Binay tried to use Pag-Ibig for political ads–Cayetano | Inquirer News
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Binay tried to use Pag-Ibig for political ads–Cayetano

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 02:40 AM January 08, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–Vice President Jejomar Binay tried to come out with a political advertisement in 2012 or 2013 using the Pag-Ibig Fund, but its president, Darlene Berberabe, opposed it, according to Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

The advertisement featuring the Vice President was proposed by Tomas Lopez, a member of the Pag-Ibig board, Cayetano said, quoting Pag-Ibig officials.

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“They wanted to use Pag-Ibig for politics. Pag-Ibig head, Ms. Berberabe, opposed this, arguing that if they were going to run a commercial, it should not be political,” the senator told reporters.

“There’s infighting there because the head is a good person,” he said.

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Cayetano also said that Binay succeeded in getting some allies appointed as Pag-Ibig directors, but could not say how many.

Binay, who has been put in charge of the government’s shelter program, chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, an office directly under the President that is charged with coordinating the activities of the different housing agencies, including the Pag-Ibig Fund.

Cayetano said Sen. Antonio Trillanes’ disclosure of Binay’s alleged award of contracts to favored companies for the construction of mass housing projects was worth looking into by the Senate.

“I don’t think it should be given priority but I don’t think that it should be swept under the rug. The executive should also investigate that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Koko Pimentel said the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee planned to question Berberabe concerning a contract with a security agency linked to an aide of the Vice President.

Set to answer questions

The subcommittee will be inviting Berberabe to attend the resumption of its hearings on Jan. 22 on the alleged anomalies in Makati to answer questions about Omni Security Investigation and General Services.

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“Is it true Pag-Ibig has a contract with Omni? Was it bid or negotiated? If it’s negotiated, did she talk to Gerardo Limlingan?” said Pimentel, who chairs the subcommittee, in a phone interview.

“Isn’t she worried about her contract with Omni, whose reported president (Limlingan) is nowhere to be found? Is that a regular company?” he added.

Limlingan, a longtime aide of Binay, has so far ignored invitations to attend the hearings. Efforts to locate him by the subcommittee have been unsuccessful.

Berberabe earlier said that Binay had recommended the services of Omni.

‘Unfinished business’

Pimentel said the inquiry into Omni Security was among the “unfinished business” of the subcommittee.

The company was awarded several contracts with the Makati City government when Binay was its mayor.

Jose Orillaza, former president of Omni Security, told a Senate hearing last September that Binay had sent Limlingan to work at the company. The names of Binay and Limlingan did not appear in the company’s incorporation papers.

Orillaza said Limlingan was his cosignatory for checks issued by the company.

Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado has pointed to Orillaza as one of Binay’s dummies who helped conceal the Vice President’s assets.

The subcommittee is resuming its hearings on the allegedly overpriced P700-million Makati Science High School, which Pimentel and Trillanes inspected before the holiday break, on Jan. 22.

Apart from the P2.28-billion Makati car park and the Makati Science High School, Trillanes also wants to scrutinize the Nursing Building, City Hall I, Ospital ng Makati and Friendship Suites.

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TAGS: Darlene Berberabe, Elections, Jejomar Binay, Pag-Ibig Fund, political ads, Politics
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