MANILA - Reelectionist Makati Mayor Abigail Binay and her younger brother Junjun Binay, who has challenged her fresh bid, gave divergent answers on whether or not the Makati city government should pay the contractor that bagged the controversial P2.2-billion City Hall Building 2 project.
This as the Fraud Audit Office of the Commission on Audit has ordered the Makati City government to "settle" the amount it had spent for the building's design and construction.
Allegations of overpricing in the building's construction had courted lawsuits for Junjun and his father, former Vice President Jejomar Binay, who were both city officials at the time the project was executed.
Abigail, the incumbent, said she refused to pay contractor Hilmarc's Construction Corp as there is still a "special audit" being done by the Commission on Audit (COA), and that she would be held accountable if she releases the money.
In an interview with ANC's Headstart on Monday, she said she would rather have COA order her to pay Hilmarc's.
She said she believes there is something anomalous "in the documents," and so she was being "cautious."
But her brother Junjun believes her decision was wrong.
"Ang sa akin lang is wala namang naging findings 'yung COA dyan. We’re running the tune here of our political opponents. Wala namang sinabi sa aming itigil 'yung construction, wala namang sinabing mayroon silang nakitang anomaly," he told ANC's Headstart in an interview aired Thursday.
(On my part, it is that COA did not have any findings there. We're running the tune here of our political opponents. We were not told to stop construction, they did not say they found an anomaly.)
Junjun said his sister might have just "wanted to protect herself from any issue," especially because he himself was tagged in the mess with Hilmarc's when all he did was sign a voucher.
"Ang involvement ko lang, kung titingnan 'yung kaso, is that I signed a voucher. I was not part of the bidding process, I was not part of anything else," he said.
(My only involvement there is, if you look at the case, I signed a voucher. I was not part of the bidding process, I was not part of anything else.)
"We have to honor 'yung mga contracts entered [into] by the previous administration. Ni tseke, wala akong pinirmahan dito, ang pinirmahan ko lang is a voucher," he said.
(I did not even sign a check, all I signed is a voucher.)
Junjun was elected mayor in 2010, when his father Jejomar Binay ran and won as vice president.
He was reelected to a second term in 2013, but the Office of the Ombudsman ordered his dismissal in 2015 over the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2 project.
He and his father were also tagged in the allegedly anomalous construction of the P1.3-billion Makati Science High School building.