s clothing whose true persona must be exposed for what it is, a two-faced traditional politician who says something in public but does the complete opposite in private,” the petition added.
The group also alleged that Cayetano has unexplained wealth. His net worth jumped to P23 million in 2011 from P15 million the previous year.
Separate charges were also filed in connection with Taguig’s purchase of 18 multicabs, allegedly overpriced at P8 million.
Another complaint referred to the release of P313 million supposedly for the hiring of over 3,000 "ghost" employees.
Cayetano alleged the complainants are friends and former classmates of Binay’s daughter, Rep. Abigail Binay.
He said he is ready to answer the allegations.
The Binays earlier said the hearing at the Senate was politically
motivated. The older Binay has been vocal of his intention to run for president.
Cayetano, on the other hand, has also sounded off similar plans.