Press Release
October 29, 2014

Statement of Senate President Franklin M. Drilon
on the allegations made by Boy Mejorada

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon branded the allegations concerning the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) made by his former consultant whom he fired for misusing his social media accounts to attack certain politicians as "totally baseless and utterly ridiculous."

"I know he has been harboring hatred against me for firing him and for not giving in to his request to endorse him to several government posts," said Drilon.

"Mejorada's allegations are mere fabrications. He has no direct information and knowledge on the project. All he has are flawed data and wrong assumptions," he stressed.

"The building will be finished by March 2015 at a cost of around P700 Million. If we accept Mejorada's claim that the project is overpriced by P488 Million, we will be left with a mere P212 Million to construct an 11,693.79-sqm convention center. If you do the math using his assertions, the ICC will then have to be built at a cost of P18,129.28 per sqm, which is an impossibly low amount for a modern structure that aims to draw local and international guests for large-scale conventions and other important events," the Senate President asserted.

"There is no overprice. The ICC costs P63,893.11 per sqm, not P106,226 per sqm which he claims. The building is 28-meters high and designed without any columns but with long span beams and glass curtain walls," he added.

The ICC thoroughly followed all standard requirements in bidding, and the project was bid out under the supervision of Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, who is widely known for his integrity.

The construction of a state-of-the-art convention center is part of a major campaign to improve Iloilo's capacity to host and accommodate international occasions, particularly the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meetings.

"Moreover, not only will the construction of the ICC complement Iloilo City's social development programs, it will likewise spur economic activities and provide jobs throughout the province," Drilon asserted.

"Mejorada was my former media officer, whom I have fired for using my social media account to lash out against his local political enemies. He has no credibility, and this latest tirade proves exactly my point. It is unfair for Mejorada to taint the project with his personal vendetta against me. I am confident that the Ombudsman will see through Mejorada's lies, and that this travesty will be resolved in favor of the truth," Drilon said.

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