Nothing irregular in UMak-STI deal, says Binay's camp

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 05 2015 02:51 PM | Updated as of Sep 01 2015 09:29 PM

MANILA – The camp of Vice-President Jejomar Binay denied that he made money out of a joint venture between the University of Makati (UMak) and STI.

In a statement, Binay's spokesperson for political affairs Rico Quicho said no member of the UMak board received dividends or shares of profits from a joint venture agreement between the university and IT school STI.

During Tuesday's hearing, Binay's accuser Atty. Renato Bondal questioned the local government's decision in 2003 to partner with STI to create a private company called Philippine Health Educators (PHEI).

PHEI manages UMak's College of Nursing.

Bondal accused Binay of using one of PHEI's shareholders, Jack Arroyo, as a dummy to earn from the school while the quality of education at the college suffered.

According to Bondal, Arroyo owned 20% of the shares of PHEI, while STI and UMak each had 40%.

Jack Arroyo is a nephew of former Senator Joker Arroyo who defended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay when he was facing arrest.

Bondal also claimed that the building housing the College of Nursing could be overpriced, an allegation the Binay's camp dismissed as yet another ''hula'' (guess).

Senator Aquilino ''Koko'' Pimentel III, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee probing allegations of corruption against Binay, told Bondal to substantiate his claims that Arroyo is a Binay dummy and that the UMak building was overpriced.

Quicho slammed Bondal and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for coming up with another supposedly unfounded accusation against the vice-president.

Quicho said the creation of PHEI was duly approved the city council.

“The Vice President merely represented the City of Makati in the Joint Venture Project as evidenced by the City Council Resolutions and Ordinances. He never held any business interests therein in his own capacity,” he said.

Quicho, citing the Articles of Incorporation of PHEI, said Binay, as then Makati mayor, ''held only one qualifying share in the company for the sole purpose of representing the City of Makati in the board of directors of the said company."

According to Quicho, UMak's College of Nursing was created through UMak’s Board of Regents’ Resolution No. 2003-056 dated May 21, 2003, which authorized then mayor Binay and the chairman of the university's Board of Regents, to enter into a joint-venture with the STI.

On June 10, 2013, the city council passed an ordinance allowing Binay to negotiate a joint-venture agreement with STI, he said.

Quicho said UMak and the city government owned 40 percent of the shares of PHEI, while STI and Arroyo held the remaining 60%.

He said UMak provided the base facilities and non-nursing faculty, while STI and Arroyo, then president of the American Eye Clinic, provided related learning experience, on-the-job training and placement, and the equity for the building of nursing school, specific facilities and equipment.

''The Joint Venture Project is a model Public-Private-Partnership that has generated at least P262 million financial benefits to the City of Makati and its beneficiaries,'' Quicho said.

''Makati has benefitted immensely from the Joint Venture. It has earned P42 million in dividends and around P70 million in rental, utilities and general education faculty fees from the joint venture.''