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Trillanes to reopen inquiry into Makati’s cake suppliers

/ 06:15 AM May 16, 2015

Amid fresh allegations that the Binays are Makati City’s own cake suppliers, the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee is planning to reopen its inquiry into the matter, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said on Friday.

Trillanes also said the reports that the Binay siblings—Sen. Nancy Binay, Makati Rep. Abigail Binay and Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr.—were cofounders and directors of the company linked to the supplier of the cakes that Makati gives to elderly residents on their birthday proved that the subcommittee’s witness was telling the truth when he made the same allegation earlier.

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READ: AMLC: Binays’ own firm supplied birthday cakes in Makati

This also shows that Senator Binay and the spokespersons of Vice President Jejomar Binay were lying when they denied that she was the cake supplier, Trillanes added.

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“It should be clear to the people that they are being fooled,” he told reporters in a phone patch interview.

In a text message sent on Friday through her press officer, Senator Binay once again denied being Makati’s cake supplier.

“I am not and have never been the supplier of cakes for Makati,” she said.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) found that the Binay siblings were the founders of Millennium Food Chains Corp. with several others, including Erlinda and Kim Chong.

Millennium is allegedly one of the suspected dummy companies of the Binays. The Chongs also own Cups & Mugs Kitchenette, listed as the supplier of the Makati birthday cakes.

 

Waiting for documents

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“We will go back to that issue. We’re just waiting for documents. We have seen how they used that for their own benefit,” Trillanes said.

He said the Binays’ ownership of the Makati cake supplier was evident in previous testimony before the inquiry.

Trillanes said the Binays’ alleged cake business was a conflict of interest issue. And there were other issues, such as the alleged lack of public bidding and many other violations of the law, he said.

In the earlier hearings called by the subcommittee, lawyer Renato Bondal alleged that Senator Binay supplied the birthday cakes that the Makati city government gave to senior citizens.

Bondal also claimed the cakes cost P1,000 each, but later admitted that the figure was just his guesswork.

Mario Hechanova, former head of Makati’s general services division, testified that Vice President Binay, who was then mayor of Makati, called him to his office to ask about the payments for “Nancy’s cakes.”

Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado also testified that Erlinda Chong was the Binays’ cover for the cake business.

The Court of Appeals, acting on a petition by the AMLC, ordered the Chongs’ bank accounts frozen for alleged questionable transactions with Binay.

Contempt citation

The blue ribbon subcommittee has also recommended that the Chongs and several other people be cited in contempt by the blue ribbon committee for defying subpoenas to appear at the hearings.

Trillanes said the approval of the subcommittee’s recommendation would shrink the world for the Binays’ associates and alleged dummies.

He said the subcommittee was open to hearing their testimony, especially if they think things through and decide to tell all that they know about irregularities involving the Vice President. They could be made state witnesses like Mercado, he said.

“But they have to convince the people and the blue ribbon committee that they are telling the whole truth and would make an admission against self-interest,” Trillanes said.

RELATED STORIES

Makati seniors’ cake supplier shares address with ‘carinderia’

Cake supplier in Makati slapped with tax evasion case

 

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TAGS: Abigail Binay, AMLC, Anti-Money Laundering Council, Binay siblings, Cake Suppliers, Erlinda Chong, Makati City, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr., Renato Bondal, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Sen. Nancy Binay, Trillanes
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