Return P2.28B?


THE  Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered the return of P2.292 billion spent building the 11-story Makati City Hall Parking Building 2 on the grounds that the bidding for the project was rigged and payments to the contractor were made despite works being incomplete.

But will former vice president and former Makati City mayor Jejomar Binay, his son Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. and dozens of other former officials of the city involved in the case return the amount? Your guess is as good as mine.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s recommended in February 2016 that criminal and plunder charges be filed against Binay and company. Henceforth, the  Ombudsman filed in July 2016  fraud, graft and malversation charges against Binay and company.

The COA said that if Binay and company fail to appeal the order within six months, it would be final and executory. But how would it collect the P2.292 billion from Binay and company?

The Binays may be inclined not to return the amount because they believe they are innocent. Likewise,  they are not afraid with their political allies  and supporters in Makati City, including those who think they are indebted to the dynasty for the social services the Binays has provided them.

The Binays also have enough resources to fight the case all the way to the Supreme Court. The Marcoses never did for the up to $10 billion they allegedly amassed during the two decades that former president Ferdinand Marcos was in power?

And has anyone involved in the diversion of P10 billion worth of Priority Development Assistance Fund, which COA also red flagged, returned the loot? So there, you can read between the lines.