AT LEAST 10 senators have signed the draft report of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, which recommended the filing of plunder charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay and several others in connection with the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.
The report will now go to the plenary for approval after meeting the minimum requirement of nine signatures.
Those who signed the report were blue ribbon committee members Aquilino Pimentel III, Antonio Trillanes IV, Alan Peter Cayetano, Grace Poe, Teofisto Guingona III, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Sergio Osmeña III, Francis Escudero, and Pia Cayetano.
“(The report) was orderly written by Senator Pimentel. He was able to explicate (the subpanel’s findings and recommendations) step by step, as well as his basis to his decision,” Poe told reporters on Monday.
Aquino said he signed the report because the findings of the subpanel led by Pimentel that the office and parking building was overpriced and the bidding process was irregular were “largely unrefuted and unanswered.”
“These findings warrant that the appropriate government agency further investigates the matter and file the corresponding charges, as it deems proper,” Aquino said.
Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, an ally of the Vice President, could not say if he will sign the report, saying he has not yet seen the document.
Binay's camp had said they were not surprised by the report while reiterating there was no overpricing of the Makati government building nor any irregularity committed.
“It is a validation of our position that the Senate has, from the very start, already prejudged the issue. They have made up their minds even before the hearing started and will not listen, tolerate, or entertain statements and facts contradicting them,” said lawyer Rico Quicho, vice presidential spokesperson for political concerns, in a statement last week.
Binay, his son Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., and some Makati officials are already facing plunder and graft raps before the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to the controversial property.
The charges were filed last year by the Binays' political opponent, lawyer Renato Bondal. (Sunnex)