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New witness links Binays to 'overpriced' cakes

Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - September 4, 2014 - 6:24pm

MANILA, Philippines - Another former Makati official is backing up allegations that the Binays benefited from the city government's birthday cake project for its senior citizens.

Mario Hechanova, former head of Makati City's general services department, said then Mayor Jejomar Binay himself personally followed up on the payment for the allegedly overpriced cakes.

He said the payment would go to the former mayor's daughter, now Sen. Nancy Binay.

When the payment was once delayed, Hechanova recalled that he was scolded by the elder Binay.

"Minsan po pinatawag niya ako at ang sabi niya sa akin: 'Mario, ano ba ang nangyayari dun sa payment sa cake ni Nancy,'" Hechanova said during the third hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee on the Makati City Hall II parking building on Thursday.

Asked if he thinks that the younger Binay supplies the cakes, Hechanova said: "Sa palagay ko ganun po kasi ang fina-follow-up yung bayad e."

After the Senate hearing, the neophyte lawmaker reiterated her earlier denial that she benefited from the cakes.

"Umaapaw ang kasinungalingan ni Mario Hechanova," Nancy said.

"Inuulit ko rin po, wala po akong bakeshop, at hindi rin po ako marunong magbake. Bawal po ang pamilya ng incumbent officials na magtransact sa city hall dahil sa conflict of interests," she added.

The allegations of cake overpricing surfaced when lawyer Renato Bondal testified at the first hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee.

Bondal said the cakes cost more than P1,000, but the Makati City government said they were only worth about P300.

The lawyer later admitted that he only guessed the price of the cakes.

Bondal filed a plunder complaint against the elder Binay and his son, Makati City Mayor Erwin "Junjun" Binay over the Makati City Hall II parking building controversy.

The Binays have consistently denied pocketing funds used for government projects in Makati.

"They have been deceiving the people twice already. May pattern of lies na nangyayari sa hearing na ito," Sen. Binay said of her family's detractors.

AFTER THE SENATE BINAY BINAYS BONDAL CITY HECHANOVA MAKATI CITY MAKATI CITY HALL MARIO HECHANOVA SENATE BLUE RIBBON
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