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2 new witnesses to testify on alleged bid-rigging in Makati building project

Two new witnesses will testify on Thursday's continuation of the blue ribbon committee hearing on the alleged overpricing in the construction of Makati City Hall Building II, which supposedly benefited Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, a member of the committee, refused to identify the witnesses, but said they were involved in the bidding for the building project.

“Sinusundan lang natin yung ebidensiya. Sinasabi nila na hindi rigged ang bidding. So kung hindi rigged ang bidding dapat walang ibang bidders na aangal so tinitignan namin yung ibang bidders at tinatanong kung ano'ng experience [nila],” Cayetano said Wednesday.

In a separate interview, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who filed the resolution seeking an investigation into the alleged overpricing, said the witnesses were the ones who sought out the committee.

“Lumapit sila sa committee, maraming naglalabasan, maraming nagkakaroon ng lakas ng loob dahil dito sa imbestigasyon na ito,” he said.

Cayetano said they will ask the witnesses for details regarding the alleged irregularities in the bidding as mentioned by former general services department head Mario Hechanova during the previous hearing.


Cayetano also said he expects the other witnesses to divulge more details as they have already met with the Department of Justice regarding the Witness Protection Program (WPP).

Among the witnesses who linked Binay to the alleged anomaly in previous hearing were Hechanova and Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado.

“I believe they’ll be admitted [in WPP],” Cayetano said, referring to Mercado and the other witnesses who asked for WPP coverage. “So I’m expecting that they will give more details already tomorrow which is, by the way, good sa public dahil more details, mas malalaman natin yung nagsasabi ng totoo.”

Binay, who was Makati mayor when the building was constructed in 2007, had denied the allegations. A possible strong candidate in the 2016 presidential race, he had linked the controversy to politics.

Binay and his son Junjun, the incumbent mayor and former city councilor, are facing a plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged overpricing. —KBK, GMA News