Press Release
August 20, 2014

Blue Ribbon Committee Hearing on
P. S. Res. No. 826 - On the alleged overpricing of (1) the 11-storey new Makati City Hall II
Parking Building, (2) the 22-storey Makati City Hall (Main) Building, and other alleged Related Anomalies August 20, 2014
Senate of the Philippines Session Hall

The first hearing on Proposed Senate Resolution No. 826 is hereby called to order.

My colleagues in the Senate, fellow Filipinos, our resource persons here present, good morning to all of you.

We are here today because of Proposed Senate Resolution No. 826 which directed the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to investigate, in aid of legislation, the alleged overpricing of the 11-storey Makati City Hall Building II and the 22-storey Makati City Hall, and other alleged related anomalies. I have been designated by the Chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to act as the Presiding Officer in all the hearings on Proposed Senate Resolution No. 826.

As Presiding Officer, I will be impartial and objective. I will facilitate the introduction, flow, and reception of evidence. I will do my best to help the public understand the issues involved in the subject matter of this investigation. As the lead writer of the committee report arising out of this investigation, I assure everyone that I will not make a conclusion or finding which is not based on evidence.

My interest in this investigation is principally "legislative". I have a pending bill called the "Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice Bill" which will bring more resources to Local Government Units if and when it becomes law. Hence, I am concerned about minimizing if not totally eradicating corruption at the local level.

I am also the Chairman of the Oversight Committee on the Local Government Code of 1991, which is mandated to conduct a methodical and exhaustive review of the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160). I believe involved in this investigation would be the important concepts of (1) local government financing, (2) local government budgeting, (3) local government procurement, and (4) the audit of Local Government Units by the Commission on Audit.

Before the "Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice Bill" becomes law, let us start fighting corruption at the local level now. This is also the reason why I expressed all out support for the programs of the Office of the Ombudsman directed at eradicating graft and corruption at the local level.

I am hoping and I am hopeful that this investigation will enable us to propose measures to improve good governance at the local level.

Just a gentle reminder to everyone: at this point in time, the allegations of overpricing and anomalies are just that, allegations.

This investigation is precisely to ferret out the truth from all these allegations and this is based on the motto of the Blue Ribbon Committee, Veritas Liberabit Vos, meaning The Truth Shall Set You Free.

It is only when, in the course of this investigation, evidence of malfeasance, misfeasance, and/or nonfeasance is uncovered that the pending subject matter may be referred by this Committee to the Ombudsman, the Department of Justice, or any appropriate investigative agency, as the case may be.

May I therefore now ask the Committee Secretary to recognize for the record the presence of our resource persons, witnesses, and other guests, and afterwards to administer the oath to them.


Thank you Committee Secretary.

Let me now recognize the author of Proposed Senate Resolution No. 826, Senator Sonny Trillanes, to start the investigation proper.

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