The Makati Friendship Suites (formerly BLISS) on J.P. Rizal Ave. Extension, Brgy. Cembo, Makati, with an alleged overpriced rehabilitation cost of P242-Million. Photo: ABS-CBN News
MANILA - Lawyer Renato Bondal on Thursday accused Vice President and former Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay of turning three buildings supposedly intended for residents in the city's danger zones into a hotel -- the Makati Friendship Suites.
At the resumption of the Senate hearing on various corruption allegations against Binay, Bondal presented photos of the Makati Friendship Suites, which he said had a total cost of P242 million.
Bondal claimed the project was overpriced by P195 million, citing a construction manual which estimates the cost of refurbishment at only P47 million.
He said Binay got around P200 million in kickbacks in renovating the hotel.
According to Bondal, informal settlers in the city were then instead transferred to Makati Homeville, a relocation site in Calauan, Laguna, where they allegedly suffer poor living conditions.
The camp of Binay denied all allegations, with his spokesman Joey Salgado branding Bondal's latest accusations as "another work of fiction" from a "self-confessed 'manghuhula.'"
"Mr. Bondal is the same person who claimed Makati's birthday cakes were overpriced at P1000. When this was discredited by official documents, he sheepishly admitted 'nanghula' lang sya... Mr. Bondal has a track record of lying or using unreliable data to make wild accusations against the Vice President," Salgado said.
Atty. JV Bautista also denied Bondal's allegation that the city government hosts officials of Makati's sister cities at the Friendship Suites for free to boost the Binays' "political mileage."