Binay camp dares Trillanes: Prove claim on ‘ghost’ senior citizens
Vice President Jejomar Binay’s camp dared Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday to prove his allegations that there were “ghost senior citizens” in Makati City.
Trillanes said he would lead in exposing at the resumption of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearing on Thursday the alleged P100-million “racket” a year in Makati City.
“On our blue ribbon subcommittee hearing, we will be exposing the ghost senior citizens of Makati during the incumbency of the Binays who have been claiming benefits. The whole racket amounts to over P100 million per year,” the senator said in a text message to reporters.
The resumption of the hearing Thursday will mark the first anniversary of the committee’s investigation on corruption allegations against the Vice President initiated by Trillanes.
But Binay’s camp played down the new allegation against him.
“For one year now, Senator Trillanes and his cohorts have been making wild and sensational statements to drum up interest in their inquisition of the Vice President and his family. They want to undermine the exemplary programs and services of Makati. The senator’s latest statement is no different,” Joey Salgado, head of the Office of the Vice President’s (OVP) media affairs, said in a statement.
Salgado said the burden was on Trillanes “to prove his outlandish conclusion that 45% of senior citizen beneficiaries are non-existent.”
“Can he produce actual death certificates and other documents? We doubt it,” he said. “We expect more half-truths and lies in tomorrow’s hearings.”
Salgado explained that under city guidelines, senior citizens are required to personally apply for benefits. Those listed as beneficiaries, he said, are actual persons who have submitted the required documents and have passed the verification process.
“The city’s Social Welfare Department monitors the delivery of cakes. Seniors are also required to personally receive their cash gifts. The office also conducts spot checking to check reports of fraud. It also has a validation process to purge deceased senior citizens from the list,” he said.
“After one year, we cannot really expect Senator Trillanes to be truthful and transparent,” Salgado added. Maila Ager/IDL
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