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Binay Considers Ethics Complaint Against Cayetano Over ‘Buang’ Remark

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Nancy Binay is considering filing an ethics complaint against Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano after he called her “buang” (crazy) and “Marites” during a tense exchange at Wednesday’s Senate accounts committee hearing on the new Senate building.

The heated exchange occurred during a review of the cost of the new Senate building, which has reportedly reached P23 billion. Cayetano, who chairs the committee, replaced Binay as chairperson following a Senate leadership shakeup in May.

Binay criticized Cayetano’s conduct, stating it reflected poorly on his role as a senator. “The never-ending name-calling that happened yesterday, for a senior senator to be saying those words… it’s a reflection of a person that is not a statesman,” Binay said in an interview with ANC on Thursday.

The controversy stemmed from a disagreement over the total cost of the Senate building. Binay argued that the actual cost was P21 billion, while Cayetano insisted it was P23 billion, including land acquisition costs. The Department of Public Works and Highways confirmed that the P23 billion figure never appeared in their records, prompting Binay to walk out of the hearing. As she was leaving, Cayetano called her “buang ka day.”

Cayetano had also called Binay “Marites,” a term used to describe someone who engages in gossip. Binay said she left the meeting because she had made her point and tensions were high. She emphasized the need to maintain decorum and protect the Senate’s integrity, noting that Cayetano’s name-calling would be part of the official records.

Binay is waiting for the official transcript of the hearing to determine if there is enough basis for an ethics complaint. She also highlighted another potential ground for the complaint: Cayetano’s allegation that she had set up radio anchors to ask her planned questions, implying that the media can be paid. Binay denied this accusation, stating that her office has never engaged in such practices and expressed confidence in the media’s integrity.


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