Binay on Senate probe: Nalulungkot ako

Posted at 08/21/14 10:46 AM

MANILA - Vice-President Jejomar Binay on Thursday admitted he is saddened by the ongoing Senate investigation on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

Speaking to reporters, Binay said he will leave it to the people to judge whether or not the ongoing investigation is politically motivated.

He noted that at least one senator, referring to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, had already admitted that one reason for the investigation is because Binay is planning to run for President.

"Nalulungkot ako...Kitang-kita naman ang political motive," he said.

Binay, his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and other Makati officials are facing a plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman for the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

During Wednesday's Senate hearing, Atty. Renato Bonda presented real property industry expert and appraiser Federico Cuervo who said the building should have cost over P700 million and not P2.7 billion.

Bondal described Makati City as the "chop-chop capital of the Philippines," noting the local government splits contracts for one project to allegedly bloat the total price.

He alleged the local government led by the Binays operates a “modus operandi” whereby projects are divided into phases and bid out separately.

He said the same scheme was implemented for the Makati City Hall Building, which had a price of P7 billion; the Ospital ng Makati, which supposedly costs P2 billion for phase 1; and the Makati Science High School.

Not content, Bondal also pointed out that cakes being distributed by Makati City Hall 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.