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Metro

Senate to proceed with probe of ‘overpriced’ Makati structure

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Despite some opposition, the Senate Blue Ribbon committee will proceed with its inquiry into the alleged anomaly involving the construction of a P1.56-billion parking building in Makati City when Vice President Jejomar Binay was still mayor.

The members of the committee met behind closed doors yesterday, during which they formally designated Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III to head the subcommittee that will look into the alleged anomaly.

According to Pimentel, Blue Ribbon committee chairman Sen. Teofisto Guingona III cited Section 20 of the Senate rules on the conduct of inquiries, which allows the creation of the sub-committee, a move questioned last week by Senate acting minority leader Vicente Sotto III. 

Pimentel said the committee sent invitations to two former barangay chairmen of Makati City. The former barangay officials are also complainants in the plunder case filed before the ombudsman regarding the controversial parking building located along F. Zobel street in Barangay Poblacion. 

The 11-story building has a total floor area of 31,928 square meters.  It was constructed from 2007 to 2013.  It has a roof deck and six floors are used as parking areas. 

The plunder case against Binay, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. and several others was filed by lawyer Renato Bondal, who lost to the younger Binay in the last mayoral race.

Invitations have also been sent also to the younger Binay, representatives from the National Statistics Office (NSO), a private construction firm and the Department of the Interior and Local Government. They were asked to attend the first hearing tomorrow.

Pimentel said the Vice President is likely be invited during the second hearing, but it would depend on the result of the first hearing.

The mayor said data from the NSO cannot prove the building is overpriced. He said the NSO admitted that the construction and buil ding costs were computed merely on the basis of approved building applications and documentary requirements, not only actual construction cost. – With Mike Frialde

 

AQUILINO PIMENTEL

BARANGAY POBLACION

BINAY

BLUE RIBBON

MAKATI CITY

MAKATI MAYOR JEJOMAR ERWIN BINAY JR.

NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE

RENATO BONDAL

SENATE BLUE RIBBON

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