MANILA — Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice on Tuesday denied any involvement of Liberal Party (LP) members from the so-called smear campaign allegedly against the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
In his privilege speech, Erice said it was just a tactic to hide the real issue linking his daughter to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAP) scam.
“Wala kaming alam sa ‘white paper’ na ‘yan. Nalaman lang namin ito nang lumabas sa pahayagan at sinasagot ng pamilya Binay at ng UNA kaakibat ang malisyosong pag-aakusa sa LP. Kasinungalingan po yan at walang basehan,” Erice told colleagues who were surprised to the contents of his privilege speech.
He was referring to the so-called “white paper” detailing the alleged anomalies in the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) allocation of Makati City Rep. Abigail Binay which recently came out from various newspapers.
In fact up to now, Erice said, Rep. Binay has not yet denied the accuracy of data and figures from the Commission on Audit (COA) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), except to say that “the projects has been properly implemented and fully liquidated.”
These include the COA findings which said that Rep. Binay indeed significantly exceeded her PDAF allocation for the year 2008 by P47 million when she received P117 million and the P12.6 million which she allegedly diverted between the years 2008–2009 to a non-government organization “Kasanib” which was co-founded by her father Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Erice said Rep. Binay likewise allegedly gave P15 million to “Gabay at Pag-asang Masa Foundation” in 2009 which was among the fake NGOs recently reported by COA and removed from accreditation by the Department of Agriculture (DA) because of unliquidated funds.
The Gabay Pag-asang Masa Foundation was allegedly among the bogus NGOs of Janet Lim Napoles.
Erice also challenged Rep. Binay to explain the P16 million vermiculture project in her district which he said was very unlikely for a highly-urbanized city.
“Bagamat wala namang masama sa vermiculture project, lubhang nakapag-tataka ang pag-proseso ng mga bulate sa isang highly urbanized city tulad ng Makati at tila malaki ang P16 million para dito,” Erice said in his speech.
The Caloocan solon explained that Rep. Binay should explain these transactions instead of immediately accusing Malacanang, the Liberal Party and its officials of allegedly instigating a smear drive against her and her family.
He said that as an officer of LP, they have no time to be preoccupied with useless black propaganda as what Rep. Binay accused them of.
He said LP’s obsession right now is to commit their fullest support to the “Daang Matuwid” philosophy of President Benigno Aquino III.