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Binay camp on ‘overpricing’: Why rely on pop-up experts?

MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Vice Presiden Jejomar Binay took to task the assessment made by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV that Makati City Hall 2 was “not world class,” based on what they called “pop-up experts” whom he brought along to inspect the building on Monday.

In separate statements on Tuesday, September 2, spokespersons for the Binay camp  said a competent court and not witnesses who do guesswork will decide whether the new building and other procurements of the city government were overpriced, as alleged by critics.

Makati city government spokesman Lito Anzures said the “pop-up experts’” comments were off-tangent since the issue investigated by the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee – thus the ocular inspection by Trillanes – was whether the Makati City Hall Building 2 is overpriced or not. (READ: Mayor Binay concedes ‘possible’ Makati building overpriced)

“The experts did not say that the building was overpriced, which is the issue being investigated by the Senate,” said Anzures in a statement. (READ: COA: ‘Many questions’ on Makati building)

Senate probe

On Monday, Trillanes came with Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and construction experts to do an ocular of the controversial building. The senators were accompanied by journalists and greeted by Binay supporters during the inspection.

The building is the basis of a plunder complaint filed with the Ombudsman against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, incumbent Makati Mayor Junjun Binay.

The older Binay was the sitting Makati mayor when the construction of the building started. (READ: COA chief: No clearance for Makati building)

After plunder raps were filed before the Ombudsman, the Senate launched its own probe into the alleged overpriced edifice. (READ: Makati bizmen urged: Speak up on Binay ‘horror stories’)

The Binay camp has contested the necessity of the Senate, given that a complaint has already been filed before the Ombudsman. The political family has also insisted there was nothing amiss with the construction of the building since it was “world class” and thus cost more to build. (READ: Binay: Makati even ‘saved’ P200M from building

In the course of the Senate hearings, the Binays’ political foes have dragged in other issues as well, including the alleged overpricing of other government buildings and cakes the city gives to its senior citizens

The Vice President’s spokesman for political concerns, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, likewise slammed the “hula-hula experts” (guesswork experts) Trillanes brought in during the inspection of the building.

“Without even seeing the as-built plans, blueprints, bill of materials, or mechanical and electrical plans, these so-called experts made a conclusion which can only be described as guesswork or hula-hula,” Remulla said.