Listen to my taped interview with VP Binay about his properties, his guns, his being perceived a warlord, his plunder cases and about coffins
Exclusive by Raïssa Robles
This is the exact opposite of what he told me on June 29. 2010 in a one-on-one interview with him for South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong newspaper I write for.
Last Thursday, Binay even told reporters categorically:
“We do not own [the property]. We just leased a portion of it for our piggery business” JCB Farms from 1994 to 2010.
“From 1994 to 2010, the Vice President operated a piggery business in Rosario, Batangas. This piggery business was a sole proprietorship duly reported in his SALNs and in his ITRs,” Subido said.
“The Vice President did not own any land where his piggery business was operated. Rather, he was a lessee of around nine hectares of land, with the improvements he introduced for the piggery business duly reported as ‘Leasehold Improvements’,” he added.
But in 2010 – two days before he was sworn into office as the Vice-President, Binay volunteered to me the information that he set up a “babuyan” (piggery) on around 10 hectares of land in Batangas. He said he had not inherited the land. He said he had bought the land for around 30 pesos per square meter.
Trying to reconcile what he said then with what he’s saying now, I phoned the Vice-President’s media relations chief Joey Salgado.
Although he answered the call on his mobile, Salgado could not seem to hear me — he kept saying “hello? hello?” — so we ended up texting each other back and forth.
I texted Joey Salgado:
Sir, is it the Vice President’s position that he never owned the land on which his pig farm was located? Thanks – raissa robles, journalist-blogger.
Salgado texted back:
I texted him again:
If this is his position, then why did he tell me in my interview with him in 2010 that he bought around 10 hectares for his piggery?
His purchase price was 30 pesos per square meter. that’s what he told me. thanks.
JCB farms has a leasehold agreement from 1994 until 2010 when he divested after his election.
I texted Salgado back to clarify this:
but he didn’t tell me leasehold. he said – binili ko.
And Salgado replied –
There is a leasehold agreement raissa.
I asked Salgado to e-mail me a copy of the leasehold agreement. I also asked him:
So what do you think the VP meant when he told me in 2010 he had bought the land on which his piggery in Batangas was located?
There was no further reply from Salgado.
Because of this, I decided to turn to you, dear readers, to ask you to listen to a portion of my taped interview with Binay. I want you to tell me frankly whether I misheard the Vice President Binay tell me on June 29, 2010 that he had bought the land for his pig farm.
My entire interview with him lasted one hour, 26 minutes and 15 seconds. It was intended for a personality profile of Binay for South China Morning Post HK). I decided to do a profile of him since I felt even then that he would be a serious contender in the 2016 presidential race because of his stunning come-from-behind victory over Mar Roxas.
I also wanted to get to the bottom of the allegations of corruption against him, so I thought it was but fair to hear his side on the issue.
There’s one part of the interview I have to put in context: It concerns the “secret bedroom” in the mayor’s office. I was recalling to Binay something he had shown me way back in 1986, when he had just been appointed Officer-in-Charge of Makati City by Local Governments Secretary Aquilino Pimentel Jr. in place of Nemesio Yabut. Yabut had died during the Edsa People Power revolution.
I will explain in my next piece why I had asked Binay about the secret bedroom.
I recorded the entire interview on a Sony digital recorder and also took notes on my laptop (which you hear in the background.)
For a long time, I did not know where I had placed the digital file since it dated back to four years ago and I’m not the most organized person especially when it comes to digital files. In short, I had misplaced it in my hard drive.
Last week, I decided to do a file-by-file search of my hard drive and found it misfiled under “October 2010”. No wonder I couldn’t find it.
At first I wanted to upload the entire file. But then I realized that YouTube does not allow uploading of audio files alone. Therefore, I decided to find the most pertinent portion of the file and make a kind of slide show using the photos I had taken of VP Binay during that interview.
It is this portion which I uploaded on Youtube. You can hear and view it at the end of this piece.
I have also transcribed below the portion of the uploaded interview. The paragraphs in bold are my questions to him. Followed by his answers.
Sir, tatanugnin ko sa inyo, a. Huwag kayong magagalit. A long time ago actually, you showed me the room of Yabut (the mayor of Makati just before VP Binay).
Binay: Ah, when we had that new building so I had to leave that place.
So yung office nyo ba, Sir, may nagtatanong, meron pa bang bedroom sa office nyo?
Binay: Meron siyempre.
Binay: Hanggang ngayon yung bago kong opisina may bedroom.
Doon kayo natutulog?
Binay: Pagka nandoon ako. Tanghalian. The only time I think I slept there nighttime was when we were under siege. 2006 .
Binay: No. 2006 yata.
Aaaa. How do you deal, Sir, with anger?
Binay: Minsan linalabas ko. Minsan sinasaloob ko na lang.
Sinasaloob loob niyo na lang? Are you the type na nag-aano ng cellphone? Kamukha ni –
Binay: Si Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Oo. You’re the type also? Never? Oh
Binay: Bakit? Normal ba yung nagtatapon ng cellphone? Abnormal yon.
Binay: Hindi cellphone lang. Computer tinatapon ni Gloria.
Kayo hindi, Sir? Paan niyo inaano?
Hindi mura. Aaa.. kasi ang tawag sa inyo, Actually. Ok, ang reputation niyo ay parang urban warlord. Is that a –
Binay: Why. (Garbled) Wala naman akong mga features and characters that makes one a warlord.
Ano yon, Sir.
Binay: Yung mga grupo na mamamatay-tao. Yung grupo na kung anu-anong natakot. Yung mga tao ko nandyan, kasama sa bureaucracy.
Wala kayong –
Binay: Wala akong mga imported –
Binay: Wala akong mga imported na mga tao na taga-patay o–
Ang pagkaintindi ko ng warlord hindi ako yon.
Sorry Sir I have to ask. Yan kasi ang reputation nyo, e.
Binay: E kasi, noong panahon ni Cory, basically ako lang yung civilian na pumupunta may dalang baril. Siyempre makikipaglaban ka. Alangan namang pito dalhin mo don. At the height of the coup.
How many guns do you own?
Uzi. Meron kayo?
Binay: Wala. Yang mga – Lahat ng mga ginagamit kong baril nakalisensiya.
So how many guns ang nakalisensya, Sir, sixteen?
Binay: Wala. Hindi papayagan ang 16.
Si Noynoy 16.
Binay: E paano collector si Noynoy.
Binay: Hindi naman ako ako collector. Ang baril ko is functional
Mg ilan Sir.
Binay: For my protection – yun yata naka-ano sa akin tatlo o apat.
Tatlo o apat. Personally. Mga 9 mm?
Binay: Meron yata akong 9 mm. At 45.
Maliliit ho ba Sir?
Binay: Hindi, meron yata nakaano sa kin, isang shotgun. Yata, a.
Kasi, Sir, parang takot sa inyo ang tao, e.
Binay: Hindi naman totoo. Paano naman ako mananalo. Hindi naman ako si Yabut.
Ang basis ng pagkakaboto sa kin is good governance. Kaya ba, kilalala kami, ganito kami sa Makati. Sa tamang pamamahala, you meet the necessities of our ____
Ewan ko kung saan mo nakuha yong natatakot sa kin. Hindi naman siguro. Baka mga kalaban ko sa pulitika. Kapag may natatakot, kapag naglalakad ka nagtatakbuhan. Kapag naglalakad ako niyayakap ako. Hindi natatakot ang tao sa akin. Saka siguro yung natatakot yung gumagawa lang ng kasalanan, baka maparusahan.
Hindi nga naman, bihira sa urban yung sinasabing mga warlord – (garbled.)
There’s another thing that I need to ask you, sir. Um, may nilabas na extensive report tungkol sa inyo ang Newsbreak. I think that was 2001. But according to them, sinagot niyo naman yung mga, yung mga allegations doon. What I want to ask you is – How many houses, condos, properties do you own?
Binay: Tipo lang ni Monsod ang nagsasabi niyan.
Hindi , hindi. I don’t care about Monsod, Sir.
Binay: Kasi inulit na naman yung charges na yan. Condos, bahay.
Hindi, pero, is it – I mean, ok. Personally, I mean , kung anuhin nyo yung family, how many do you own? Houses —
Binay: yung bahay namin at saka yung bahay namin sa Batangas.(garbled)..
Wala nang condo –
Binay: Condo, dati yung anak ko nakatira sa condo. Ngayon nakatira sa bahay. ..(garbled)
Ngayon sa bahay na lang.
O may bahay na siya. May isang bahay na siya. Siya na lang ang wala dito sa bahay namin.
Binay: Lahat ng anak ko, at saka yung apo ko, second apo ko kay Abigail, yun lang ang wala dito.
( At 7.28 minutes of the video) Sir, yung Batangas is how many hectares?
Binay: Meron akong isang babuyan doon. (garbled)
Mga 10 hectares? Eleven?
Mga around 10 hectares. Namana nyo yoon?
Binay: Binili ko.
Binay: Mga 3 sentimos lang yata yon. 30 pesos.
Thirty – pesos per –
Binay: Per square meter. ..
Per square meter. Sir, kasi, Sir, I can understand, Gloria Arroyo has been trying to get you for a long time. Since 2001. Parang hinuhuli na kayo. And so I also look at what the Commission on Audit is coming out with.
[NOTE: At this point, I ask VP Binay about the income and statement figures of the city of Makati but he says such technical matters are best left to the city treasurer Barlis.
Then I ask him again about another corruption allegation against him.]
There is a – Ok, this is a widespread perception and this didn’t come from Winnie Monsod. (9:44 minutes into the video). In fact I have been – you know, I have been hearing it on the Internet. Every time daw a building is constructed (in Makati) you get one unit.
Binay: You know ang talagang mahirap sa atin. You know this is a negative thinking society. Anything negative especially on the life of a local, of a government official, tinatanggap agad yon as gospel truth.
Aaaa. Hindi ka puwedeng makagawa ng bahay mo. At kailangan talagang dapat extreme poverty, yun ang mga ideal government official. Hindi dapat umasenso.
At saka lahat ng kaso ko
Binay: Lahat ng kaso ko, panay political yan. Pagkakatapos ng eleksyon e ang charges kabi-kabila.
E dito naman sa tin. Ito, halimbawa maghiwalay tayo ngayon. Kung ihabla kita ngayon sa fiscal’s office. Nobody can defend you. So you will already have a case. Wala namang censorship yan. You have to undergo the process.
You know, I understand —
It appears in the papers, e. Headline pa.
I have seen the charges against you by Bobby Brillante. I know for a fact, for instance nuon, may kato sa ulo si Bobby Brillante. I mean, I know that. Because I used to cover local governments. Kay Nene Pimentel, then later on. I’ve been covering for a long time.
Pero, kasi when I look at the ano. I think the question really is, it’s not that politicians should stay poor, but I think what they’re – what people are wondering is – how did you become very wealthy. (11.56 minutes in the video)I think that’s the thing na ano –
Binay: Very ha – my God. Hindi naman kapani-paniwala yung very –
Ok. Ok, Sir. Ano yung net worth niyo?
Binay: Basta’t lahat ng charges sa akin ng graft and corruption wala na yon.
Binay: Kaya ba yung inalabas sa Inquirer na unresolved plunder cases. Yan ang hirap sa media natin. Hindi nag-reresearch.
I don’t think there is a plunder case filed against you. I mean –
Binay: Marami akong plunder cases, excuse me.
Hindi, pero hindi kayo na-arraign e.
Binay: Kaya nga. E, alam mo naman kasi dito, freewheeling yung charges, e.
Pagka inihabla ka sa fiscal’s office it’s a charge. When you have a case in court, it’s a charge. So, kaya yung mga karamihan ng sinasabing charges sa akin nasa Ombudsman. It’s like a fiscal’s office. For preliminary investigation.
Well I can understand. Personally, I can understand.
Binay: Yung ang masama sa mga media natin. they delve on technical matters. In many instance they are not accurate.
No, kasi personally, I can understand why Gloria Arroyo has been after you. Because you have…dito (sa Makati) nangyayari lahat ng rallies, e.
Binay: And I’m a leader of the opposition –
Yes, I know.
Binay: You know, pagka tinignan mo yung mga kaso ko, under plunder kung ano – pagka kakampi ng administrasyon, ministerial in nature. Sayang hindi mo inabot yung mga pinipirmahan ko,e. Ang mga pinipirmahan mo wala ka namang oras na tingnan lahat yung dokumento noon. Pinapipirma ka lang as head of agency. Ang dami ng pinagdaanan noon. Lahat ng (garbled) pinagdaanan. Pagka —
[NOTE: At this point, Binay’s grandsons greet him.]
Pagka galit sa yo ang Malacañang .
Binay: So, pagka kalaban ka conspiracy.
Sa COA– bakit ba kami pinapipirma pa dyan? Wala naman kaming (garbled) Pagka kakampi ka, ministerial. So, walang liability. Pag kalaban., liability mo criminal conspiracy.
Pagdating naman ng oras hindi naman nila ma-pruweba yung conspiracy, pero nakalabas na sa media – Binay charged. Investigation group charged, etcetera, etcetera.
E dito, sabi ko sa yo, this is a negative thinking society. When I thought of asking for mga coffins ng mga sinsunog ba.
Cremation Yung mga coffins na crine-cremate, ok.
Binay: I think I was the first local official na nanghingi ng mga coffins na yon.
Binay, collecting coffins. Pero yung coffins na yon, ala pang isang buwan naubos nang lahat yon…Kasi napapabigay sa mahirap yon.
Basta ang newsworthy dito is negative.
O siguro, Sir, kasi, vinevet ka lang ngayon ng tao. Because you’re looking, you know, you’re aiming for the highest position.
That’s according to them.
Sir naman. You were – you were initially running for president
Yes, but at this point let’s forget politics of 2016.
It’s time for us to work, try to unify the country. Solve the basic problems of hunger, unemployment, peace and order, corruption.