Filtered By: Topstories

Trillanes to expose alleged P100-M ghost senior citizen racket in Makati

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is set to expose Thursday the alleged P100 million-a-year racket on ghost senior citizens in Makati City, when the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee resumes its hearing on alleged anomalies linked to the Binay family.

“On our blue ribbon subcommittee hearing, we will be exposing the ghost senior citizens of Makati during the incumbency of the Binays who have been claiming benefits,” Trillanes said in a text message to GMA News Online on Wednesday.

“The whole racket amounts to over P100 million per year,” he added.

He said they found out that 45 percent of listed senior citizen beneficiaries were either dead or non-existent.

Trillanes added that they will be presenting a witness in Thursday's hearing.

In a press statement, Vice President Jejomar Binay's spokesperson denied the allegation and urged Trillanes to produce the death benefits of the beneficiaries who are still on the list but were found dead.

“The burden is on Senator Trillanes to prove his outlandish conclusion that 45% of senior citizen beneficiaries are non-existent," Joey Salgado said. "Can he produce actual death certificates and other documents? We doubt it. We expect more half-truths and lies in tomorrow's hearings."

He said under city guidelines, senior citizens are required to personally apply for benefits. He added that those listed as beneficiaries are actual persons who have submitted the required documents and have passed the verification process.

Salgado said the city's Social Welfare Department monitors the delivery of cakes to senior citizens celebrating their birthday.

“Seniors are also required to personally receive their cash gifts,” he added, adding the department also conducts spot checks to prevent fraud.

“It also has a validation process to purge deceased senior citizens from the list,” said Salgado.

He said that Trillanes and his cohorts have been making wild and sensational statements to drum up interest in their "inquisition" of the Vice President and his family for a year now.

“They want to undermine the exemplary programs and services of Makati. The senator's latest statement is no different. After one year, we cannot really expect Senator Trillanes to be truthful and transparent,” he said.

Binay, who has expressed no intention in participating in the subcommittee hearings, is set to attend a Mass to be held at Brgy. Pembo in Makati City on Thursday morning to mark the first year of what his camp calls as “Senate inquisition.”

He is expected to deliver a message after the Mass. —KBK, GMA News