Jejomar Binay slams Aquino qov’t where he is also a part of: Lazy, slow, indecisive!

Where is the government?

Vice President Jejomar Binay repeated this sentence throughout the 15-minute speech in Filipino as he delivered his sharpest words yet against the Aquino administration at the launch of his political party on Wednesday in Makati, the city that the Binay family has controlled for almost 30 years.

He devoted a large part of his stinging and emotionally charged speech lambasting the government, at one point describing it as an association of “tamad, usad-pagong at teka-teka (lazy, slow and indecisive)” people.

“After five years, so many are still without jobs, hungry, ill and with no one to turn to, youths who cannot go to school, rampant crime and illegal drugs in the community. Poverty is widespread,” the Vice President said.

“The nation asks: ‘Where is the government?’” he said, addressing the crowd from a glowing red lectern shaped like the No. 1, resembling the digit in the logo of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

Binay noted that until now no charges had been filed against the killers of the 44 members of the police Special Action Force in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, on Jan. 25. (Seventeen fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and five civilians also died in the clashes.)

Bungling, insensitive

Binay kept repeating the phrase “palpak at manhid (bungling and insensitive),” which he first used last week in explaining his split with the Aquino administration.
“UNA is not an association of the bungling and insensitive,” he said. “It is not a group of people who are lazy, turtle-paced, and hesitant in facing the nation’s problems.”

The Vice President said that should UNA make any mistakes, it would own up to them immediately. “We will not blame or accuse others. We will own up to the responsibility with humility.”

Dig at Grace Poe

Apparently taking a dig anew at Sen. Grace Poe, who has overtaken him in recent surveys on voters’ choice for president, Binay said his party was made up of people with “experience and not newbies just studying governance and public service.”

If elected President, Binay said he would advance social services, strengthen agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, BPOs, quality basic education and healthcare.

He said the party would respect the Constitution and always let the law prevail.

People first

“Una ang bayan! Una ang tao! Una ang Pilipino (The country first! The people first! The Filipino first!)” Binay said in concluding his speech.

Binay assumed the chair of the newly formed political party.

Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco was formally elected UNA president; Sen. Gregorio Honasan, vice president; JV Bautista, secretary general; and former Finance Secretary Gary Teves, treasurer.

Tiangco said Binay’s speech set the tone for his campaign for the presidency in 2016.
“This kind of governance cannot continue. They are for continuing the legacy. What we’re saying is we should not continue this,” he said, alluding to the Aquino administration’s touted tuwid na daan (straight path) governance.

Tiangco said Binay rightly pointed to the problems facing the nation, such as the troubled Metro Rail Transit system and the slow rehabilitation of the places ravaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in 2013.

Manny Pacquiao

In attendance at the UNA convention were Sen. JV Ejercito, former Sen. Ernesto Maceda, former Tarlac Gov. Tingting Cojuangco, former Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama and UNA lawmakers, including Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.

Binay’s son, Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay, who stepped down on the strength of a suspension order by the Ombudsman, appeared minutes after the program started.

He waved to the crowd and was met by cheers inside the 3,000-seat auditorium, which was filled to capacity.

Loudest cheers

But the loudest cheers were reserved for UNA’s most famous member: Pacquiao. “We have a right to choose who’s in our heart,” he told reporters when asked if he was afraid of reprisal from the administration.

He said he was still in the process of deciding whether to run for senator.

Asked if he would campaign for Binay, Pacquiao was evasive: “That depends. We have not talked about that. I am here to support the party declarations.”

Joseph Estrada absent

Notably absent was former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, one of the three pillars of UNA, along with Binay and detained Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.

Binay spokesman Mon Ilagan said the former President had a prior engagement but acknowledged that the latter was “contemplating” a number of issues, such as possibly supporting Senator Poe, the daughter of the late Fernando Poe Jr., or running for President again himself.

Tiangco said a city mayor had plenty of responsibilities and would not take Estrada’s absence against him. “None,” he replied when asked if he was concerned Estrada would end up supporting Senator Poe.

Replying to the Inquirer, Ejercito said he went to the party launch “as a friend of Binay.”

Ejercito said it would be a problem for him if Poe would run for President against Binay.

Festive atmosphere

The atmosphere at Makati Coliseum was festive, a cacophony of drums and cymbals filled the air and stage lights flickered around the auditorium.

Radio jocks Nicole Hyala and Chris Tsuper served as emcees, cracking jokes and engaging the audience in comic banter.

Makati residents and UNA members from the provinces turned up in droves and by the busload, many wearing campaign shirts bearing Binay’s name and slogans.

The emcees spent the first few hours acknowledging the politicians in attendance, along with their constituencies.

Binay’s combative words came as a surprise to the media. Ilagan, a few hours before, said Binay’s speech, would be “not as fiery as before.”

Surprised by speech

“What you will hear now are the programs, the vision, the plans, of UNA as a political party,” he said. “The speech of the VP will have a more positive theme this time.”

Tiangco said he was surprised by the content of the Vice President’s speech.

“I didn’t expect it would go like that. I didn’t see the final speech. We were busy in the organization. I don’t know who wrote it,” he said.

“What we should ask is: ‘Did he speak the truth?’ … No one will argue that the problems he mentioned are the problems being felt by people,” he said.

Tiangco said there was no plan to incite the people’s anger against the government.
He said Mayor Binay’s suspension had nothing to do with the elder Binay’s fiery words.

Self-description

Liberal Party stalwarts scoffed at Vice President’s stabs at his former colleagues in the Aquino Cabinet.

“What a beautiful self-description,” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said in a text message.

Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice brushed off Binay’s claims saying that the Aquino administration would not have achieved its glowing economic record by being lazy and indecisive.

“And more importantly, you can’t hit your economic goals if the cost of your projects are overpriced like the P2.3-billion Makati [City Hall] Building II and the P1.2-billion Makati Science High School building,” Erice said.

Calling Binay the “master trapo (traditional politician)”, Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas said the Vice President merely “enumerated a litany of promises but he did not explain how he will do it.”

“Makati has a lot of money and a very small population thanks to the big business whose existence predates Binay. But because of corruption a considerable number of communities in Makati are still depressed,” Treñas said.

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Binay quits Cabinet posts not out of delicadeza!

Source: ABS-CBNNews.com

MANILA  – Vice President Jejomar Binay has resigned from his Cabinet posts in what some quarters believe was a consequence of a falling out with President Benigno Aquino III.

Binay quit as chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) Concerns.

In a statement, Binay’s camp said the resignation was “irrevocable.”

The vice president’s daughter, Makati Rep. Abigail Binay, hand-carried the resignation to the Office of the President on Monday.

“She was accompanied by Undersecretary Benjamin Martinez Jr., chief of staff of the Vice President. Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa received the letter around 3:55 p.m. at the Office of the Executive Secretary,” said Binay’s spokesman, Joey Salgado.

Last week, Binay took a swipe at Aquino’s “daang matuwid (straight path).” He expressed doubt government officials are staying true to Aquino’s mantra.

Asked to comment, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda had said it’s up to Binay to decide whether or not to cut his ties with the Cabinet.

Lacierda is with the so-called Balay faction, which supported the vice presidential bid of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in 2010.

Binay, on the other hand, was favored by the so-called Samar faction and Aquino’s sisters.

But the political lines were drawn when Aquino himself said weeks ago that he is not keen on endorsing Binay’s presidential bid.

“Hinahanap ba niya ang suporta ko? 2010, sa ibang grupo sya tumakbo, 2013, nanguna sya ng ibang grupo. Parang medyo ang layo ng kurba,” Aquino had said.

Meanwhile, the president has since given a good word or two for Roxas and even Senator Grace Poe, who is now leading in presidential polls.

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Grace Poe also overtakes Jejomar Binay in latest SWS Survey!

Source: Interaksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines — Just as she did in a Pulse Asia survey, Senator Grace Poe unseated Vice President Jejomary Binay as “the best leader” to succeed President Benigno Aquino III in the latest poll by the Social Weather Stations.

The Second Quarter 2015 Social Weather Survey showed Poe’s ratings jump from 31 percent on March 15 to 42 percent on June 15. In December, she had 21 percent.

In contrast, Binay’s ratings have been inching down from 37 percent in December, to 36 in March and 34 percent in the latest poll.

Unlike the Pulse Asia survey, which provided the names of potential candidates, SWS said it did not provide any names and allowed respondents up to three choices for “the best leaders to succeed Pres. Noynoy Aquino in 2016.”

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II stayed in third in the SWS survey, although his numbers have been more erratic, with 19 percent last December sliding to 15 percent in March before surging to 21 percent in June.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was in close fourth place with 20 percent, reflecting his steadily improving ratings — a mere 5 percent in December to 15 percent in March.

In the Pulse Asia survey, Duterte had 15 percent, outpacing Roxas, who tied with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada at 10 percent.

In the SWS survey, Estrada trailed behind Duterte with 7 percent, sliding down from his 11 percent showing in March, and tying with former Senator Panfilo Lacson.

Senators Francis Escudero and Miriam Defensor-Santiago tied with 4 percent on steadily declining figures. In December, Escudero had 9 percent, and in March, 8 percent. Santiago started out with 10 percent in December and inched up to 11 percent in March before plunging in June.

Others in the survey were Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (3 percent) and Alan Peter Cayetano (two percent), with former Senator Manny Villar, Senators Loren Legarda and Antonio Trillanes IV tying at 1 percent.

The June 2015 Social Weather Survey was conducted from June 5 to 8 through face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adult respondents — 300 each in Metro Manila, balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao — with sampling error margins of 3 percent for national percentages, and 6 percent each for Metro Manila, Balance of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, SWS said.

VIEW SWS’ TABLE:

swssws

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Grace Poe beats Jejomar Binay as Presidentiable in latest PULSE survey!

Source: PhilStar.com

MANILA, Philippines – Overtaking Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Grace Poe topped the the list of possible presidential bets for the 2016 national elections, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey.

pulse-asia-presidential-poll

Poe garnered 30 percent, an increase from her previous rating of 14 percent in the same survey.

Meanwhile, the vice president’s rating dropped from 29 percent last March to 22 percent.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte ranked third with 15 percent. Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, meanwhile, were tied at the fourth spot with 10 percent.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago scored a rating of six percent, followed by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and former Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson with two percent each.

Poe also topped the vice presidential survey with 41 percent while Escudero got a rating of 12 percent.

Cayetano garnered 12 percent, followed by Duterte and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos both with nine percent.

Lacson got a rating of six percent for the vice presidential survey while Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV scored five percent. Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo got one percent.

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Binay visits Davao wants Duterte to be running mate!

Source: Inquirer.net

Vice President Jejomar Binay is considering Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte his possible running mate in the 2016 presidential elections.

In an interview with a local station on Thursday, Binay said Duterte was “qualified” to be the vice presidential bet of his party United Nationalist Alliance.

“[Duterte is] being considered. I don’t think he would be angry about it. He’s qualified. He’s a successful mayor,” Binay said.

Sabi ko nga, there was a time na-feature pa kaming tatlo, successful mayors—ako, si Lito Atienza at saka si Mayor Duterte (As I said, there was a time when the three of us were featured as successful mayors—me, Lito Atienza and Mayor Duterte),” he added.

Duterte, however, has announced he is not running for any position in 2016.

Speaking to the Inquirer by phone on Friday, Duterte said he had repeatedly announced he was not running because he could not afford to do so.

“I don’t have money and I don’t want to beg for money. This Vice President … I have to spend but I don’t have the money. I don’t like asking around for money, especially from other politicians because I don’t want to incur debt of gratitude,” he said, adding that he had been a politician and mayor of Davao City for years and there was no single instance he shopped around for campaign funds.

Duterte said he had been going around the country not to promote his potential candidacy for a higher post but to rally people to support federalism.

“I have been promoting federalism because there have been clashes due to BBL but I am not running. There was never an instance that I said I’m interested to be president or vice president,” the mayor said.

He added “only those who have resources should run.”

Binay, who has suffered blows from the Anti-Money Laundering Council report detailing the movement of the money which allegedly came from corruption he and his family have been accused of, has not yet picked a running mate for the presidential race.

He has been saying he will not withdraw from the race despite the string of corruption allegations thrown at him.

Running mate qualifications

Binay is on a tour in Visayas and Mindanao this week, visiting the province of Davao del Norte and Davao City, which is Duterte’s stronghold.

Asked about the qualifications he was looking for in a running mate, he replied: “Someone who has the experience and if possible someone who can understand the economy so we can improve it.”

Accompanied by Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian in the tour, Binay also disclosed he had invited the congressman to join his senatorial lineup.

“He was a mayor before becoming a congressman,” Binay said referring to Gatchalian.

On Sen. Grace Poe’s rejection of his offer to be his running mate, however, Binay said he respected her decision.

Poe, who had emerged as a possible presidential candidate in the next year’s elections, said she did not see herself as the Vice President’s running mate.

Binay face mounting calls to explain the serious allegations of corruption against him, particularly the information on the 242 bank accounts and insurance policies which he, the members of his family and close allies allegedly own.

But Binay has kept dismissing the AMLC report as an attack led by his political rivals due to his determination to run for president in 2016.

“I have declared my presidential run too early that’s why I am at the receiving end of these lies and demolition jobs,” Binay said. With a report by Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao 

 

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Bagman of Jejomar Binay and 14 others ordered arrested!

Source: PhilsStar.com

MANILA, Philippines – Fourteen individuals, including the alleged bagman of Vice President Jejomar Binay, have been ordered arrested for contempt by the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.

The arrest order was issued during a Blue Ribbon committee hearing yesterday on Binay’s alleged ill-gotten wealth, attended only by two members: panel chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona III and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III.

It will need the signature of Senate President Franklin Drilon before the order can be served by the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms.

Among those ordered arrested were alleged Binay bagman Gerardo Limlingan and businessman Antonio Tiu.

Although there were only two members present at the probe, Section 18 of the Rules of the Senate, governing inquiries in aid of legislation, allows a committee chairman – with the concurrence of at least one member – to punish or cite in contempt any uncooperative witness.

“A contempt of the committee shall be deemed a contempt of the Senate,” the rule states. “Such witness may be ordered by the committee to be detained in such place as it may designate under the custody of the sergeant-at-arms until he/she agrees to produce the required documents, or to be sworn or to testify, or otherwise purge himself/herself of that contempt,” it added.

The issue regarding contempt citation by a committee was also taken up in the arrest of Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. and five other individuals last January.

The legality of the order of the Blue Ribbon committee was upheld and a warrant of arrest was subsequently served on Binay.

Also ordered arrested were Tiu’s brother James and his wife Anne Lorraine Buencamino Tiu; Chong family members Kimsfer, Erlinda, Irish, Kim, Imee and Irene; Hirene Lopez, Aida Alcantara, Danilo Villas and Vissia Marie Aldon.

Former Makati City vice mayor Ernesto Mercado has tagged Antonio Tiu, owner of Greenergy Holdings Inc., as one of the dummies of the Vice President.

Tiu claimed ownership of an estate in Rosario, Batangas that Mercado alleged was actually owned by the Binay family.

The Chongs’ name came up during the hearings of the Blue Ribbon sub-committee on the alleged anomalies in the supply of free cakes for senior citizens of Makati City.

It was alleged that Binay daughter Sen. Nancy Binay was involved in the supply of the cakes and that the Chongs were just being used as dummy-proprietors of cake supplier Cups and Mugs Kitchenette.

Also being accused as dummies of Binay for Omni Security Agency were Aida Alantara and Hirene Lopez, wife of University of Makati president and Pag-Ibig Fund trustee Tomas Lopez.

Aldon is the head of the human resource development office of the Makati City Hall while Villas is the head of the Department of Environmental Services of the city.

Tomas Lopez and engineer Mario Badillo of the Makati City Engineer’s and Assessor’s offices were dropped at the last minute from the arrest order.

Guingona explained that Badillo wrote the Blue Ribbon committee yesterday morning to assure the panel of his attendance in the next hearing on May 28.

In Lopez’s case, he was given consideration because of his appearance in the hearing last May 11.

Pimentel said Lopez and Badillo should appear before the committee by Thursday and sign a pledge to attend the May 28 hearing, or get included in the arrest order.

An earlier arrest order issued by the committee covered  Eduviges “Ebeng” Baloloy, an aide of the Vice President; engineer Line Dela Peña of the Makati City Engineer’s office and Bernadette Portallano of Omni Security.

Guingona said the warrants would be sent to the Office of the Senate President for signature, and served by the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms.

NBI help

At the Department of Justice, Secretary Leila de Lima said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) would intensify its hunt for Limlingan and Baloloy.

“There is already a contempt order and we expect the Senate to again seek the assistance of NBI in enforcing the warrant of arrest,” she told reporters in an ambush interview.

De Lima explained that before the issuance of the arrest order, the NBI was just monitoring and tracing the whereabouts of Limlingan and Baloloy.

“The NBI only traced the known addresses and other possible addresses because they could not be arrested since there’s no arrest warrant yet against them. The most the NBI could do is just to monitor and locate the whereabouts,” she maintained.

She admitted though that up to now, the bureau has not been able to locate Limlingan and Baloloy.

“They have not seen even shadows of these personalities. But there is no record with the BI (Bureau of Immigration) as to their departure from the country,” she said.

De Lima added that the NBI probe on the corruption charges against Binay is still ongoing.

“There is progress, but we are planning to forward the findings to the ombudsman,” she said.

Answer contempt charges

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to answer the contempt petition filed against him by Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. over the senator’s pronouncement that two magistrates were paid P25 million each to issue the injunction order stopping the ombudsman’s preventive suspension of the city chief executive.

In a two-page resolution dated May 6 but obtained by reporters only yesterday, the special 11th division of the appellate court directed the senator to answer why he should not be cited in contempt and penalized for his accusations.

“Without necessarily giving due course to the petition, respondent is directed to file his comment thereon (not a motion to dismiss), within 10 days from receipt hereof which shall be considered as his answer to the petition should it be given due course,” read the ruling penned by Associate Justice Stephen Cruz.

The court also allowed Binay to file a reply within a period of five days “if he so desires.”

“Upon filing of the said comment and reply, or upon the expiration of the period to file the same without pleadings being filed by either party, the petition shall be considered as submitted for decision unless we issue a directive to hear the case or require the parties to submit memoranda,” the CA ruling stated.

Associate Justices Myra Garcia-Fernandez and Melchor Sadang concurred in the ruling.

Mayor Binay filed his 11-page petition last month.

Through lawyers led by Claro Certeza, Mayor Binay alleged that Trillanes destroyed the integrity and authority of the courts with his accusation that members of the CA’s sixth division were bribed into issuing the temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction.

Trillianes accused CA Associate Justices Jose Reyes Jr. and Francisco Acosta of receiving P25 million each in exchange for the issuance of a restraining order against the implementation of the six-month suspension order on Binay.

The magistrates have already denied the allegation.

The CA has created an ad hoc committee to investigate the allegation.

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Election 2016: Poe VS Binay for Presidency looms!

Source: Inquirer.net

After getting unexpected praise from President Benigno Aquino III, Sen. Grace Poe on Friday said she would look to him for direction in her role in shaping the future of the Philippines.

In a text message to the Inquirer, Poe said she shared Mr. Aquino’s dreams for the country even before she was elected to the Senate in 2013.

“I intend to seek his guidance in whatever role I may find myself in for the good of our country,” Poe said.

Poe said she was grateful for the President’s kind words and she praised him for his reform programs and policies that turned around the country’s economy.

“No one can deny the reforms in governance and the economic gains under his administration. I believed in his vision for our country even before I was elected into office,” Poe said.

“He has persevered with his vision even through many challenges,” she added.

President Aquino, in a radio interview on Thursday, said he was convinced that Poe could continue and sustain the gains of his administration, the primary requirement he had set in picking a candidate he would endorse to take his place in Malacañang in next year’s presidential election.

“We worked hard for [the gains of my administration]. We worked on them with blood, sweat and tears so they could become permanent and not just last for six years,” Mr. Aquino said.

“And we believe that Senator Poe is one of those we expect to continue, and can really continue, [what we have started],” he said.

Poll standing

Mr. Aquino has begun talks with prospective administration candidates for 2016, including Poe, who ranks second to Vice President Jejomar Binay in the polls.

The daughter of the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. and formerly head of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, Poe, an independent, topped the 2013 senatorial election, a surprise showing that made her the most-sought-after candidate among political parties aiming to supplant the ruling Liberal Party (LP) next year.

Mr. Aquino and Poe met two weeks ago, but they are not ready to disclose what they talked about.

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Priliminary Investigation up for Jejomar Binay and son over Parking Building irregularities!

Source: ABS-CBNNews.com

MANILA  – Special investigators of the Office of the Ombudsman have recommended that Vice-President Jejomar Binay, his son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, and 22 others undergo preliminary investigation in connection with irregularities in the construction of the P2.2 billion Makati City Hall Parking Building.

In a statement, the Office of the Ombudsman-Special Panel of Investigators said the two Binays and 22 others should undergo preliminary investigation for malversation, falsification, violations of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act, “in connection with several alleged irregularities in the procurement and award of the contracts for the design/architectural services and the construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building.”

Atty. Rico Quicho, the vice-president’s spokesman for police affairs, said any charge of impropriety against the Vice President regarding the Makati City Hall Building 2 “is clearly frivolous and has no basis in fact and in law.”

“We are optimistic that the complaint will be ultimately dismissed by a fair and impartial tribunal. This is again a glimpse of how desperate the critics of the Vice President have become in order to fuel their own personal interests. Politics has indeed really turned to its worst form,” he said in a statement.

The building, which is called the Makati City Hall Building 2, has been the subject of a Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee inquiry conducted by Senators Antonio Trillanes, Alan Peter Cayetano and Koko Pimentel.

WHAT WENT BEFORE

In their recommendatioin, investigators said the public respondents awarded the P11,974,900.00 contract for the design/architectural services of the Makati City Hall Building 2 to MANA Architecture & Interior Design Company (MANA) without public bidding, and that periodic payments were released to MANA without its corresponding deliverables under the contract.

They said the bidding and the construction for Phases I and II (out of five phases) of the carpark building proceeded without a detailed engineering plan from MANA, contrary to procurement laws and regulations.

Also included in the recommendation for preliminary investigation are former City Administrator Marjorie De Veyra, City Legal Officer Pio Kenneth Dasal, City Budget Officer Lorenza Amores, former Central Planning Management Office (CPMO) Chief Virginia Hernandez, former City Engineer Mario Badillo, former City Accountant Leonila Querijero, former Acting City Accountant Raydes Pestaño, City Accountant Cecilio Lim III, Acting City Accountant Eleno Mendoza, City Treasurer Nelia Barlis, CPMO Engineers Arnel Cadangan, Emerito Magat and Connie Consulta, CPMO Chief Line Dela Peña, Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Secretariat Heads Giovanni Condes and Manolito Uyaco, Technical Working Group (TWG) Chairman Rodel Nayve, BAC member Ulysses Orienza, General Services Department (GSD) OIC Gerardo San Gabriel, GSD staff member Norman Flores, as well as private respondents Orlando Mateo of MANA Architecture & Interior Design Company (MANA) and Efren Canlas of Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation (Hilmarc).

Federico Cuervo, president and CEO of Cuervo Valuers & Advisory Inc., earlier told the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee his estimated cost of construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2 is only P877.1 million, which is below the P2.2 billion allegedly spent on the building.

Quantity surveyor Greg Jackson described the building as a “modern building of average standard, but I wouldn’t consider it to be world-class standard.”

House Speaker Sonny Belmonte earlier criticized the vice-president for comparing the Makati building to the House of Representatives annex, saying the House annex “is not a garage.”

The Ombudsman’s recommendation was filed following months of case build-up and evidence gathering by the Special Panel composed of field investigators.

LOSING BIDDER

Investigators said the procurement and award of the construction contract to Hilmarc were marred by irregularities including the use of falsified documents showing the purported publications of Notices to Bid and the supposed participation of two losing bidders/companies.

At least one of the “losing bidders” categorically denied participation in the bidding while the existence of the other cannot be established, the Ombudsman said.

Alejandro Tengco, CEO of JBros Construction Corp. and one of the two alleged losing bidders in the Makati City Hall building 2 project, earlier told the Senate that his company has never participated or purchased any bid documents for any infrastructure project in Makati City.

He pointed out his firm was not even qualified to participate in the bidding for the Makati City Hall building 2.

Documents showed Hilmarc’s submitted a bid of P386,998,154.20 for the first phase of the project, compared to the JBros bid of P387,315,511.37.

“Di ko alam na kami ang number 2 dahil hindi naman kami nag-participate sa bidding na yun. Maliwanag sa records namin hindi kami nag-participate sa bidding,” Tengco told the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee.

Similarly, he was also surprised when told that his company was again outbidded by Hilmarc’s for the Makati Science High School project.

He said it was the first time that he had heard that his company was allegedly included in the list of losing bidders for the building project.

He told the committee that his signatures in four documents submitted to the Senate were forged.

Tengco’s statements backed previous testimony by Engineer Mario Hechanova that the bidding process for all infrastructure projects in Makati is rigged. Hechanova is the former head of Makati City’s general services department and vice chairman of the bids and awards committee.

Meanwhile, in addition to the possible filing of a criminal complaint, public respondents, except Vice President Binay, may face administrative charges for Grave Misconduct, Serious Dishonesty and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service.

The Special Panel of Investigators also prays for the issuance of an order of preventive suspension pending administrative adjudication.

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Jejomar Binay – Darlene Marie Berberabe tandem for 2016 Elections in the works!

Source: PhilStar.com

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay confirmed on Wednesday that he is considering Pag-IBIG president and chief executive officer Darlene Marie Berberabe to be his running mate in next year’s national elections.

“Well, among others,” Binay said after attending the thanksgiving and recognition night of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

“You know she’s very competitive. She’s the president of one of the most outstanding government agencies. The first female summa cum laude of UP (University of the Philippines) and a magna cum laude of the (UP) College of Law,” Binay said.

However, Binay said he has not yet decided on his running mate for the 2016 elections.

“We have until October to decide,” he said, referring to the Commission on Election’s deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy.

Binay had said he wants a running mate from the business sector who is familiar with the country’s economy.

Sens. Grace Poe and Francis Escudero and business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan were also mentioned as possible running mates.

 

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Nancy Binay defends father Jejomar Binay in mass housing deal controversy!

Source: Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Nancy Binay said on Tuesday that her father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, had made sure that contracts entered into by government housing agencies were carefully scrutinized, since he did not want a repeat of the controversies that had hounded them in the previous administration.

Senator Binay came to the Vice President’s defense amid allegations from Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV that the elder Binay has been placed under investigation for alleged housing anomalies.

According to Senator Binay, the controversy over the alleged Globe Asiatique scam had prompted the Vice President, the country’s housing czar, to be meticulous about deals related to housing.

In the alleged scam, Globe Asiatique had supposedly used bogus borrowers to obtain loans from the Home Development Mutual Fund, or the Pag-Ibig fund, for its housing projects. Globe Asiatique’s Delfin Lee is currently detained for syndicated estafa.

“He has really been careful because the previous administration faced a lot of allegations. The first thing he did was to make sure all contracts entered into by the different housing agencies are closely scrutinized, especially coming from the Globe Asiatique scandal,” Senator Binay told reporters

According to her, all projects of the housing agencies had gone through the board and contracts were handled by the bids and awards committee.

She pointed out that the housing issue was beyond the scope of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee, which was supposed to look only into alleged anomalies in Makati during the Vice President’s term as mayor.

She further said despite the many allegations being made in the long-running hearings, there has been no solid evidence presented against her father.

As example, she cited claims that the piggery in a vast farm supposedly owned by her father was air-conditioned, when a visit to the place showed the piggery had none.

The hearings were no longer in aid of legislation, but “in aid of ambition,” since Trillanes has been preparing to run for higher office in 2016, she added.

Sen. JV Ejercito, a Binay ally, also said the government’s housing agencies have been doing well in the past four years under the helm of the Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Ejercito, who chairs the Senate urban planning, housing and resettlement committee, said the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council under Binay has had a good record.

He also said that after the housing loan controversy involving Delfin Lee’s Globe Asiatique broke out, the country’s housing officials would have been doubly careful about their transactions.

“As far as I know, as the chair of the committee on housing, based on reports and accomplishments of Pag Ibig and the HUDCC, they have had a good performance in the past four years,” Ejercito told reporters.

“Coming from the Delfin Lee anomaly in the previous administration, I think whoever took over the HUDCC, in this this case Vice President Binay, and the new Pag Ibig head… would be doubly careful that the controversy would not happen again,” he added.

Earlier, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV alleged that Binay, the country’s housing czar, was under investigation for allegedly favoring certain developers when awarding government housing projects.

Trillanes also said that the issue, though not in the agenda, might be mentioned in the next hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee which has been looking into alleged Makati City anomalies during Binay’s term as mayor.

The Binay camp has been critical of the Senate probe, which it said was instigated by the Vice President’s political rivals in order to dislodge him from the top spot in voter preference surveys.

Ejercito also noted that the people behind the Senate hearings had admitted that they wanted Binay’s ratings to go down, and further lamented that the issue has clouded other important matters that policy-makers should also be tackling.

Much attention should be given to the energy crisis, the improvement of the country’s infrastructure, especially mass transit, and the peace and order situation, he said.

Ejercito said he was not saying this to defend Binay as his party mate in the United Nationalist Alliance. He said he simply wanted the remaining months of the Aquino administration to be used productively instead of being consumed by politics.

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