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Binay, Cayetano quarrel

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SENATOR Maria Lourdes Nancy S. Binay on Monday asked the ethics committee to punish Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano for accusing her of feeding questions to journalists during briefings on the new Senate building in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

In a complaint addressed to committee Chairman Francis N. Tolentino, she also complained about allegedly being called crazy and a gossipmonger.

Mr. Cayetano, who heads the committee on accounts, had accused the Senate of colluding with journalists to influence public perception on the suspension of the construction of the Senate building.

Ms. Binay, citing the Senate rules, said senators could be suspended or expelled through a vote.

Public Works project director Soledad R. Florencio told the Senate accounts committee last week that construction work for the new Senate Building had been delayed by more than two years due to rising costs.

Senate President Francis “Chiz” G. Escudero suspended construction work due to “escalating costs,” citing the need to review expenses and management practices.

At a livestreamed news briefing, Mr. Cayetano stood by his claim that Ms. Binay had tried to discredit his report showing that costs ballooned to P23 billion from P8.9 billion. 

“We have our eyes on the ball (with this investigation),” he said in mixed English and Filipino. “What Senator Nancy Binay has done from the start is confuse all of us.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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