This is in response to the Press Release of the United Nacionalist Alliance (UNA) Media Relations regarding the eight (8) luxury vehicles that I purportedly owned when I was in the military, which were said to be undeclared in my SALN. This is a baseless and desperate move by VP Binay’s camp in order to divert attention from the corruption cases against him currently being investigated by the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee of which I am a member.

It is apparent that VP Binay’s camp is trying to revive an old issue, which has been already dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman and the Makati Court. This matter was raised at the height of GMA administration, when the CIDG filed cases against us, including this issue, due to Magdalo’s corruption exposés against the said administration. The cases regarding the alleged vehicles were dismissed because the documents the CIDG submitted in support of its allegation were found to be spurious.

However, if only to set an example for VP Binay on how to respond to issues instead of evading them, allow me to state for the record the true facts regarding these recycled allegations:

1. The allegation of UNA that I owned eight (8) luxury vehicles enumerated in their press release is a blatant lie. In truth, what I owned was a second-hand 1996 Nissan Terrano, which could not considered a luxury vehicle. I sold said vehicle in 2007 to help finance my senatorial campaign.

2. I have never ever owned a Kawasaki motorbike. In fact, I have never driven and I do not know how to ride a motorbike, not even once in my life. My license restriction can easily prove this fact.

3. As for the Pajero with license plate RIZ-222, the true owner thereof, a certain Darlito Roca, operations officer of Lydia's Lechon, has surfaced to claim and acknowledge his ownership thereof. An article published by the Philippine Star in August 2003, detailed the explanation of the said owner on this issue. (See: Lechon vendor owns SUV linked to mutineer by Jaime Laude, August 14, 2003)

4. With regard to the five (5) Delicas, the actual and beneficial owner thereof is my mother, a businesswoman who bought the same from the proceeds of a P2-million loan she obtained from a bank sometime in October 2000. Delicas were second-hand vans bought in Subic and are not luxury vehicles. In fact, they can be bought in lots for as low as P100,000 to P150,000 each. The intention was to operate a van rental service using these vehicles. These old vehicles, however, proved too costly to maintain. Hence, my mother opted to sell and dispose some of them.

The very idea that I would buy five (5) vehicles of the same model and make for my personal use is quite absurd and illogical. My mother's van rental business was duly registered with the Department of Trade and Industry under her name and was properly stamped and licensed by the Caloocan City Hall.

This flimsy and dubious story shows the depths at which VP Binay’s camp is willing to go just to mislead the public and divert their attention from the issues at hand.

I trust that the people can discern properly which stories are real and fictitious.


14 OCTOBER 2014