Trillanes pushes for Senate investigation on Makati’s controversial carpark building

Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV asked the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee through Senate Resolution 826 to conduct an investigation on the alleged overpriced construction of buildings involving the 11-storey Makati City Hall parking building, which is now the subject of a plunder case filed against Vice President Jejomar Binay, and the 22-storey Makati City hall building.
 
Under Resolution 826, Trillanes stated that “The Filipino people have the right to information especially on matters involving alleged graft, corruption, and plunder of high officials and at all levels of government. Further, it is the foremost duty of the Philippine legislature to ensure that bidding and procurement procedures contain safeguards against misuse of public funds for illicit personal gain, as well as, to ensure that public funds are used to benefit the Filipino people.”
 
On July 22, plunder and graft charges were filed against then-Makati Mayor and now-Vice President Jejomar Binay; his son, Mayor Jun-Jun Binay; and 23 others, due to alleged “unconscionable overpricing” in the construction of an 11-storey parking building that the city government supposedly built for P1.56 billion, which should be P798,200,000.00 as the reasonable cost of construction based on the present construction standards for high-end commercial buildings of the National Statistics Office.
 
According to SRN 826, the actual payments for the said building as of 31 December 2013, per the COA Report of 17 February 2014, already amounts to a total of P2,367,679,633.95, with the building contract split into five (5) phases in violation of existing procurement law but which were all miraculously won by one and the same contractor. Hence, the City of Makati actually spent around to P 2.4 Billion for the said building, thus, placing the actual overpriced sum in the amount of P 1.601 Billion. It added that this overpriced amount could have built more than 3,000 classrooms, inclusive of toilets and furniture.
 
“The P2.4 billion cost of the 11-storey Makati City carpark building is indeed shocking when compared to the cost even the most luxurious buildings in the country like the 46-storey Shang Grand Tower, the 19th tallest in the country, which was built for only P2 billion,” Trillanes said.
 
The resolution also stated the alleged overprice in the construction cost of the 22-storey Makati City Hall building constructed by the City of Makati in the 1990’s, which amounted to an average cost of P240,000.00 per square meter, is even more shocking, outrageous and unconscionable.
 
"This far exceeds by a whopping P100,000.00 per square meter the total cost of the two-storey housing units built by the National Housing Authority (NHA) for soldiers and policemen under the AFP/PNP Housing Project initiated by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III, which is pegged at P140,000.00 per unit," Trillanes added.
 
The resolution also called for the investigation of persistent reports on the alleged misuse of local government funds for programs to boost the national campaign of a former local executive by funding his trips, and hosting visiting local government executives; a purported P230 Million infomercial campaign which started in 2009 using Makati funds; bogus projects and ghost employees; blatant and brazen overpricing and bid rigging; among others. Said alleged anomalies constitute blatant misuse if not grave abuse and misappropriation of public funds under the leaderships of Vice President Binay as former mayor of the City and currently-sitting Mayor Jun-Jun Binay.
 
“This exercise of oversight function of the Senate will give the Vice President a chance to clear his name, if he is indeed innocent. If not, then it is high time that the Filipino people will get to know more about this person who is aspiring to be the next president of this country,” Trillanes explained.#
Tagalog version:

Imbestigasyon sa kontrobersyal na Makati carkpark building, isinusulong ni Trillanes
 
Sa pamamagitan ng Senate Resolution 826, hiniling ni Senador Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV sa Senate Blue Ribbon Committee na magsagawa ng imbestigasyon patungkol sa di-umano’y overpriced na mga gusali sa lungsod ng Makati kabilang ang 11 palapag na carpark building na dahilan ng pagsasampa ng kasong plunder kay Bise Presidente Jejomar Binay, at ang 22 palapag na gusali ng Makati City Hall.
 
Sa ilalim ng Resolusyon 826, sinabi ni Trillanes na “Karapatan ng mga Pilipino na malaman ang mga usaping may kinalaman sa mga opisyal ng gobyerno na sangkot sa katiwalian at plunder. Dagdag pa rito, pangunahing tungkulin ng lehislatura na maprotektahan ang bidding at procurement procedures laban sa paggamit ng pondo ng bayan para sa mga personal na interes, pati na rin ang matiyak na ang nasabing pondo ay ginagamit para sa kapakinabangan ng mga mamamayan.
 
Nitong Hulyo 22, sinampahan ng kasong plunder ang dating Makati Mayor at ngayo’y Bise Presidente Jejomar Binay; ang kanyang anak, Mayor Jun-Jun Binay; at 23 iba pang sangkot sa di-umano’y “unconscionable overpricing” sa pagpapatayo ng 11 na palapag na carpark building na nagkakahalaga ng P1.56 billion. Bagama’t base sa taya ng National Statistics Office (NSO) sa  kasalukuyang halaga ng pagpapatayo ng mga mamahaling gusali sa bansa, ito ay nararapat sa halagang P798,200,000.00 lamang.
 
Ayon sa SRN 826, nitong 31 Disyembre 2013, umabot sa P2,367,679,633.95 ang nagastos para sa nasabing gusali, base sa tala ng COA noong 17 Pebrero 2014. Ang kontrata para dito ay hinati sa limang bahagi na labag sa kasalukuyang procurement law ngunit himalang nakuha ng iisang contractor lamang. Sa makatuwid, ang lokal na pamahalaan ng Makati ay gumastos ng halagang P2.4 bilyon para sa nasabing gusali, at kung saan P1.6 bilyon dito ay sobra sa nararapat na presyo. Ang overpriced na halagang ito ay maaari sanang makapagpatayo ng higit sa 3,000 na silid-aralan, na may palikuran at mga furniture.
 
“Ang P2.4 bilyong halaga ng 11 na palapag na Makati City carpark building ay tunay na nakagugulat kung ikukumpara sa halaga ng mga magagarbong gusali sa bansa tulad ng 46 na palapag na Shang Grand Tower, ang ika-19 sa pinakamataas na gusali sa bansa, na pinatayo sa haling P2 bilyon lamang,” ani Trillanes.
 
Nabanggit din sa nasabing resolusyon ang di-umano’y overprice sa halaga ng pagpapatayo ng 22 na palapag na gusali ng Makati City Hall na itinayo noong 1990’s, na umaabot sa P240,000.00 kada metro kwadrado, na mas nakagugulat at di katanggap-tanggap.
 
"Ito ay higit na mas malaki ng P100,000.00 kada metro kwadrado sa kabuuang gastos ng dalawang palapag na pabahay ng National Housing Authority (NHA) para sa mga sundalo at pulis sa ilalim ng AFP/PNP Housing Project, na pinasimulan ng Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III, na nagkakahalaga ng P140,000.00 bawat yunit, " sabi ni Trillanes.
 
Kasama sa nasabing resolusyon ang pagpapaimbestiga sa mga ulat sa di-umano’y maling paggamit ng pondo ng lokal na pamahalaan para sa kampanya ng dating local executive kasama ang pag-pondo sa mga byahe nito at ang pagho-host sa pagbisita ng mga executive ng ibang lokal na pamahalaan; ang di umano’y P230 Milyon na infomercial campaign na nagsimula noong 2009 gamit ang pondo ng Lungsod ng Makati; mga maanumalyang proyekto at mga ghost employees, at marami pang pa. Ang mga nasabing anomalya ay naganap sa ilalim ng pamumuno nina Bise Presidente Jejomar Binay bilang dating Mayor ng Makati at ng ngayo’y Mayor Jun-Jun Binay.
 
“Ang oversight function na ito ng Senado ay isang pagkakataon ng Bise Presidente upang linisin ang kanyang pangalan, kung siya nga ay tunay na inosente. Kung hindi naman, ito ay pagkakataon upang mas lalong makilala siya ng ating mga kababayan bilang isa sa mga naghahangad na maging sunod na Presidente ng bansang ito,” paliwanag ni Trillanes.#