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MAKATI PARKING BUILDING 'IMPLEMENTED WITH DUE HASTE' AND 'IMPROPER'   

OCT 2 --An initial evaluation by a special team of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the controversial Makati City Hall 2 parking building showed that the project was “implemented with undue haste” and “improper,” an auditor told the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee Thursday. The parking building has been the subject of an investigation by the Senate body amid allegations that it was overpriced. COA auditor Alexander Juliano was initially hesitant to read the initial report of the team, saying it’s supposed to be for “internal consumption” of the Commission and that they have not yet gotten the comment of the city government. But Senate Majority Leader Alan Cayetano assured Juliano that he would not be violating any law since he was ordered to do so by the sub-committee. Juliano then proceeded and read before the committee the COA’s initial evaluation of the project, a copy of which was later furnished to reporters.

Based on the report, the city government had disbursed an aggregate amount of P2, 367, 679.633.95 as of Dec. 31, 2013 for the construction of the parking building.
For preliminary services, the local government spent P11, 974, 900.
The following were the amounts spent by the city government for the five-phase construction of the parking building:
Phase 1 P386, 998, 154.20
Phase 2 P499 , 357, 003.73
Phase 3 P599,994, 021.05
Phase 4 P649, 934, 440.96
Phase 5 P443, 806, 161.0
The report also showed the city government spent P75,614, 953.01 for the Building Management System. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Compel Binay Jr. to testify’; Drilon says, or Senate to arrest him 

OCT 4 --The Senate will compel Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and other Makati officials to testify if they continue to snub an inquiry into the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Friday. Drilon said the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee investigating the alleged overpricing had the power to order the arrest and detention of Binay and the others if they insisted on ignoring the summons. But out of respect for his office, Drilon said, the subcommittee did not issue a subpoena for Vice President Jejomar Binay after he declined an invitation.

But it’s a different matter altogether with respect to Mayor Binay and other Makati City officials who refused to return to the inquiry after appearing once, Drilon said. “They are not above the law,” Drilon told reporters after a speaking engagement at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Show cause order --After snubbing last Thursday’s hearing, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said the subcommittee would issue a “show cause” order to Mayor Binay and other city officials to explain their repeated refusal to face the inquiry. The Vice President, on whose watch as Makati mayor the P2.28-billion parking building began construction in 2007, has dismissed the inquiry as a forum to vilify him.

Drilon said the subcommittee would accept a proper explanation from Mayor Binay and the other city officials.
“But should they insist and say, ‘We don’t want to appear before the blue ribbon,’ that’s unacceptable. No one is above the law,” he said. “If they give a proper explanation, they will be asked to appear the next time around. If they will continuously ignore the Senate, the committee will be compelled to detain them until they testify,” he added.*READ MORE...

(ALSO) Binay camp: COA exec misled Senate, and the public  

OCT 2 --File photo of COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza. MANNY MARCELO MANILA, Philippines - The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay's wife on Friday accused Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heidi Mendoza of misleading the public for supposedly failing to say that the findings she presented at a Senate sub-committee hearing yesterday were dismissed by the Sandiganbayan in 2011. In a statement, lawyer Juan Carlos Mendoza said the Second Division of the Sandiganbayan issued a resolution on Apr. 7, 2011 which found out that the audit procedures adopted by the COA under Mendoza suffered from "fundamental issues of arbitrariness."

Mendoza said the Supreme Court also affirmed the Sandiganbayan resolution in 2012. "It was expected that as a high ranking public official, Ms. Heidi Mendoza would have been candid enough to admit to the Senate that the Audit Report she was testifying on yesterday was already discredited by the Sandiganbayan," he said. Mendoza added that this was why the case against Binay's wife, former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay, and the other members of the Bids and Awards Committee was dismissed by the anti-graft court. On Thursday, the COA revealed to the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee that it found red flags in the construction of the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall II parking building. * READ MORE...

ALSO: 'We're being threatened'; ‘VIP police protection’ sought for COA exec Heidi Mendoza  

OCT 3 --PHOTO: Commission on Audit Commissioner Heidi Mendoza. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines — Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has asked Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas to provide heightened VIP police protection for Commission on Audit Commissioner Heidi Mendoza to protect her from threats and pressure.
“If we let this pass, no other significant witness will be willing to testify in any congressional hearing because of fear. Let’s put our boots on the ground and stomp out fear sown by hooligans,” Santiago said in a statement Friday.

Mendoza revealed before a Senate blue ribbon committee hearing that she was being threatened and pressured to desist from testifying further on the alleged corruption charges against former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay.
Santiago said that she would also file a resolution in the Senate by October 7 calling for heightened and fully-armed, 24-hour VIP police protection in favor of Mendoza. Santiago criticized the present Witness Protection Program (WPP) for not having an organic intelligence and security force. Its security force is composed of contractual personnel and sometimes augmented by personnel from the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation, she said.

A separate law is needed to protect COA auditors who risk their lives investigating anomalous government transactions involving powerful politicians, Santiago said. The Binays are being investigated by the blue ribbon committee for alleged corrupt practices including bid rigging which includes the reportedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Makati City administrator: COA presentation at Senate hearing unfair, violated COA rules 

OCT 2 --PHOTO:MAKATI CITY HALL. MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Audit's (COA) presentation of the preliminary audit at the continuation of the Senate hearing on the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2 was in violation of COA rules and was ‘patently unfair’ to the city government, Makati City Administrator Eleno Mendoza said on Thursday. “As a rule, COA audits are confidential in nature because the office being audited has the right to reply and explain the findings. Preliminary findings are not conclusive findings,” Mendoza said. At the Senate hearing, a COA official was compelled by members of the sub-committee chaired by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III to open the sealed report and read its contents out loud.

Mendoza said that under COA rules, the agency being audited is asked to submit its replies and comments on preliminary audit findings to COA, which then calls the agency to an exit conference where the findings and corresponding comments are discussed. “Only after such a conference does COA render a final report,” he said. “The COA official emphasized these during the hearing but was forced to read his report against his objection. This is patently unfair to the city government, which has yet to see and comment on the said findings,” Mendoza said. *READ MORE...

ALSO: Binays file jurisdictional challenge, cite rules 

OCT 2 --LAWYERS SEEK SUB PANEL INQUIRY SUSPENDED. The ongoing political hearings by the blue ribbon sub-committee against the Vice President and his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, may have to be suspended, if the Senate rules are followed. Citing the “arbitrary, capricious and whimsical” ruling of a Senate sub-committee headed by Sen. Koko Pimentel and attended by only two other senators, Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes 1V, lawyers of Mayor Binay yesterday asked the Senate committee on accountability of public officers and investigations, better known as the blue ribbon committee, to rule as a whole on their jurisdictional challenge.

Pending a ruling from the whole committee, the lawyers asked for a suspension of the inquiry being conducted by the sub-committee into Makati City Hall Building II. The motion, signed by lawyer Claro Certeza, has called on the committee to evaluate and rule as a whole on the jurisdictional challenge filed on behalf of Binay last Sept. 25, following the “arbitrary, capricious and whimsical act of the sub-committee” in proceeding with the hearings without proper resolution of the said challenge. Under Section 3 of Resolution No. 5 of the Senate Rules of Procedure on Inquiries in Aid of Legislation, in the event that a jurisdictional challenge is filed, the same must be resolved first before proceeding with any inquiry. “It is imperative that the Jurisdictional Challenge of the Movant be presented to all the members of the Honorable committee for proper evaluation and ruling,” Certeza said.

At the Sept. 25 hearing, the sub-committee led by Senator Pimentel summarily dismissed the Jurisdictional Challenge and continued with the hearing despite the objection of Certeza.Transcript of the proceedings quotes Pimentel telling the lawyer, “We have decided to proceed so your jurisdictional challenge will be deemed to include a continuing objection to the hearing that we will conduct this morning.” “It is the opinion of the members of the subcommittee that the subject matter, Proposed Senate Resolution No. 826, clearly falls under the jurisdiction of the blue ribbon committee,” Pimentel said. Certeza said, however, that the sub-committee’s decision was “void ab initio” for having been made with “grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.” The sub-committee has “arrogated upon itself the power to rule on the Jurisdictional Challenge”, he added. * READ MORE...

ALSO: 60% DON’T WANT SECOND TERM FOR PNOY; BUT COLOMA SAYS TALKING TO ‘BOSSES’ WILL CONTINUE 

OCT 3 --Six out of 10 Filipinos (62 percent) are against any move to amend the 1987 Constitution to allow President Aquino to seek a second term, a September 8 to 15 survey by Pulse Asia showed. The survey, which involved 1,200 respondents nationwide, showed that only 38 percent of the respondents are in favor of amending the Charter to allow Aquino to seek re-election with 62 percent disagreeing. The majority sentiment across socio-economic classes (61 percent to 65 percent) and geographic areas (52 percent to 71 percent) is against Charter change to allow a term extension, except for the Visayas (50 percent in favor, 50 percent not in favor),

The President has always been saying he will listen to the voice of the people, who are his “bosses.” Recently, he said his stand against amending the Constitution, particularly provisions pertaining to the powers of the Supreme Court, has changed. Asked about a second term, Aquino has said the Constitution allows a single term for the President, but he also said he would listen to the voice of the people, particularly on how to continue the reforms that he started. Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Malacañang accepts the survey results but consultations being done by President Aquino on calls for a term extension would continue because the President’s main purpose is to determine how he could ensure that the reforms he has instituted would be sustained and would become permanent.

He also said Aquino continues to give importance to the voice of the people. The Pulse survey also showed that 62 percent are against any move to amend the 1987 Constitution now, up from 56 percent in October 2010 when it last conducted a survey on Charter change. * READ MORE...


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

Makati parking building ‘implemented with undue haste’ and ‘improper’–COA

MANILA, OCTOBER 6, 2014 (INQUIRER) By Maila Ager - An initial evaluation by a special team of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the controversial Makati City Hall 2 parking building showed that the project was “implemented with undue haste” and “improper,” an auditor told the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee Thursday.

The parking building has been the subject of an investigation by the Senate body amid allegations that it was overpriced.

COA auditor Alexander Juliano was initially hesitant to read the initial report of the team, saying it’s supposed to be for “internal consumption” of the Commission and that they have not yet gotten the comment of the city government.

But Senate Majority Leader Alan Cayetano assured Juliano that he would not be violating any law since he was ordered to do so by the sub-committee.

Juliano then proceeded and read before the committee the COA’s initial evaluation of the project, a copy of which was later furnished to reporters.

Based on the report, the city government had disbursed an aggregate amount of P2, 367, 679.633.95 as of Dec. 31, 2013 for the construction of the parking building.

For preliminary services, the local government spent P11, 974, 900.

The following were the amounts spent by the city government for the five-phase construction of the parking building:
Phase 1 P386, 998, 154.20
Phase 2 P499 , 357, 003.73
Phase 3 P599,994, 021.05
Phase 4 P649, 934, 440.96
Phase 5 P443, 806, 161.0

The report also showed that the city government spent P75,614, 953.01 for the Building Management System.

* Among the findings of the special team was that the project was “implemented with undue haste as there were no construction plans yet when it was bidded out and awarded to Hilmarc’s Construction Corp.”

“It appears that the negotiated procurement adopted by the BAC on the contract of architectural and engineering services as improper because none of the conditions laid down under Section 53 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A No. 9184 was present such as failed biddings, emergency cases, takeover of contracts, adjacent or contiguous projects, agency-to agency, highly technical consultants and defines co-operation agreement,” the report said.

BAC is bids and awards committee.

The report also noted that that the city started the procurement process for Phase 3 on Nov. 27, 2009 even if there was no appropriation yet.

“The covering appropriation ordinance was only enacted on Sept. 14, 2010,” it pointed out.

“It’s also noteworthy that the BAC resolution recommending approval of the award HCC was made as early as Jan. 8, 2010, however the Notice of Awards was only served to winning bidder on Sept. 21, 2010. Obviously, the Head of the Procuring Entity waited for the passage of the appropriation ordinance before he issued the NOA to HCC.”

The report likewise noted that per COA inspection report dated July 7, 2011 for Phase 3, the parking building was already “habitable and ready for use.”

The construction of the controversial parking building started in 2007 during the time of then Vice President Jejomar Binay and was completed during the time of his son, incumbent Makati MayorJejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.

Compel Binay Jr. to testify’; Or, Drilon says, Senate to arrest, detain him By TJ Burgonio |Philippine Daily Inquirer1:59 am | Saturday, October 4th, 2014


Senate President Franklin Drilon and Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

The Senate will compel Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and other Makati officials to testify if they continue to snub an inquiry into the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Friday.

Drilon said the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee investigating the alleged overpricing had the power to order the arrest and detention of Binay and the others if they insisted on ignoring the summons.

But out of respect for his office, Drilon said, the subcommittee did not issue a subpoena for Vice President Jejomar Binay after he declined an invitation.

But it’s a different matter altogether with respect to Mayor Binay and other Makati City officials who refused to return to the inquiry after appearing once, Drilon said.

“They are not above the law,” Drilon told reporters after a speaking engagement at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Show cause order

After snubbing last Thursday’s hearing, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said the subcommittee would issue a “show cause” order to Mayor Binay and other city officials to explain their repeated refusal to face the inquiry.

The Vice President, on whose watch as Makati mayor the P2.28-billion parking building began construction in 2007, has dismissed the inquiry as a forum to vilify him.

Drilon said the subcommittee would accept a proper explanation from Mayor Binay and the other city officials.

“But should they insist and say, ‘We don’t want to appear before the blue ribbon,’ that’s unacceptable. No one is above the law,” he said.

“If they give a proper explanation, they will be asked to appear the next time around. If they will continuously ignore the Senate, the committee will be compelled to detain them until they testify,” he added.

* Drilon said there was jurisprudence sustaining the Senate’s power to compel witnesses to testify at a hearing.

Questioning jurisdiction

Mayor Binay, through his lawyer, has filed a manifestation asking for the suspension of the hearings pending the resolution of the question of the subcommittee’s jurisdiction to inquire into the construction of the parking building.

He said the subcommittee lacked jurisdiction to look into the matter. He said the Ombudsman had acquired primary jurisdiction over the plunder case filed against the Binays over the parking building.

Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, blue ribbon committee chair, was studying Binay’s claims.

Drilon said Mayor Binay’s manifestation lacked basis because the senators, through the inquiry, sought to establish the truth, and would write legislation to improve antigraft law.

“What they’re saying that the Senate has no jurisdiction has no basis. The Senate is a forum to find the truth, and more important, to find out if the antigraft law needs improvement,” he said.

On Wednesday, lawyers of the Vice President’s son filed a motion requesting the Senate blue ribbon committee to evaluate and rule as a whole on the jurisdictional challenge they filed on Sept. 25.

Mayor Binay’s lawyers slammed the “arbitrary, capricious and whimsical act” of the Senate subcommittee in proceeding with the hearings without resolving the challenge.

Under Section 3 of Resolution No. 5 of the Senate Rules of Procedure on Inquiries in Aid of Legislation, in the event that a jurisdictional challenge is filed, the same must be resolved first before proceeding with any inquiry.

With the ruling still pending, the lawyers asked for the suspension of the inquiry being conducted by the subcommittee in the Makati City Hall Building II.

But the Senate subcommittee decided to proceed with the hearings as scheduled.

FROM PHILSTAR

Binay camp: COA exec misled Senate, public By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated October 3, 2014 - 4:18pm 14 731 googleplus0 0


File photo of COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza. MANNY MARCELO

MANILA, Philippines - The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay's wife on Friday accused Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heidi Mendoza of misleading the public for supposedly failing to say that the findings she presented at a Senate sub-committee hearing yesterday were dismissed by the Sandiganbayan in 2011.

In a statement, lawyer Juan Carlos Mendoza said the Second Division of the Sandiganbayan issued a resolution on Apr. 7, 2011 which found out that the audit procedures adopted by the COA under Mendoza suffered from "fundamental issues of arbitrariness."

Mendoza said the Supreme Court also affirmed the Sandiganbayan resolution in 2012.

"It was expected that as a high ranking public official, Ms. Heidi Mendoza would have been candid enough to admit to the Senate that the Audit Report she was testifying on yesterday was already discredited by the Sandiganbayan," he said.

Mendoza added that this was why the case against Binay's wife, former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay, and the other members of the Bids and Awards Committee was dismissed by the anti-graft court.

On Thursday, the COA revealed to the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee that it found red flags in the construction of the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall II parking building.

* Mendoza also disclosed the findings of her report in 2001 which discovered allegedly overpriced medical equipment purchased by the Makati goverment.

"With respect to the Ospital ng Makati findings, these were already assessed by the Ombudsman during preliminary investigation and in 2011, the Ombudsman cleared Dra. Binay of liability," Binay's lawyer said.

The Ombudsman, however, re-filed the case this year.

"The recent attempt to revive these cases is now subject of a Petition filed before the Supreme Court," Mendoza said.

Binay's lawyer said they intend to bring the matter of Mendoza's "irregular conduct before the proper forum."

FROM THE INQUIRER

‘VIP police protection’ sought for COA exec Heidi MendozaBy Matikas Santos |INQUIRER.net5:27 pm | Friday, October 3rd, 2014


Commission on Audit Commissioner Heidi Mendoza. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has asked Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas to provide heightened VIP police protection for Commission on Audit Commissioner Heidi Mendoza to protect her from threats and pressure.

“If we let this pass, no other significant witness will be willing to testify in any congressional hearing because of fear. Let’s put our boots on the ground and stomp out fear sown by hooligans,” Santiago said in a statement Friday.

Mendoza revealed before a Senate blue ribbon committee hearing that she was being threatened and pressured to desist from testifying further on the alleged corruption charges against former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay.

Santiago said that she would also file a resolution in the Senate by October 7 calling for heightened and fully-armed, 24-hour VIP police protection in favor of Mendoza.

Santiago criticized the present Witness Protection Program (WPP) for not having an organic intelligence and security force.

Its security force is composed of contractual personnel and sometimes augmented by personnel from the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation, she said.

A separate law is needed to protect COA auditors who risk their lives investigating anomalous government transactions involving powerful politicians, Santiago said.

The Binays are being investigated by the blue ribbon committee for alleged corrupt practices including bid rigging which includes the reportedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.

FROM PHILSTAR

Makati City administrator: COA presentation at Senate hearing unfair, violated COA rules By Mike Frialde (philstar.com) | Updated October 2, 2014 - 7:11pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


MAKATI CITY HALL

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Audit's (COA) presentation of the preliminary audit at the continuation of the Senate hearing on the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2 was in violation of COA rules and was ‘patently unfair’ to the city government, Makati City Administrator Eleno Mendoza said on Thursday.

“As a rule, COA audits are confidential in nature because the office being audited has the right to reply and explain the findings. Preliminary findings are not conclusive findings,” Mendoza said.

At the Senate hearing, a COA official was compelled by members of the sub-committee chaired by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III to open the sealed report and read its contents out loud.

Mendoza said that under COA rules, the agency being audited is asked to submit its replies and comments on preliminary audit findings to COA, which then calls the agency to an exit conference where the findings and corresponding comments are discussed.

“Only after such a conference does COA render a final report,” he said.

“The COA official emphasized these during the hearing but was forced to read his report against his objection. This is patently unfair to the city government, which has yet to see and comment on the said findings,” Mendoza said.

* Mendoza also noted that the preliminary report as stated does not mention overpricing.

“It only mentions alleged lapses in the procurement process,” he said.

Last Wednesday, lawyers of Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay filed a motion requesting the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to evaluate and rule as a whole on the jurisdictional challenge they filed on behalf of their clients last September 25.

The lawyers assailed the “arbitrary, capricious and whimsical act” of the sub-committee in proceeding with the hearings without proper resolution of the said challenge.

Under Section 3 of Resolution 5 of the Senate Rules of Procedure on Inquiries in Aid of Legislation, in the event that a jurisdictional challenge is filed, the same must be resolved first before proceeding with any inquiry.

Pending a ruling from the whole committee, the lawyers asked for a suspension of the inquiry being conducted by the sub-committee into Makati City Hall Building II.

Meanwhile, the Senate sub-committee persisted in conducting the hearings as scheduled.

FROM THE TRIBUNE

Binays file jurisdictional challenge, cite rules Written by Angie M. Rosales Thursday, 02 October 2014 00:00

LAWYERS SEEK SUB PANEL INQUIRY SUSPENDED

The ongoing political hearings by the blue ribbon sub-committee against the Vice President and his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, may have to be suspended, if the Senate rules are followed.

Citing the “arbitrary, capricious and whimsical” ruling of a Senate sub-committee headed by Sen. Koko Pimentel and attended by only two other senators, Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes 1V, lawyers of Mayor Binay yesterday asked the Senate committee on accountability of public officers and investigations, better known as the blue ribbon committee, to rule as a whole on their jurisdictional challenge.

Pending a ruling from the whole committee, the lawyers asked for a suspension of the inquiry being conducted by the sub-committee into Makati City Hall Building II.

The motion, signed by lawyer Claro Certeza, has called on the committee to evaluate and rule as a whole on the jurisdictional challenge filed on behalf of Binay last Sept. 25, following the “arbitrary, capricious and whimsical act of the sub-committee” in proceeding with the hearings without proper resolution of the said challenge.

Under Section 3 of Resolution No. 5 of the Senate Rules of Procedure on Inquiries in Aid of Legislation, in the event that a jurisdictional challenge is filed, the same must be resolved first before proceeding with any inquiry.

“It is imperative that the Jurisdictional Challenge of the Movant be presented to all the members of the Honorable committee for proper evaluation and ruling,” Certeza said.

At the Sept. 25 hearing, the sub-committee led by Senator Pimentel summarily dismissed the Jurisdictional Challenge and continued with the hearing despite the objection of Certeza.

Transcript of the proceedings quotes Pimentel telling the lawyer, “We have decided to proceed so your jurisdictional challenge will be deemed to include a continuing objection to the hearing that we will conduct this morning.”

“It is the opinion of the members of the subcommittee that the subject matter, Proposed Senate Resolution No. 826, clearly falls under the jurisdiction of the blue ribbon committee,” Pimentel said.

Certeza said, however, that the sub-committee’s decision was “void ab initio” for having been made with “grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”

The sub-committee has “arrogated upon itself the power to rule on the Jurisdictional Challenge”, he added.

* He cited Resolution No. 5 of the Senate Rules of Procedure, which states that if the committee, by a “majority vote of its members present there being a quorum”, decides that an inquiry is pertinent or relevant to the implementation or re-examination of any law, it shall overrule such objection and proceed with the investigation.

“The Senate rules clearly require that any jurisdictional challenge must be decided by the whole blue ribbon committee and not by a mere sub-committee,” Certeza said.

The lawyer also said the serious issues raised in the jurisdictional challenge, which involve the constitutional rights of Mayor Binay that are “being violated and will continue to be violated by the sub-committee”, warrant the intervention of the Senate blue ribbon committee, acting as a whole, to resolve the same.

“Indeed, as borne by the records, the inquiry, in clear violation of the Movant’s constitutional rights, is being done by the sub-committee to elicit condemnatory evidence against the Movant and his family, and to solicit perjured statements by offering immediate admission to the Witness Protection Program as a reward to parties who will conjure up false charges against the Movant and his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay,” he stated.

It was on the eve of the seventh public hearing by the blue ribbon sub-committee that Binay, through his lawyer, filed their manifestation with motion before the mother committee and sought the intervention of its chairman, Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona, to stop the conduct of the proceedings until the issue questioning the jurisdiction of the said panel had been resolved by all the members of the mother committee.

Certeza said that instead of referring the motion to the proper committee headed by Guingona, Pimentel summarily brushed aside the jurisdictional challenge and the manifestation and the inquiry was unlawfully continued.

He also asked Guingona to quash or recall the subpoena issued against Binay and issue an order granting the Jurisdictional Challenge.

However, Guingona and Pimentel were both out of their respective offices to solicit their comments.

Certeza stressed that Binay and other Makati City officials and individuals summoned by the committee will not attend the inquiry scheduled tomorrow, until the Guingona panel resolves the manifestation he filed before the blue ribbon.

Until then, Certeza said they will file appropriate legal remedies before the Court if the Guingona panel fails to act on their manifestation, and the Pimentel sub-committee continues enforcing the subpoena, or on eventual arrest of Binay.

The reason behind the subcommittee hearings targeting VP Binay is all about bringing the ratings of the VP down.

But a commissioned survey conducted by political pollster Pedro Laylo Jr. with fieldwork undertaken on Sept. 7 to 11 covering 1,200 respondents nationwide showed Binay continued to lead the presidential bet preference despite the allegations in the Senate.

The survey showed Binay preferred by 36 percent of respondents, down from 41 percent.

The drop in Binay’s numbers as compared to the August survey was attributed by the pollster to the longer list of contenders, not to the allegations raised in the Senate. Last August, Santiago, Duterte and Marcos were not included among the choices for President.

The same survey also showed that 67 percent of respondents considered the ongoing Senate hearing on the Makati City building is politically-motivated, while the rest believed that the accusations have basis.

A majority, or 52 percent of respondents, also favored Binay’s refusal of the Senate invitation for him to appear in the Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing.

Despite a 10-point decline, Binay stayed on top of the Pulse Asia survey on contenders for the 2016 presidential race getting 31 percent, followed by Roxas who got 13 percent support or a four-point increase from the June survey.

With the way Binay is being vilified by his political opponents, the 10-point decline in his popularity rating as reflected in the latest Pulse Asia survey is but expected, United Nationalist Alliance Interim President, Rep, Toby Tiangco said in reaction to the survey results, although he downplayed the rate of decline the Vice President suffered.

For he past few weeks, the vice president, including his son, the Makati Mayor has been hogging the headlines following the “unrelenting crusade” of the troika of Senators Pimentel, Cayetano and Trillanes, in an effort to demonize the Binays’ particularly the vice president, the leading contender for the 2016 presidential derby.

The three have been trying to pin down the Binays over allegations of gross overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

While Tiangco could only lament at the gravity of the attacks launched against the vice president, the UNA president said as far as the survey result is concerned, the people still hold Binay in high esteem, refusing to believe an iota of truth at the vilification drive aimed at him.

“Despite the venomous attacks against him, the public still believes that Vice President Jejomar Binay is the top choice to put solutions to their problems,” Tiangco said.

The survey also showed that a mjority of the Filipino people do not follow the Senate hearings.

Meanwhile, UNA Secretary General, lawyer JV Bautista criticized Senator Trillanes for the “double standard” treatment of Purisima at the Senate hearing Tuesday.

Bautista said Trillanes showed his true colors when he “lawyered” for Purisima at the Senate hearing, the same way he had been “lawyering” for former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, Renato Bondal and Mario Hechanova.

“It is clear that there is favoritism and double-standard being practised by Senator Trillanes when it comes to (PNP chief Alan) Purisima and Budget Secretray Butch Abad, compared with the resource persons in the Makati hearing,” he noted.

“Obviously, Senator Trillanes was helping Purisima in getting out of the maze… Is he a mouthpiece of Purisima in the Senate?”

Bautista said he was surprised at the extra soft and extreme gentleness of Trillanes during the hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on Sept. 30.

He noted that Trillanes’ line of questioning on Purisima was reminiscent of the Senate hearing in July 2014 when Administration senators treated budget chief Florencio “Butch” Abad with kid gloves during the DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) hearing.

“It was such a shameless display of bootlicking. One can easily see the style of Senator Trillanes Tuesday when he suddenly became a dummy of the PNP chief,” Bautista noted.

He added that Trillanes seems to be selective in admonishing certain resource persons and treating allies with kid gloves.

It can be recalled that in 2011, Trillanes was criticized by fellow PMA alumni for the uncavalier-like treatment of former AFP chief of staff Angelo Reyes in 2011 whom he had disrespected and humiliated during a Senate hearing.

FROM MALAYA

60% DON’T WANT SECOND TERM FOR PNOY; BUT COLOMA SAYS TALKING TO ‘BOSSES’ WILL CONTINUE By JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR | October 03, 2014 IS this loud enough?

Six out of 10 Filipinos (62 percent) are against any move to amend the 1987 Constitution to allow President Aquino to seek a second term, a September 8 to 15 survey by Pulse Asia showed.

The survey, which involved 1,200 respondents nationwide, showed that only 38 percent of the respondents are in favor of amending the Charter to allow Aquino to seek re-election with 62 percent disagreeing.

The majority sentiment across socio-economic classes (61 percent to 65 percent) and geographic areas (52 percent to 71 percent) is against Charter change to allow a term extension, except for the Visayas (50 percent in favor, 50 percent not in favor),

The President has always been saying he will listen to the voice of the people, who are his “bosses.” Recently, he said his stand against amending the Constitution, particularly provisions pertaining to the powers of the Supreme Court, has changed.

Asked about a second term, Aquino has said the Constitution allows a single term for the President, but he also said he would listen to the voice of the people, particularly on how to continue the reforms that he started.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Malacañang accepts the survey results but consultations being done by President Aquino on calls for a term extension would continue because the President’s main purpose is to determine how he could ensure that the reforms he has instituted would be sustained and would become permanent.

He also said Aquino continues to give importance to the voice of the people.

The Pulse survey also showed that 62 percent are against any move to amend the 1987 Constitution now, up from 56 percent in October 2010 when it last conducted a survey on Charter change.

* Of those who oppose Charter change, 30 percent aid they are open to the possibility of amending the Constitution at a later time.

The Pulse survey also showed that only 20 percent favor amending the Constitution, down from 40 percent in October 2010.

The survey also showed that majority of the respondents are against amending the Constitution to clip the powers of the Supreme Court (70 percent) and to allow foreign individuals or companies to own residential or commercial lands (85 percent).

The survey was conducted at the time when the impeachment complaints against President Aquino were dismissed and the talks of a second term for him were ongoing. During the same period, the suspension of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. due to plunder and corruption charges against have been implemented.

ULAP EVENT

Aquino, at the induction of the new national executive board of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) in Malacañang, reminded local government officials that they are elected to serve the public.

He also renewed his commitment to continue devoting his time and energy to governance instead of wasting them on his detractors and critics.

He said that in politics, there would always be critics who will oppose and criticize reforms but could not propose solutions.

The President urged the local officials to do as he does, and to remain faithful to their mandate of serving the public with honesty and integrity. He said they should also focus on coming up with long-term solutions to the problems of their constituents.

“As what the elders would say, let us teach our people to fish rather than have them keep coming back to ask for fish. A complete and comprehensive solution is the key to the change that we are all hoping for,” he said.

The President said this is what the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo did to solve the problem on informal settlers in Naga City, where he provided them with permanent and decent housing as well as sustainable livelihood to prevent them from returning to their old dwellings.

Among the officers who took their oath were Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. as chairman, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista as executive vice president, Mayor Leandro Javier Jr. of Javier town in Leyte as vice chairman, and Manila City Vice Mayor Isko Moreno as first vice president.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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