Binay camp on fake beneficiary rap: ‘Misleading,’ ‘pure conjecture’ | Inquirer News
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Binay camp on fake beneficiary rap: ‘Misleading,’ ‘pure conjecture’

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 04:13 PM August 20, 2015

THE mother of Arthur Cruto, who testified at the Senate on Thursday in connection with the alleged fake senior citizens in Makati City, remained a beneficiary even after she transferred to Cavite, the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay said on Thursday.

“Dahil unverified ang beneficiary, ghost na kaagad. Senior citizens who have moved to other localities but who are registered voters remain beneficiaries,” Joey Salgado, head of the Office of the Vice President’s media group, said in a statement.

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“Mr. Cruto had no objection to this when his mother was living in Cavite but remained a senior citizen beneficiary,” Salgado added. He said Cruto’s mother is now back in Makati.

Binay camp issued the statement , following Cruto’s testimony before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee that 31, 280 of the 68,000 senior citizen beneficiaries in Makati were fake. Cruto said this cost the local government some P367.5 million a year.

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Cruto based his figures on the initial findings of an audit conducted by the Makati City Action Center, which he heads. The audit covered the list of senior citizens from only two, out of 33 villages in the city.

READ: Exec: Makati losing P367M a year due to ‘ghost’ beneficiaries

Salgado called the supposed “findings” presented in the subcommittee as “misleading” and the conclusions “pure conjecture.”

“But what can we expect but lies from a known protégé of ex-Vice Mayor Mercado. The Liberal Party and Mercado cabal in Makati are raising ghost issues to deflect public focus from the deteriorating public service and the return of fixing and other forms of corruption at City Hall,” he said.

“Ask any business permit applicant. What used to take 2-3 days to process under Mayor Jun Binay now takes two weeks at best. And the fixers are back,” he said, referring to suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay.

The Binay camp also described Cruto’s testimony a “demolition through PowerPoint.”

“We heard nothing but half-truths that will not stand in court but are intended for media consumption,” Salgado said.

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“Assuming without conceding the existence of fake beneficiaries, where is the evidence to show any link to the Vice President? None, because this is another tall tale,” he further said.

Salgado then challenged Cruto to execute an affidavit and repeat his statements outside the Senate “so we can file the appropriate case against him.”

“Malakas ang loob nila kasi binigyan sila ng immunity ng mga senador para malaya silang makapag-sinungaling at siraan si Vice President,” he said.

Salgado also reminded Senator Antonio Trillanes IV that a death certificate was not proof of corruption. It was Trillanes who first exposed the alleged fake beneficiaries a day before the committee hearing.

“If the senior citizen died within the release period for their benefits, said benefits are released to the beneficiary. That is allowed under our guidelines. The program is subjected to regular audit by COA (Commission on Audit) and there have never been any adverse findings,” he said.

“Pero alam namin na selective kayo sa pagtingin sa COA. Kapag walang makitang mali sa Makati, tinatakot n’yo at tinatawag na sangkot sa cover-up. Kapag pabor sa inyo gaya ng sinabi ng dating COA chair, palakpak kayo. Pero kapag kayo mismo ang sinabihan ng COA na ipaliwanag ang overpriced consultants, sinasabi n’yo na pakana ng oposisyon. Ayos ba, sir?” Salgado added.

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TAGS: Arthur Cruto, fake senior citizens, Jejomar Binay, Makati, Nation, News, Senate
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