Binay: Evidence of corruption ‘hearsay’
MANILA, Philippines—Before a room full of supporters at the Philippine International Convention Center, Vice President Jejomar Binay said that the allegations of corruption against him were “hearsay”, would not stand in a court of law and were merely part of a “circus” hearing in the Senate.
Binay said that the witnesses who testified against the overpriced Makati City Hall Building II have no evidence against him other than their testimonies before the investigations of the Blue Ribbon Committee.
He said that the allegations of rigged biddings, that he earned kickbacks were only hearesay and have no documentary evidence.
“The alleged commission delivered in bags are just hearsay evidence from Vice Mayor Ernest Mercado. There is no evidence,” Binay said in Filipino during his address Thursday.
“None of their testimonies will stand in a court of law. They are only saying these things in circus hearings in the Senate,” he said.
Binay added that throughout the five years the Makati City Hall Building II was being constructed, Commission on Audit had conducted up 10 technical audits by engineers, architects, surveyors, and accountants and found no anomaly.
He also said that he received none of the alleged kickbacks claimed by Mercado.
“The contractor of the building has directly said that I have not asked nor was given any bribe,” Binay said.
“If there were any commission that Mercado says he received, it clearly was just for him,” he said.
Binay slammed Senator Alan Cayetano who headed the hearings for immediately jumping to conclusions that the building was overpriced even after just one inspection.
“In accordance with law, only the government procurement act and the guidelines of COA can be used in the construction of government buildings. Not a construction handbook that a senator loves to wave around,” Binay said, referring to Cayetano.
Binay said that if an accurate estimate of the price of the Makati City Hall Building II could be obtained, it should be compared with the price of other government buildings such as the Iloilo Convention Center, the House of Representatives Annex Building, the Calamba City Hall Complex, and Sandiganbayan Building.
“The price of the Makati City Hall Building II is P69,549 per square meter. This is cheaper than the P74,751 per square meter of the Batasan Pambansa Annex Building,” Binay said.
“More comparable is the P68,140 per square meter of the two-story Iloilo Convention Center which is still in the first phase,” he said.
Binay questioned why his project was being singled out in the Senate when it was comparable in price to other government projects done by allies of the administration.
“They are prosecuting me because those with political ambitions don’t want me to continue the projects I started in Makati to the entire country,” Binay said.
“They don’t want me to help the poor because they are children of wealthy and elite families who look down on others,” he said.
Originally posted at 02:34 pm | September 18, 2014