Binay asks COA to release full audit reports on PDAF, DAP

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Monday, August 25, 2014


SENATOR Nancy Binay reiterated on Monday her call for the Commission on Audit (COA) to immediately release the full audit reports of several controversial government funds, which have been linked to questionable transactions, as well as corruption.

Binay said that it has already been more than a year since the probe on Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam and the expose on alleged illegal releases of the Malampaya Funds but until now COA has not given the public even a summary of its audit report covering the years 2010 to 2013.

"Isang taon na itong pinag-uusapan pero mukhang di gumagalaw ang COA. Sana kahit summary lang kung di pa sila ready ilabas ang full audit report sa PDAF," Binay said in an interview. "Pati na rin ang mga controversial projects under DAP mula 2011 hanggang 2013."

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Binay said the COA and the DBM should practice professionalism by doing what is expected of them and exercising their duties with fairness.

The senator issued the challenge after the COA said that it will be conducting a special audit on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2, which city officials maintain is not overpriced.

Binay also described the ongoing Senate investigation as purely political whose main goal is only to destroy the name "Binay" in time for the 2016 elections.

"Sa tono ng hearing eh in aid of destruction of my family/name. Parang naging trial court against my family. They used the Senate to malign my family," Binay said.

The neophyte senator said that the Senate is not the right venue to investigate such issues considering that senators are elected into office "to craft laws and not to become investigators."

"Hindi naman kami korte, ang Blue Ribbon. Ang trabaho namin is in aid of legislation. Usually, ang Blue Ribbon Committee ang nagrerecommend sa committee. It is either hindi sinasampahan ng kaso sa Ombudsman or irerecommend ng committee na finile-an sila sa Ombudsman. Itong issue nitong Makati Building eh may nakasampa nang kaso sa Ombudsman yan. So, hindi ko alam kung ano pa yung pwedeng i-recommend ng Blue Ribbon," Binay said.

She also maintained that the Senate should not be used as a venue to air personal or political battles against the Binay family.

"Ayokong gamitin ang Senado para sa laban na ito eh. We should go beyond our personal interests 'di ba? And I think, kung ibi-bring up ko itong ganitong uri ng ano, I am no different from them (referring to Senator Aquilino Koko Pimentel, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV) 'di ba, na I am using my being a senator for my family's interest. And I think we should go beyond that. Hindi ako nahalal para sagutin at ipaglaban yung hinaharap ng pamilya ko," she said.

Binay also expressed belief that COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza will be used to discredit them specially that she is in the position right now as COA commissioner.

"I have no problem with a special audit. But I also have concerns when it comes to the main office of the COA. First of all, a commissioner appointed there is vengeful toward my family," she said.

It can be recalled that Mendoza was the controversial COA commissioner who declared that those furniture purchased in the City Hall of Makati during the time of then Mayor Elenita Binay was overpriced, which led to the graft charges filed against the mother of Senator Binay.

At the same time, Senator Binay admitted that she was surprised to hear COA Commissioner Chief Grace Pulido Tan declaring the project a "red flag" as the COA earlier said they will be conducting a special audit to look into the splitting of the project into five phases.

Tan told the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee headed by Senator Aquilino Pimentel III that they will assign a special audit that will be headed by technical experts, which will include property appraisal experts and quantity surveyors for the sake of fair play.

Based on records, Binay said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) continued to release only funds from PDAF, DAP and Malampaya from 2010 to 2013.

"Lalong pinapatagal lang ng COA ang boksing--delayed telecast na nga, puro pa patalastas. It would be prudent for COA to immediately release their findings, including other NGOs who took part in the PDAF and Malampaya deals," Binay said.

The Supreme Court, Binay said has already declared PDAF and parts of the DAP as unconstitutional, while much of the P900 million Malampaya fund allegedly went to bogus non-government organizations linked to administration lawmakers and Janet Lim-Napoles.

She noted that while the PDAF and DAP have been in the news for some time, the only time people hear about the Malampaya fund is through the occasional report in the news while there has been no disclosure about the PDAF from 2010 to 2013.

"Mabuti na may listahan na ng recipients ng DAP, at least nakikita natin, pero ang PDAF mula 2010 hanggang 2013 wala pa rin hanggang ngayon," she said.

The senator also urged the state auditing body to be fair and objective in the release of the reports and not use it to discredit some individuals.

"I just hope COA will not be partial coming from the PDAF and DAP hearings. Nakita naman natin na pati ang COA was a beneficiary of DAP, ano bang partido ang nanguna sa pag-disburse ng DAP? Sana maging fair and impartial ang release," Binay said.

"Sana hindi matulad ang paglalabas ng resulta sa nangyari noong inilabas ang special audit report ng paggasta ng PDAF mula 2007 hanggang 2009. Sana lahat ng involved ay mailabas ngayon at hindi iilang pangalan lang," the senator added.

She also said that the Binays are not hiding anything insisting that the said Makati project is not a ghost project and the allegations of overpricing are mere accusations with no concrete evidence.

She also shrugged off the accusations about the cake issue and the elevator issue against the Binay family.

"Hindi ko alam kung saan nila hinugot yung presyo na P1,000, meron siyang dokumentong pinanghahawakan na P1,000 yung cake o nakuha niya yung, o sa sarili niyang kathang-isip eh parang ganun yung lumalabas eh, siya na lang ang nag-imbento nung P1,000 at mapapakita naman namin na merong dokumento na nagsasabi na I think P360 pesos lang yung cake na sinasabi niya," she added.

The senator said the issue pointing to her as the cake supplier is a creation of an imaginative mind as she totally denied the accusations.

"Bakit ko naman gagawin na ako ang magsu-supply ng cake? Bawal yan. Ang ama ko ang mayor, ang kapatid ko mayor ngayon, so wala akong transaksyon sa city hall dahil bawal yan at pangalawa pa, hindi ko, hindi ako marunong magluto, hindi ako marunong magbake, that kind of business ay hindi ko rin papasukan," she said.

The senator also clarified that the elevator issue is about the former wife of Mayor Binay who died recently giving birth to the youngest daughter of the mayor plus the fact that her mother, Elenita Binay, has some knee problem and has been suffering from the said disease for quite a time.

"Nuon kasi naghahanap siya ng matitirhan, siguro kasi yung asawa niya may problema sa pagbubuntis, 'yun ang number one primary reason kasi nga lagi siyang naka-wheelchair, bed rest, so parang paulit-ulit na ganun yung pagbubuntis niya so 'yun 'yung isang consideration," she said.

"Ang pangalawa siguro, kasi nakita namin sa bahay ng parents ko, yung mommy ko kasi may knee problem, so siguro paghahanda na rin sa future kasi inabisuhan kami ng doktor ng mommy ko yung issue niya sa tuhod ano yan, genetic yan. So I guess, parang preparing na rin," she said.

Binay said she is ready to face all their detractors and expressed confidence that in time the truth will come out even if their political opponents will create negative stories against them. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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