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Palace: PNoy believes Drilon not involved in alleged Iloilo Convention Center overpricing

President Benigno Aquino III trusts ally Senate President Franklin Drilon and does not believe he is involved in any anomaly, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Tuesday.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago have separately called for a congressional probe on the alleged overpricing of the Iloilo Convention Center, which was funded partly by Drilon's discretionary funds.

Coloma further said that the executive branch will not meddle with the House of Representatives' proposed probe on the P700-million Iloilo project.

“We respect the internal processes of the House of Representatives as an independent and co-equal branch of the government to pursue whatever inquiries or investigation they may want to undertake," he said.

The ICC—a two-storey structure with a total floor area of 6,500 square meters and sitting on 1.7 hectares of land at the Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao—was built by Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation (HCC), the contractor that built the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II. The Senate is currently conducting a probe on the building’s construction.

Last June, Aquino himself inspected the construction site.

Drilon said he is open to any investigation, maintaining he had nothing to do with the awarding of the contract for, and the actual construction of, the convention center. — BM, GMA News