Aug 232014
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and former senator Kit Tatad exchanged heated words during a forum on Saturday over Vice President Jejomar Binay’s plans to run for president and the allegedly-overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.

“Ang sa aking paniniwala, ang Binay presidency would be so much worse than an Arroyo presidency,” Trillanes, who was detained during the Arroyo administration for participating in mutinies against the government, told GMA’s “24 Oras” after the forum.

He asserted during the forum that Binay’s overpriced projects — including the building — may exceed the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

“Dun sa pork barrel scam, ang mga naakusahang senador ay daang-daang milyon ang naakusa sa kanila, and a lot of people already found it scandalous. Pero dito po, dalawang bilyon po ang involved, and it involves the vice president of the republic,” Trillanes said.

Tatad, a known supporter of the vice president, replied that the Senate lost “the moral authority to investigate anyone” after their involvement in the pork barrel scam.

“Imbestigahan muna nila ang sarili nila,” Tatad, who was a senator during the presidency of Joseph Ejercito Estrada and minister of public information under President Ferdinand Marcos, retorted.

He said that the Senate has yet to regain the public trust over allegations that senator-judges were bribed with funds from the Disbursement Acceleration Program to convict impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Trillanes, who is part of a Senate sub-committee investigating the alleged overpricing, replied: “It’s very unfortunate kung sa panahon ni Kit Tatad, with all due respect, ay hindi niyo po ginagawa ‘yan, then you missed out on the function of a senator.”

The two then exchanged words, during which Trillanes asked if Tatad was speaking on behalf of the vice president.

Tatad clarified that he was merely stating his opinion and said he had no cause to get into argument. “My record is clear. Wala akong corruption,” Tatad also said.

Trillanes, a Nacionalista, is a member of the Liberal Party-led administration coalition. He has also indicated that he will run for higher office in 2016.

GMA News tried to reach Binay for a statement, but the vice president redirected all queries to his party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

UNA spokesman Toby Tiangco said Trillanes had no basis for his accusations since Binay has never been convicted on any graft raps during his stint as Makati mayor.

The vice president previously expressed his distaste for the investigation, stating that Senate rules only allow for investigations in aid of legislation.

He also said the investigation was “rooted” in his plans to run for presidency in the 2016 national elections.

The probe on Aug. 20 looked into the Makati City Hall Building, which was supposedly overpriced by 300 percent.

Binay was still the mayor of Makati in 2007, when construction on the building began. Rie Takumi/JDS, GMA News

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