Nancy Binay

Binay files ethics complaint after Cayetano calls her crazy, ‘Marites’

Bonz Magsambol

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Binay files ethics complaint after Cayetano calls her crazy, ‘Marites’

HOT SEAT. Senator Nancy Binay attends the public hearing on the new senate building project on July 3, 2024.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senator Nancy Binay asks the ethics panel to impose appropriate penalties on Alan Cayetano for his 'malicious imputations' about her during the July 3 hearing on the new Senate building

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Nancy Binay on Monday, July 8, filed an ethics complaint against Senator Alan Peter Cayetano for violating the Senate Rules, the Civil Code, Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability, the Magna Carta on Women, among others. 

Binay files ethics complaint after Cayetano calls her crazy, ‘Marites’

Binay’s complaint stemmed from the July 3 hearing on the new Senate building where the two senators engaged in a heated exchange. During that live streamed hearing, Cayetano called Binay crazy and “Marites” (Filipino slang for gossip monger). 

In her complaint, Binay said Cayetano committed slander over “malicious imputations” that she was allegedly influencing the media by giving them questions to favor her own narrative. She asked the Senate panel to impose appropriate penalties on Cayetano. 

“This is not just about me as a senator, but also me as a mother,” Binay told reporters as she recalled what happened in the 2015 Senate probe that involved her family. 

“Hindi ako papayag na maulit muli ‘yung pinagdaanan namin. Mahirap ma-explain kung hindi mo pa nararamdaman maging isang magulang. Kumbaga, if you’re a parent, mas masakit if ‘yung anak ang nasasaktan,” Binay added. 

(I will not let us experience the same incident again. It’s hard to explain if you’re not a parent. And if you’re one, it’s more painful when your child is hurting.)

Binay files ethics complaint after Cayetano calls her crazy, ‘Marites’

The hearing on the new Senate building on Wednesday, July 3, got too personal between the two senators, with Cayetano accusing Binay of influencing media interviews to favor her own narrative. (READ: Cayetano-led hearing on new Senate office gets too personal, Binay walks out)

The Senate committee on accounts chaired by Cayetano launched the probe after Senate President Chiz Escudero ordered a “comprehensive review” of concerns over the rising cost of the construction of the new Senate building. Escudero had said that he was shocked after learning that the construction project would cost the government P23 billion to complete.

The accounts committee is in charge of the Senate’s budget, expenses, audit, and other fiscal activities, including the ongoing construction of the new Senate home in Fort Bonifacio. Binay is the former accounts committee chair.

Binay refuted Cayetano’s claim that the cost now stands at P23 billion, saying it was only P21.7 billion. Unconvinced, Cayetano insisted that cost had reached P23 billion because of the land acquisition.

The two traded barbs for around 20 minutes, and at one point of their heated exchange, Cayetano resorted to name-calling, saying that Binay is a gossip monger.

“Sinasabi mo na may kinalaman ito sa Makati-Taguig issue. Sasabihin mo may sumasaksak sa likod mo. Ano iisipin nila? Ma’am isa lang sasabihin ko sa ‘yo, Lourdes pangalan mo at hindi Marites. Ayusin natin ito. Nakakahiya na,” Cayetano said.

(You’re telling us that this hearing has something to do with Makati-Taguig issue. You said that someone is backstabbing you. What will they think? Ma’am, I’ll tell you only one thing, your name is Lourdes, not Marites. Let’s fix this. This is embarrassing.)

Binay’s full name is Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay.

The two lawmakers had been at odds in the past. It was Cayetano who led the year-long probe against the Binay family on infrastructure projects of the Makati government in 2015, including the alleged overpriced Makati City hall building.

Towards the end of their heated exchange, Binay asked the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) if there was a P23-billion amount in their documents, to which DPWH Undersecretary Emil Sadain responded, “There is none.”

After the DPWH’s response, Binay told Cayetano, “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I made my point. There’s no such thing as P23 billion sa (in) DPWH.” Then she walked out of the room.

“Nabuang ka na ‘day. Tapusin natin nang maayos ito. Senado ito ng Pilipinas, hindi ito palengke (You became crazy. Let’s fix this properly. This is the Senate of the Philippines, not a market),”Cayetano said, as Binay was walking out of the room.

The DPWH said during the hearing that the construction has been delayed by 852 days or over two years. The Senate earlier eyed to open session on July 22 in the new Senate building, in time for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s third State of the Nation Address.

Binay files ethics complaint after Cayetano calls her crazy, ‘Marites’


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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.