Pena a 'mere front' of Binay accusers, Salgado claims

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 08 2015 08:36 PM | Updated as of Jul 09 2015 04:36 AM

MANILA - Former Makati City spokesperson Joey Salgado on Wednesday accused acting Mayor Romulo Peña of being a "mere front" of the accusers of Vice President Jejomar Binay and suspended Mayor Junjun Binay.

In a text message, Salgado noted that Peña, in an interview on ANC this morning, denied the existence of an evidence recovery team to probe the city government's documents.

Lawyer Renato Bondal, however, had gone on record that Peña was aware of the creation of the team, Salgado pointed out.

"So either one of them is not telling the truth, or Peña is totally clueless," he said.

He claimed former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado and former Makati City employee Engr. Mario Hechanova are now the ones calling the shots at the city hall.

Bondal, Mercado and Hechanova have testified in several Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearings that bidding for city projects were rigged when Vice President Jejomar Binay was still mayor of Makati.

"This bolsters the observation that Peña is a mere front and that ex-vice mayor Ernesto Mercado and Hechanova are calling the shots at City Hall. Which means happy days are back for the ones who admitted to corruption and bid-rigging during their stint at City Hall," Salgado said.

Salgado went on to criticize the supposedly "ill-informed" Peña for allegedly not knowing the correct information about the Friendship Suites.

"Of the 45 rooms, only 15 are for official guests of Makati. And in the past, even relatives of legislators have asked for and were given rooms at the Friendship Suites. Unless he was absent at that time, the Vice Mayor should know that the City Council passed an ordinance opening the Friendship Suites to the public for a uniform rate of P2,100 for all room types," he said.

He also stressed that the sisterhood program, which has been suspended by Peña, is even supported by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

"Nagbibigay ang Makati ng sasakyan, second hand books, second hand school chair and tables sa mga sister LGUs na karamihan ay 4th class at 5th class municipalities. Yan ay ginagawa na Makati noon pang dekada 90. Malaki ang naitutulong nito sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan," said Salgado.

"Ang request na maging sister cities ay galing sa mga LGUs... At baka din nakalimutan ni Vice Mayor na ang sisterhood agreements ay aprubado ng Makati City Council. Trabaho nya ang mag-implement," he added.

Salgado also maintained that he is no longer required to report for work since his contract already expired last June.

"[M]y consultancy services expired last June 30. I don't know how I can be required to report to him," he said.