MANILA - Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday slammed the plunder complaint filed against him and several Makati officials, saying it is clearly "devoid of facts" and "fueled by dirty politics."
Speaking before the Financial Executives of the Philippines (FINEX) and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), Binay said the case, which stemmed from the allegedly overpriced Makati City Parking Building, is obviously connected to the 2016 presidential elections.
Binay, who has been vocal about his plans to run for president in 2016, recently topped a Pulse Asia survey on the Filipinos' presidential preferences.
He said he expects more complaints and issues to be raised against him as the election season nears.
"Believe me, this is only the beginning. We expect more to come. And like the one filed yesterday, these complaints will be devoid of facts, devoid of legal basis, and fueled by the dirty politics that was supposed to have been swept away with the previous administration," he said.
He pointed out that only his allies were included as respondents in the case while the others who were also present in the City Council sessions but were allies and partymates of the complainants were excluded.
"Why exclude them? Your guess is as good as mine but that, for me, is undeniable proof of the selective, frivolous and political nature of this co-called complaint," he said.
According to Binay, the complainants in the case, who are all local political opponents of his family, are backed by a known group of lawyers which he refused to identify.
He claimed that they have a routine of "raising non-existent issues" against him and his family during the election season.
"This complaint is no exception, although we have been informed that this time around, our local opponents have been provided with the needed resources, financial and otherwise, by certain national interest groups, particularly a group of lawyers closely identified with a national personality," he said.
In their complaint, former barangay captain Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso VI accused Binay, his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and 20 other Makati officials of violating Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in relation to RA 7080 or the Anti-Plunder Law for the alleged P1.314 billion overprice of the Makati City Parking Building.
They said the reasonable cost of construction for the whole building is only P798,200,000 since the current acceptable construction cost per square meter is only P25,000, based on present construction standards for high-end commercial buildings.
"The parking building has become the most expensive parking building in the entire country, if not the entire world, and the Binays and the other respondents should be held responsible for this act of wanton misuse and plunder of public funds," their complaint read.
Binay, however, remained unfazed and said he is confident that the complaint will be dismissed.
"In a fair and impartial evaluation, this complaint, and all the others that we know for a fact are in the pipeline, will be dismissed."
"Nonetheless my commitment to advance the interest of our overseas Filipino workers, provide shelter for the poor, and assist our fellow Filipinos in need will remain undiminished by these false and politically motivated accusations," he said.
Meanwhile, the vice president also noted that there seems to be a "deeper agenda at play" in the filing of a plunder case against him.
He said those behind the complaint intend to sow intrigue between him and President Benigno Aquino III by spreading word that it was a move by Malacañang.
"They want me to think that the Palace is orchestrating the filing of this baseless complaint against me and my son to divert attention from the impeachment complaints filed against the President... Gusto nilang isipin ko na pakana ito para isalba si Pangulo at dahil dito ay magtampo ako at sumama ang loob sa ating Pangulo. Sa madaling salita, gusto nilang pag-awayin kami ng ating Pangulo," Binay said.