Nancy Binay tries, but fails to grill Drilon on ICC
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2014 - 5:07pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) on Thursday was briefly halted when Senate President Franklin Drilon criticized Senator Nancy Binay's way of questioning.

Drilon, who inhibited from the hearing, interrupted Binay while she was asking Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson if the funding for the ICC was endorsed by a legislator.

"Why doesn't my colleague ask me what my role in funding here?" a smirking Drilon said. "Don't beat around the bush."

Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, committee chair, then suspended the hearing for a minute. When the proceedings resumed, he said Binay will directly question Drilon.

The Senate leader confirmed to Binay that he requested funding for the project.

"Yes, I'm proud to say that I requested for funding for this project but I did not participate in any manner in the bidding, in the choice of the contractor, in supplying the materials for this project," he said.

Drilon denied knowing and having control over what part of the national budget was used for the project.

He added that the funding could have also come from the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) of the Aquino administration.

"What's important is that at that time that there was DAP, there's a presumption of legality because it has not been declared unconstitutional at that point and in this particular case, what is important is meron ho bang ninakaw na pera dito?" Drilon said.

"Tatlong oras na tayong nagme-meeting dito wala pa akong naririnig kung paano po ninakaw ang pera dito. Puro conclusion galing Wikipedia," he added.

Binay was again interrupted by Drilon when she again asked Singson if he requested funding for the ICC as public works chief.

"Ako na nga ang nagsabi that I requested for funding e," the veteran lawmaker told the neophyte official.

Binay also asked Drilon for a copy of his letter to President Aquino and the Department of Budget and Management requesting for funding.

Drilon agreed to produce the document but he asked Binay on how it could help the investigation.

"What is the materiality with the question? The issue here is the overprice. There has been no proof presented," he told Binay.

The Senate leader then pointed out to Binay that the details of the project were already presented during the hearing and that the fund source was the national budget.

Drilon and Singson are accused of making money from the alleged rigged bidding and overpriced consturction of the ICC.

Binay and her family, particularly Vice President Jejomar Binay, are facing the same allegations that they profited from various projects in Makati City.

The younger Binay and Sen. Antonio Trillanes also traded words during the Senate hearing.

Related: Trillanes, Nancy Binay exchange words at Senate hearing

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