(UPDATED) Senator Alan Cayetano and wife Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano face graft raps – the senator for alleged PDAF misuse, and the couple for the alleged procurement of overpriced multicabs
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano faces graft raps for the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the procurement of overpriced multi-cabs in Taguig City.
Lawyer and Polytechnic University of the Philippines Professor Rod Vera filed on Wednesday, August 20, 3 separate complaints over a series of alleged offenses of the senator and his wife, Taguig Mayor Maria Laarni “Lani” Cayetano.
Two graft complaints were filed against Senator Cayetano for the alleged misuse of his PDAF, while a plunder complaint was filed against the Taguig mayor over the alleged hiring of 3,188 ghost employees for Taguig City.
Mayor Cayetano allegedly used P314.25 million ($7.174 million*) in public funds to hire casual personnel for 3 different programs. Members of the Taguig city council were likewise impleaded in the plunder complaint.
Another graft complaint with Senator Cayetano as sole respondent involves the irregularities cited by the Commission on Audit (COA) in its special audit report on the use of PDAF from 2007 to 2009, coupled with the alleged “inordinate increase” in his net worth.
Cayetano’s second graft complaint with his wife and the Taguig city council members as his co-accused, involves the purchase of 18 multi-cabs amounting to P498,000 ($11,381) each.
Vera is associated with the Philippine Association for the Advocacy of Civil Liberties (PAACL). He has denied being approached by political rivals of the Cayetanos to file the charges.
In a statement sent out by the office of Senator Cayetano, the Taguig city council said the charges leveled against them is nothing but a ruse to shift public focus from the probe on the allegedly overpriced Makati city parking building.
Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, incumbent Makati mayor Erwin “Junjun” Binay, face a plunder and graft complaint over the construction of the building.
The charges against the Cayetanos were filed on the first day of the Senate investigation on the controversial Makati City Hall Building 2.
Vice President Binay and Cayetano have both expressed their desire to seek the presidency in 2016.
Taguig city councilor Darwin Icay also noted that Vera, the complainant, was the classmate of Binay’s daughter and incumbent Makati congresswoman Abby Binay at the Ateneo law school.
Icay also attacked the PAACL, citing its close ties to the Vice President.
He alleged that the organization was also used to attack Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the presumptive Liberal Party standard bearer in 2016, during the arrest of then-fugitive and alleged big-time housing scammer Delfin Lee.
“Their agenda is clear, make up bogus charges and distract from the ongoing investigation on the Binays’ corruption involving the Makati parking building. These are purely lies based on maliciously distorted facts,” Icay said. – Rappler.com
*$1 = P43.7
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