MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Monday, January 26th, cited for contempt Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” S. Binay, Jr., and five other incumbent and former city officials for their continued refusal to attend Senate hearings regarding on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II and other alleged anomalies.
Senator Teofisto Guingona III, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman, also ordered the arrest of Makati City Mayor Binay and the following officials: Eleno Mendoza, Makati City administrator; Eduviges Baloloy aide of Vice President Jejomar Binay; Marjorie de Veyra, former city administrator; and Line de la Pena, assistant city engineer.
Bernadette Portallano, amongst the owners of Omni Security Investigation and General Services, a local firm being linked with the vice president Jejomar Binay.
Tomas Lopez, president of the University of Makati and member of the Pag-IBIG board of trustees, was also cited for alleged misconduct, but the arrest order against him was deferred when he promised to attend future Senate hearings.
In a news conference shortly after the Senate decision, the younger Binay said he would not resist detention. In fact, he said, he had already packed up some of his things. Additionally, Binay mentioned that he would exhaust all legal means to counter the Senate decision, starting with filing of a motion for reconsideration after the Supreme Court.
Makati Mayor Junjun Binay tagged the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings as “biased” or “one-sided” with a “selective application” of the Senate rules.
He said he felt he was being treated as an accused, not as a resource person. He further stated that the members of the Blue Ribbon Subcommittee had stained the reputation of the Senate with their actions. The subcommittee is chaired by Senator Aquilino Pimentel III with Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV as members.