Makati carpark row ‘bigger’ than pork barrel scam, says Trillanes
MANILA, Philippines – The alleged overprice Makati parking building is “bigger than the scandalous pork barrel scam,” Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said Saturday.
“This is bigger than the pork barrel scam,” Trillanes said during a media briefing in Quezon City, citing how the Binays allegedly pocketed P2 billion from the project.
The senator was referring to the construction of a parking building Makati City that allegedly cost P2.3 billion.
The 11-story building is the subject of a plunder case filed against Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was Makati City Mayor when the construction of the building started in 2007.
Plunder charges were filed by their political rivals Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso, who said the building should have cost only P700 million.
During a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Federico Cuervo, a property appraiser from Cuervo Valuers & Advisory, said the average cost of a building in Makati City was P23, 000 per square meters based on 2007 prices but the controversial Makati parking building, cost P84, 000 per square meters.
Cuervo said the building, which would have cost only around P700 million, was priced at P2.7 billion.
“If there is truth in these allegations, then they (Binays) pocketed P2 billion in one project alone,” Trillanes said.
He added that the construction of the building had no clearance from the Commission on Audit (COA) based on COA Chairperson Grace Pulido-Tan’s statement.
Trillanes dismissed allegations that the Senate investigation was politically motivated.
“I will let the evidence respond to that. If there will be no evidence, then the public can say that it’s politically motivated,” he said.
“The bidding was railroaded,” he added, citing the quick award of contracts to the bidder.
According to him, the ongoing investigation was just “part of the legislative and oversight function of the senate.”
“They (Binays) are doing anything except to address the issue,” he added.
He said he would also look into the construction of the Ospital ng Makati, Makati City Science High School and the Makati City Hall to see the “patter and propensity of corruption” in Makati.
This came after Bondal also alleged during a hearing that other Makati buildings were likely overpriced.
No to Binay in 2016
“Under a Binay presidency, things could be worse,” the senator said.
“If they can do that to a cake, they can do that to anything,” he added, referring to the overpriced cakes in Makati given to senior citizens, which was revealed during a Senate hearing.
According to Trillanes, Binay will not be endorsed by President Benigno Aquino III, citing an insider’s information given to him.
Earlier this August, reports surfaced that Aquino would endorse Binay in the 2016 presidential elections.
Aquino, however, remained silent on who he would endorse in 2016.
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