VP in Senate probe meant to boost ‘teleserye’ ratings – Nancy

Bea Cupin
VP in Senate probe meant to boost ‘teleserye’ ratings – Nancy
Senator Nancy Binay also says she is amazed with the kind of scrutiny given by some senators to Makati City and reiterates its connection to the 2016 polls

MANILA, Philippines – It’s a show and they might soon be in need of new characters.

Senator Nancy Binay told reporters on Thursday, September 4, that she “doesn’t see the use” of her father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, appearing before the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee hearing the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.

“Maybe in terms of [viewership], it’s declining so they need a new character so the teleserye (television series) becomes popular again,” Senator Binay told reporters.

Vice President Binay and Nancy’s brother, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, both face plunder raps for the alleged overpriced “carpark” building.

While a case has been filed before the Ombudman, the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee is also holding a probe on the issue.

The senators leading the probe – Senators Aquilino Pimentel III, Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano – have all mentioned inviting the Vice President to the hearing, although Senator Binay said his father has yet to get an official invitation from the Senate.

Senator Binay still stands by her decision not to join the probe. “If I do that, it’ll be like I played into their game. That’s what they want, right? For people to talk about them?” she said. 

The Vice President is gunning for the presidency in 2016. Trillanes and Cayetano, both members of the Nationalista Party, have also expressed their desire to run for higher office. 

“This is not a search for truth. This is about media mileage for people who have plans for 2016,” added Senator Binay.

Lies in hearings

During the fourth hearing on the issue held Thursday, September 4, a former Makati city employee said rigging bids was the “norm” in the city.

In previous hearings, resource persons and political foes accused the Binays of overpricing – from other government buildings to birthday cakes the city gives to its senior citizens.

“Its saddens me because all the resource persons during the hearing were lying,” said the newbie senator. 

The Senator denied the accusations of former Makati city bids and awards committee vice chairman Mario Hechanova rigging in the city’s bidding process. 

“It’s impossible. In fact, even the father [of broadcaster] Miss Korina Sanchez used to work for Makati, I think he used to head the [general services department; he used to process the bidding,” said Senator Binay.

On cakes and 2016

“For him to say that all bid are rigged…first of all, a lot of big companies bid for Makati’s projects. There aren’t small-time contractors,” she added.

The senator said she doesn’t know Hechanova personally. “We aren’t close,” she quipped.

At the Thursday hearing, Hechanova said that Senator Binay herself produced the cakes the city gives out to its senior citizens. Binay again denied those claims.

“Even if the cake supplier comes out, my father’s 2016 foes will just say that it’s a front,” she said, when asked if it was about time she presented the actual supplier of the cakes.

Binay said the probe was useless since in the minds of Trillanes and Cayetano, the building is definitely overpriced. “I said, ‘Wow! The Senate scrutinizes the Makati City budget but not the national budget,’” said Senator Binay.

“Maybe they should include the city’s budget in the next budget deliberations,” she quipped. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.