Senator Francis Escudero, Chairperson Committee on Finance, along with Senator Nancy Binay, presides the deliberation of the 2015 proposed budget of the Commission on Election (COMELEC) on Tuesday (August 26,2014) at the Senate Building in Pasay City. (MNS photo)

Senator Francis Escudero, Chairperson Committee on Finance, along with Senator Nancy Binay, presides the deliberation of the 2015 proposed budget of the Commission on Election (COMELEC) on Tuesday (August 26,2014) at the Senate Building in Pasay City. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – “How I wish we have a hacienda like that but it really isn’t ours,” Senator Nancy Binay said in Filipino on Thursday as she denied accusations that her family owns a 350-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas.

Wala ho talagang katotohanan yung mga binabato sa aming alegasyon,” she said.

(There really is no truth to the allegations being thrown at us.)

Senator Binay, the eldest daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, laughed off the claims of former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado that their family owned the estate that featured mansions, a pool, a Kew Garden-inspired yard and an air-conditioned piggery.

Mercado presented an aerial video of the so-called “Hacienda Binay” during the hearing of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee on Wednesday.

The Senator insisted that her father’s businesses and investments have been divested after he won as vice president in 2010.

She said that while her mother still rents nine hectares of the property for her flower business, the property is owned by Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp.

Hindi na ho sa amin ‘yun. Basta ‘yung 9 hectares ho kung saan nandun yung mga halaman ng aking Mommy ‘yun lang ho ‘yung property na inuupahan namin sa Sunchamp. Tapos ‘yung ibang property na sinasabi nila ay ‘yan ho ay pagmamay-ari ng Sunchamp,” she explained.

(That’s not ours anymore. We are only renting 9 hectares from Sunchamp for the plants of my mother. The rest of the property is also owned by Sunchamp.)

Binay admitted that her father used to run a piggery business but that she doubted that the piggery farm on the property had an air-conditioner.

Ang alam ko dati merong mga air-coolers. Kasi tuwing summer ‘yan ang pinakamahirap na parte sa pagaalaga ng mga baboy kasi nagkaka-heat stroke ‘yung mga baboy. Ang alam ko ho linalagyan ‘yan ng air-coolers po pero ang air-condition po parang wala akong alam na may air-condition na babuyan sa paligid,” she said.

(What I know is that there were air-coolers. Because summer is a difficult time for the business because the pigs become prone to heat stroke. What I know is that air-coolers are used but I’m not aware of any air-conditioned piggery in the area.)

The Senator said Mercado’s allegations were nothing new and were in fact part of his black propaganda during the 2010 elections when he ran against Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.

Gabi-gabi pag may pameeting ‘yang si Mercado may video presentation ‘yan. Kung ano ang sinasabi n’ya sa senado ngayon ‘yun ang sinasabi n’ya sa pameeting noon,” Binay said.

(Every night Mercado holds meetings with a video presentation. The things he said at the Senate now were also what he said during those meetings.)

Binay said it was obvious that the people of Makati believed their family instead of Mercado since it was her brother who won the mayoral seat.

She said Mercado probably wants to run in the 2016 elections, that’s why he is raising old issues.

Ang balita namin gipit na ho sa panggastos ‘yang si Vice Mayor Mercado kaya nagugulat kami kung sa’n s’ya kumuha ng pera para pang-arkila ng helicopter,” Binay pointed out.

(We heard that Vice Mayor Mercado is strapped for cash right now. That’s why we were surprised that he was able to afford renting a helicopter.)

She also asked why Mercado, who is under the Witness Protection Program, was allowed to ride a helicopter to shoot the controversial footage.

Binay said she was also disappointed that Antonio Tiu, chief executive officer of Sunchamp, was being dragged into the controversy.

Alam n’yo si Mr. Tiu is a well-known businessman. Ang alam ko ho nageexport ‘yan ng gulay sa ibang bansa. Sa kanya po ‘yung Big Chill, Sugarhouse tapos ngayon ho walang pinanghahawakan na ebidensya sinasabi nila na dummy namin si Mr. Tiu,” she said.

(Mr. Tiu is a well-known businessman. As far as I know, he exports vegetables. He also owns Big Chill and Sugarhouse. They don’t have any evidence showing that Mr. Tiu is a dummy of the Binay family.)

The Senator said she met Tiu only once, when they were introduced to each other during a chance meeting at a golf course.

Binay admitted that the accusations hurled against her mother, Dr. Elenita Binay, hurt her.

’Yan po ‘yung talagang ikinakagalit ko. I think ‘yung Mommy ko has sacrificed a lot para lang ho ‘yung ating Vice President ay 100 percent na silbihan ang ating mga kababayan dito sa Makati,” she said.

(That really angers me. I think my Mom has sacrificed a lot so the Vice President could serve the residents of Makati 100 percent at that time.)

For the longest time s’ya ‘yung tumayong ina, ama naming magkakapatid at the same time may trabaho pa s’ya as first lady of Makati. Tapos maririnig n’yo ho na pilit sinisira ‘yung pangalan n’ya dito sa ginagawang hearing sa senado,” Binay lamented.

(For the longest time she stood as the mother and father to me and my siblings. And at the same time she was the first lady of Makati. Then you will hear her reputation being destroyed during such hearings at the Senate.)

Still friends?

Asked how she would treat her fellow senators heading the probe, Binay said she could no longer pretend that they are in good terms.

Noong una natitiis ko pa pong makipag-ngitian sa kanila pero tingin ko ho pagbalik namin sa October 20 eh parang hindi ko na ho kayang makipagplastikan dahil ang ginagawa nila sa pamilya ko ay sobra na at ‘yung ibang tao ho ay dinadamay nila sa kanilang political ambition,” she said.

(In the past I was able to return their smiles but come October 20, when Senate resumes session, I don’t think I could still pretend that our relationship is okay, especially with what they did to my family. It is too much. They are even dragging other people just to further their political ambition.) (MNS)