Binay mulls ethics complaint against Cayetano for name calling

Estimated read time 3 min read

Senators Nancy Binay and Alan Peter Cayetano at the Senate hearing on July 3, 2024.

Senator Nancy Binay said on Thursday (July 4) that she is considering filing an ethics complaint against Senator Alan Peter Cayetano after he called her “buang” (crazy) and “Marites” (gossiper) during a Senate hearing into the controversial new Senate building.

During their spat on Wednesday (July 3), Cayetano accused Binay of disrupting the hearing, which was conducted after Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero ordered a review of the cost of the proposed Senate building, which reportedly reached P23 billion (Dh1.4 billion)

“The never-ending name calling that happened yesterday, for a senior senator to be saying those words… it’s a reflection of a person that is not a statesman,” Binay said in an interview with ANC on Thursday.

“This is the first time that I have attended a hearing where the chairperson acted that way to a fellow senator,” Binay said, adding that Cayetano’s name-calling will be part of official records. Binay said she is currently waiting for the official transcript from the Senate accounts committee hearing.

Binay and Cayetano had a tense exchange on the cost of the proposed Senate building. Binay argued that the construction cost was only P21.73 billion, but Cayetano insisted that it was Binay’s office that supplied the P23 billion figure. Binay walked out after receiving confirmation from the Department of Public Works and Highways that the P23 billion never appeared in their records. Cayetano then called Binay “buang ka day” as she was leaving.

Earlier in the hearing, Cayetano also called Binay “Marites,” a Filipino term for someone who engages in rumour mongering.

In a separate interview, Binay questioned the presentation of the multi-billion peso figures, saying that the topic of the Senate hearing was meant to discuss only the cost of the building construction and should not have included the cost of purchasing the land.

Binay said another ground for her ethics complaint against Cayetano is the senator’s allegation Binay paid media to ask her planned questions.

“It’s never been done by my office. At the end of the day, I believe in the integrity of the media that they will also not be a party to something like that where a politician or guest can feed questions,” Binay said.

Controversial Senate building

The construction of the multi-billion Senate building in Taguig City has been delayed by more than 850 days, with no specific completion date as of yet, the Department of Public Works and Highways confirmed on Wednesday.

Senate President Escudero earlier ordered the suspension of the construction work on the new Senate building for a comprehensive review and concerns over its escalating costs.

The building was initially budgeted at P8.9 billion but reportedly ballooned to P23 billion, of which Dh8.9 billion was allocated for construction, P2.5 billion for fit-out and P10.3 billion for completion, and P1.6 billion for land acquisition. ICA/Expat Media

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