‘Overpriced’ parking building in Makati houses offices too, city exec says
MANILA, Philippines—The 12-story building cited in the plunder case filed at the Office of the Ombudsman “is not entirely a parking building as it has office spaces in a number of floors,” the city government of Makati clarified on Wednesday.
Named respondents in the plunder case for alleged overpriced construction of the building were Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay, and his father Vice President Jejomar Binay, among others.
But city administrator Eleno Mendoza Jr. explained that the 12-story building “is actually an office building with parking floors, with five floors of parking spaces and six floors of office spaces.”
“We would like to clarify that the building being questioned is not merely a parking building,” Mendoza said in a statement.
“The parking areas are located in the basement and in the second up to sixth floors. The ground floor, seventh up to 10th floors house various offices, including frontline service offices, while the 11th and 12th floors hold the storage facilities and some office spaces,” he said.
Mendoza said the building, which was completed last March 2013, is considered a green building with its green architectural design.
He said the building has a landscaped roof deck, atrium at the seventh floor, LED lighting, and glass walls and panels that allow for sunlight to provide natural illumination to most areas during daytime.
To ensure the strength and stability of the building, which stands on an area with soil type classified as “soft soil,” the city administrator said, bored piles and steel sheet piling were used for its foundation.
“It also has granite tile flooring, centralized air-conditioning, two elevators, conference rooms and mini-function halls, and other modern amenities,” Mendoza said.
At present, he said, the ground floor houses the Business Permits Office and License Division, both frontline service offices catering to the needs of residents and the business community.
Vital offices on the upper floors, meanwhile, include the Makati Action Center, Makati Anti-Drug Abuse Council Office, Office of Senior Citizens Affairs, Information and Community Relations Department, Department of Environmental Services, Museum and Cultural Affairs Office, Tourism Office, Redemption Center of the Public Safety Department, and other offices.
Mayor Binay had earlier linked the filing of the case to the 2016 presidential elections, saying it was done after Pulse Asia released the results of its latest presidential survey where Vice President Binay was ranked the top choice.
The mayor also chided the complainants, whom he described as “perennial contenders and serial losers in Makati elections,” for not including in their complaint their political allies and party-mates. He said this exposed the move as “politically motivated.”
Despite this, Mayor Binay said he and the Vice President are ready to face the complaint and all other allegations from their opponents.
“The truth and the facts are on our aside. We just hope that the concerned agencies of government will be fair and impartial,” he said.