Binay got P1B from Makati, Laguna projects—Bondal
Vice President Jejomar Binay was again accused at a Senate hearing on Thursday of allegedly making money amounting to P1 billion from two housing projects in Makati City and Calauan, Laguna.
Lawyer Renato Bondal made these new allegations at the resumption of the hearing of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee.
The two projects he was referring to were a housing project which he said was now turned into a hotel called the Makati Friendship Suites and a relocation site in Calauan, Laguna called the Makati Homeville project.
“Si Vice President po ay kumita d’yan po sa proyektong Friendship Suites na dapat ‘yang proyektong ‘yan ay para sa mahihirap na taga-lungsod ng Makati na para po maging kanilang bahay. Ngunit hindi po nangyari ‘yan at ang ginawa po nila ay naging hotel…” Bondal said in his opening statement.
(Binay made money from the Friendship Suites project even if it was intended for the indigent residents of Makati to have shelter. But they just turned the housing project to a hotel.)
“Masakit pa po dyan kahit pwede na pong ipamigay or ipamahagi sa mahihirap ng Makati, ‘yan pong mga Friendship Suites na tinatawag, ay ginigiba po, dinidemolish ang ating mga kababayan at itinatapon sa Calauan, Laguna.”
(It’s sad that instead of giving the Friendship Suites to poor, the homes of the poor residents were demolished and they were ordered relocated to Calauan, Laguna.)
“Ipapakita rin po namin na kumita na po si Vice President Binay sa Friendship Suites at kumita na rin po sa relocation site sa Calauan, Laguna kung saan ito ay nagkakahalaga na naman ng kanilang paboritong letra, B. Isang bilyon po ang kinita lahat-lahat ng mga Binay d’yan po sa dalawang proyektong ‘yan,” Bondal added.
(We will also show that Vice Friendship Binay made money from the Friendship Suites and the relocation site in Calauan, Laguna. He got P1 billion from those two projects.)
Bondal said Binay was still the mayor when the city bought a three-building bliss in Makati City or the Friendship Suites at P17.2 million but its renovation cost amounted to P242 million or more than P80 million each building.
He said the renovation cost was 13 times bigger than the purchase cost of the three buildings.
But citing own estimates, Bondal said the renovation cost of the housing project should have amounted to P47 million only.
“Sa amin pong pag-aaral e ang dapat halaga lang po nang nagastos doon po sa mga tatlong gusali na ‘yun ay P47 million lamang. In other words, ang difference po noong P242 million sa actual legal cost na P47 millyon ay P195 million (Based on our own study, the renovation cost of the three buildings should have been P47 million only. In other words, the difference between the declared cost of P242 million and the legal cost of P47 million is P195 million),” he said.
“’Yan po ang overprice ng Makati Friendship Suites. ‘Yan po ay lagpas du’n sa threshold price na P50 million which will qualify this project as another plunder case [for] Vice President Binay (That is the amount of overpricing in the Makati Friendship Suites. That is more than P50-million threshold price which will qualify this project as another plunder case for Vice President Binay),” he added.
At one point, Senator Aqulino “Koko” Pimentel III, chairman of the subcommittee, stopped Bondal and asked where he got all his information.
“Saan mo nakuha ang alegasyon mo (Who is the source of your allegation)?” asked Pimentel.
“E sinasabi po sa amin ng mga taong naroroon (The people there told us),” Bondal said.
“Pero wala kang authoritative source (But you don’t have an authoritative source)?” asked the senator to which the lawyer answer said, “We can find out and submit to the Senate your honor.”
“Sige, kasi if you can prove it, then we will pursue it. Pero ‘pag hindi, e bitawan na po natin (Go, because if you can prove it, then we can pursue it. But if not, then we can just let it go),” Pimentel added.
Bondal then went on with his testimony.
He pointed out that since the Makati housing project was converted into a hotel, Bondal said the informal settlers in the city were relocated to the Makati Homeville in Calauan, Laguna, which he said costs P1.2 billion — P900 million for its development and P120 million for the purchase of the land.
The lawyer did not say in his testimony how the Vice President supposedly got P1 billion from the two projects.
But in an interview with reporters after the hearing, Bondal explained that aside from the P195-million overprice in the Makati housing project, they also suspect that the P1.2 billion project in Laguna was also overpriced by half.
“We don’t believe that P1 billion was actually spent there. We believe na siguro almost half of that is an overprice…” he said.
Pressed for answers why he came up with P1 billion figure as Binay’s supposed gain from the projects, Bondal said: “Kasi tingnan mo ang nagastos sa Friendship Suites e P242 million, now dapat d’un na magre-resettle ‘yung mga nasunugan at informal settlers namin but instead of that, gumawa sila ng Calauan, Laguna (project). E magkano yung Calauan, Laguna so far…?”
(Look, they spent P242 million for the Friendship Suites that was supposed to house the city’s victims of fire and informal settlers. Instead of that, they constructed a project in Calauan, Laguna. And how much has that cost so far?) IDL
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