MANILA – Senator Nancy Binay lamented how yesterday's politically charged Senate hearing went, saying it was held practically to malign her family.
Speaking to ANC, Sen. Binay said the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee probe on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2 was unnecessary since a plunder case has already been filed pertaining to it.
The controversial 11-storey building is now the subject of a plunder case filed against Vice President Jejomar Binay, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and several Makati officials.
Sen. Binay said the Office of the Ombudsman and the Sandiganbayan are the proper venues for the matter.
She also criticized the complainant, the Binays' local political rival Renato Bondal, for coming up with supposedly questionable figures just to put her family in bad light.
''It was obvious that they used the Senate to malign my family. Feeling ko inukitan nila ang noo ko ng ''M'' (which stands for "magnanakaw''),'' she said.
''Feeling ko nagamit ang Senado for personal interest. Hindi ko nakita na in aid of legislation ang hearing kahapon. Unang-una, the case is already filed sa Ombudsman, so 'di ko alam kung anong magiging committee report pa."
During yesterday's hearing, Bondal said the Makati office and parking building was even more expensive than other posh condominiums in Makati.
Using Wikipedia as basis, Bondal said the Shang Grand Tower costs P40,000 per square meter, while The Residences at Greenbelt was worth P45,000 per square meter.
''Who was the source of that info? Was it the contractor? Was it the developer? Ang pagka-dinig ko sa Senate hearing Wikipedia ang source. So diba, ang hirap sabihin na it is overpriced when you don’t even know where they got that amount,'' she said.
Sen. Binay said she will not attend the next hearing on the matter because she does not want to be accused of lawyering for her brother.
She also renewed her call for Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who filed the resolution calling for the probe, to just file an impeachment case against her father, who was the mayor of Makati when the construction of the controversial building began.
Although Trillanes earlier said the alleged overpricing must be probed since Vice President Binay is a presidential aspirant, he downplayed the timing of the probe.
''This thing was only finished last year, and the records were kept confidential by the Makati government that is why they had difficulty in getting information about it. There's no wrong timing or good timing for (investigating an) anomaly,'' he said.
He said he is also open to the Senate holding a similar probe on the convention center built in the home province of Senate President Franklin Drilon, and the allegations against Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, a fierce rival of the Binays.
Trillanes, however, said he is more focused on investigating the Makati building.
''Anybody can investigate. What I am saying is my hands are full right now. I am focused on the Makati building case. But Senator Binay, if she has evidence, if she is able to study this case, then she can file that resolution and investigate the matter. I won't stop it,'' he said.
''It's the same thing with the multicabs. I am pretty confident that both Sen. Cayetano and Drilon will be able to defend themselves in those cases."
Cayetano and his wife, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, are facing plunder and graft charges for the alleged overpricing of the city's multicabs and hiring of ''ghost'' employees.