Gives a speech but refuses to be interpellated
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Senator Manny Villar on Tuesday finally faced his colleagues and answered allegations that he conducted himself unethically in connection with transactions involving the C-5 road project.
In a privilege speech, Villar denied that he benefited from the C-5 road extension project and accused fellow senators who conducted the investigation of fabricating lies to destroy his reputation.
I am innocent, there is no anomaly in the C-5 project and I did not benefit from it. In the eyes of God, I can say that I did not benefit. This is a good project. From start to finish, this so-called investigation was full of politics. All my enemies in the election made fabrications and they cooked up a case that they can present to the media.)
He said the alleged P200 million insertion for the project was never released, and that if the budget had been released, it would have passed through the implementing agency, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and not through him.
“And yet, when some of my enemies talk, it is as if I pocketed the P200 million when they know that the money was not released,” he said.
Throughout his speech, Villar repeatedly referenced his humble roots while pointing out that the senators conducting the hearing on the C-5 were his political enemies. He said that his status as one of the richest politicians in the country was a result of hard work and not corruption.