MANILA - Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday denounced the claim of former Makati Vice-Mayor Ernesto Mercado that she is the supplier of cakes distributed by the Makati government to its senior citizens.
"I deny in the strongest terms possible and condemn the malicious claim of former Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado that I have economic or financial interest in the supply of cakes for senior citizens at the Makati City Hall," she said in a statement.
"I have never been involved, and will never be involved in any activity that violates rules on conflict of interests particularly in businesses relating to the Makati City government and/or the national government. Wala po akong involvement sa cake," she said.
Makati City's controversial cakes for senior citizens were again mentioned at this morning's Senate probe.
Former Makati Vice-Mayor Ernesto Mercado said he has been questioning the cakes when he was still in office and that there remains no answer until now.
He urged Senator Binay to shed light on the matter, saying the senator used to handle the project.
"May makakasagot niyan dahil si Senator Binay po ay lagi namang sinasabi na siya ay technical assistant ng mommy niya. Eh siya ho ang puwede makasagot nito. Ilan ba yung cake? Magkano ang cake at ilan ba ang dine-deliver-an ng cake," he said during the hearing.
Complainant Renato Bondal earlier said the cakes distributed by the Makati local government to senior citizens are overpriced at P1,000 each. He said cakes supplied by commercial distributors cost much less.
In her statement, Senator Binay denied that she has a bake shop and is supplying cakes to the Makati city government.
"While I wish I can bake, but I do not know how to bake. Wala akong bakeshop, at bakit ako magsu-supply sa city hall e bawal na bawal yun?" she said.
She again pointed out that the Makati City Administrator has said the cakes only cost P306.75 each and not P1,000.
The female senator also criticized the former vice-mayor for turning his back on her family. Mercado was a close friend of the Binays until he decided to run for mayor in 2010 against Junjun Binay.
"Pinagkatiwalaan ng aking ama si dating Vice Mayor Mercado. Tinrato siya na parang kapatid. Ang sinukli ni Mr. Mercado ay ang abusuhin ang tiwala ng aking ama. Umamin siya na nakinabang sa City Hall Bldg. 2, at pilit niyang idinadamay ang aking ama. Madaling magdamay ng ibang tao at manira ng pangalan," she said.
Meanwhile, the Makati city government also fired back at the former vice-mayor after the latter claimed that he and then Makati Mayor and now Vice-President Jejomar Binay pocketed kickbacks from the P2.7 billion Makati City Hall Building 2 project.