Bondal stands by claim of overpriced cakes, building

Posted at 08/22/2014 1:24 PM | Updated as of 08/22/2014 7:28 PM

MANILA - Lawyer Renato Bondal is standing by his allegations that the Makati City Hall Building 2 and cakes distributed to Makati senior citizens are overpriced.

In an interview on "Mornings@ANC" on Friday, Bondal said documents he presented before the Senate inquiry were sourced from someone inside Makati City Hall.

He added he would not put his professional career on the line if the allegation was fabricated.

Bondal filed a plunder case against Vice President Jejomar Binay, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and several other Makati officials over the alleged overpricing of the construction of the 11-storey building.

"I'm a lawyer. If I attach a document that is completely falsified, the next day my license will be taken away by the Supreme Court," he said.

He said he is daring the Binays to file a disbarment case against him.

During Wednesday's Senate hearing on the matter, Bondal noted that the P2.7-billion Makati City office and parking building was even more expensive than luxury condominiums in the city.

He said the building costs P84,000 per square meter, while the Shang Grand Tower and The Residences at Greenbelt cost P40,000 and P45,000 per square meter, respectively.

Bondal, however, was criticized by Senator Nancy Binay for using Wikipedia as his source.

''Who was the source of that info? Was it the contractor? Was it the developer? Ang pagka-dinig ko sa Senate hearing Wikipedia ang source. So diba, ang hirap sabihin na it is overpriced when you don't even know where they got that amount,'' the senator said.

But according to Bondal, he only resorted to Wikipedia for the data on other buildings in Makati because he could not get official documents from property developers.

"I only wanted to trigger an investigation, I had to make a comparison... The Ombudsman has the power to investigate and summon the documents," he said.

The lawyer reiterated that the contract for the Makati City Hall Building 2 was split into several phases, with each phase bidded out. This is the reason why the final cost for the building project was not determined until the building was finished.

BINAY CAKES

In the interview, Bondal also denied a statement from the Makati City Administrator that cakes being distributed to senior citizens are only worth P306.75 each and not P1,000.

City Administrator Eleno Mendoza has said the local government has documents to show that the cakes were only bought for P306.75.

This was refuted by Bondal, who said Mendoza is showing a document dated February 2014.

"I started writing letters to the resident COA auditor in January. It is very easy for them to buy now. What we are trying to discover is before, from the time they started these cakes. From the time Vice-President Binay was still mayor," he said.

The lawyer said he sees nothing wrong with giving cakes to senior citizens in Makati. However, he said this does not mean that the overpricing is justified.

Bondal said he broke away from the Binay camp when he saw that the Binays would not let go of power in Makati.

"I already saw that this going to be an endless Binay reign. I could not agree with Dra. [Elenita] Binay running because I knew she would only be used for one term and true enough, Vice-President Binay would go back to it again," he said. -- With ANC