HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK...

VP BINAY BLASTS SENATE PROBE: PREJUDGED, VICIOUS; I WILL NOT LET SENATE HUMILIATE ME 

OCT 21 --PHOTO: VP BINAY: I won't let senators humiliate me. ---Vice-President Jejomar Binay rejected a Social Weather Stations survey that showed majority of Filipinos want him to appear before a Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee inquiry on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II. In an exclusive interview on ANC's Beyond Politics with Lynda Jumilla, the vice-president said he sees no need to attend the probe since senators conducting the inquiry have gone out of their way to prejudge and humiliate him. "Yung ibang senador prejudged na, hinatulan ka na. Linalait ka pa, tinatakot ka pa, kinukutya ka pa. Atsaka ano pa ba ang itatanong? Nasabi na lahat ang itatanong e. Sumosobra na nga duon sa pinakapakay nung - imbestigasyon ba yun?" he said. In a separate statement issued Wednesday, Binay also described the Senate inquiry as an "inquisition designed to bring disrepute to my person by the abuse of parliamentary rules."

He said the senators, referring to Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV, have already admitted that they do not want Binay to launch a presidential campaign. "They themselves want to be in power and see me as a threat to that ambition," he said. The vice-president challenged his accusers to present hard evidence that would back up their claims that he pocketed millions of pesos in kickbacks for various infrastructure projects in Makati when he was still mayor. He also urged the public to "examine closely the direction the so-called investigation is taking." "So far, they have resorted to humiliating me and my family with such viciousness I have not seen employed by the Senate before,” he said. For his part, Senator Trillanes said Binay is just relying on excuses not to show up in the inquiry. He said that while the Senate will not force the vice-president to attend the hearings, his non-appearance "only shows that he is guilty." Resource persons invited to the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee have accused Binay of various anomalies including the alleged overprice of the P2.2 billion Makati City Hall Building II. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Binay: Probers have opposed my political plan; they fear revenge if I become President  

OCT 21 --PHOTO: Vice President Jejomar Binay. STAR file photo MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay claimed on Tuesday that those investigating his alleged corrupt acts are threatened by his presidential bid. Binay said his probers have opposed his political plan and so they are afraid of being held liable for their own offenses if he gets elected as president in 2016. "Those investigating me are simply there because as they admitted they do not want me to even launch a presidential campaign, obviously fearing that should the people support me they would be made accountable for their misdeeds and abuse of power," Binay said. "And they themselves want to be in power and see me as a threat to that ambition," he added.

Binay was apparently referring to Senators Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV, members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee conducting the probe who had also declared their ambition to seek a higher position. Binay made his statements as he again criticized the Senate investigation, which he believes is masquerading as "in aid of legislation." "First, the so-called legislative agenda of that investigation has been unmasked as simply an inquisition designed to bring disrepute to my person by the abuse of parliamentary rules," Binay said. Binay further claimed that the senators have resorted to "humiliating" him and and his family with "such viciousness." The Vice President is urging Filipinos to examine closely the direction of the Senate probe. "I ask our people to take a closer look at the so-called Senate subcommittee investigation to see what it really is," he said. * READ  MORE...

ALSO: Alleged dummy of Binay family sues Trillanes  

OCT 22 --PHOTO: Businessman Tony Tiu (left) appears at the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing on the alleged overpricing of the construction of the Makati City Hall II parking building on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. Sen. Antonio Trillanes (right) returns at the hearing with Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III. Video screencap | Senate PRIB MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-Chinese businessman Antonio "Tony" Tiu tagged in the corruption allegations against Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday filed a defamation complaint against Sen. Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV. Tiu's lawyer, Czarina Quintanilla filed the civil complaint against Trillanes before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office for "various" statements he made against Tiu.

Trillanes, one of the three members of the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee probing into the alleged overpricing of a Makati City project under former mayor Binay, accused Tiu of being Binay's front in the ownership of an expansive property in Batangas. Tiu's camp wants Trillanes to pay P4 million in moral damages as well as P1 million in exemplary damages and legal fees, a radio report said. "Ito ay ikinaso namin dahil po sa sari-saring defamatory [statements] na ginawa ni Sen. Trillanes labas sa aming kliyente," Quintanilla said in an interview with dzMM. Quintanilla added that Trillanes' accusations are not in keeping with his position as a senator and affects Tiu's role as a respected businessman. "Labanan ng prinsipyo ito. Kami po ay naninindihan sa katotohanan," the lawyer said. As the complaint was filed, Tiu faced the Trillanes and the rest of the Senate panel on Wednesday in an effort to clear his name from the controversies. LIVE: Senate probe on 'overpriced' Makati project  ---Tiu, chief executive of Greenergy Holdings, said in the Senate investigation that he has legitimate businesses which he developed through the years. - Camille Diola THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Antonio Tiu can’t prove ownership of Batangas property 

OCT 22 --PHOTO: Businessman Antonio Tiu. CATHY MIRANDA/INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines – Businessman Antonio Tiu failed to present documents during a Senate hearing on Wednesday to prove that he owned the controversial 350-hectare property in Batangas, saying what he only bought so far was the ‘usufruct” or the right to use the land. Testifying for the first time before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, Tiu explained his businesses and how his Greenergy Holdings Inc. bought the majority shares of the Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp., operating the Batangas property. Tiu was tagged as the alleged dummy of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was allegedly the real owner of the property.

After Tiu’s presentation, subcommittee chairman, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III asked the businessman if he was done with his explanation to which he said “yes”. “Yan na yun? Yun ang explanation mo? Yun na yun?” Pimentel asked again. “Simple lang po ako Mr. Chairman. Ako po ay negosyante, pag-aari ko yung Greenergy, pag aari ng Greenergy ang Sunchamp, pag-aari ng Sunchamp ang Rosario (property),” Tiu, said referring to the Batangas property. “Walang mga TCT? Wala kang pinapakita na TCT o kahit ano?,” Pimentel said. TCT is transfer of certificate of title. “Mr. Chairman, ang nabili ko yung usufruct of the land. Yung TCT upon the completion after nai-turn over sa akin, saka nila matatangap yugn next tranche na payment,” Tiu explained. “So you’re not the owner sa ngayon?” Pimentel asked to which the businessman answered: “I’m the owner over the rights.” And when Pimentel insisted that he was not yet the owner of the property, Tiu said: “Magiging owner din po tayo …” Senator Antonio Trillanes IV then asked the businessman why he was claiming in various media interviews that he was owner of the property.
Tiu said it was because he owned the farm, explaining that ownership of the land was different from ownership of the farm. But Pimentel said, “Well sa mata namin, hindi ikaw ang may- ari sa ngayon. So why are you here Mr. Tiu? Why are you here?” THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Antonio Tiu on ‘Binay’ farm: I have rights but no title; Says he paid P11M for P450M farm  

OCT 23 --PHOTO: TIES THAT BIND A shot of a PowerPoint presentation by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano during the fourth Senate hearing on reported corruption in Makati City during the Binays’ tenure shows the interlocking directorates of people allegedly close to Vice President Jejomar Binay. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA. MANILA, Philippines–Although he was not holding the title to the land, businessman Antonio Tiu on Wednesday told the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee that he owned the Batangas farm and not Vice President Jejomar Binay after paying a mere P11 million for the property worth close to P450 million.
Senators castigated Tiu for claiming ownership when he was not holding the land title yet and it was not apparently a done deal. Tiu said he acquired the 150-hectare Batangas property from Laureano Gregorio in a P446-million contract, which was subject to certain conditions.

ALSO: Senators insult, threaten, ridicule busienessman Tony Tiu 

OCT 23 --Although he was not holding the title to the land, businessman Antonio Tiu on Wednesday told the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee that he owned the Batangas farm and not Vice President Jejomar Binay after paying a mere P11 million for the property worth close to P450 million. Senators castigated Tiu for claiming ownership when he was not holding the land title yet and it was not apparently a done deal. Tiu said he acquired the 150-hectare Batangas property from Laureano Gregorio in a P446-million contract, which was subject to certain conditions.Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado has testified that the high-end agricultural estate in Rosario, Batangas, was 350 hectares and that it was owned by Binay using dummies through Agri-Fortuna.

Tiu said his acquisition of the farm through Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp. was ongoing. One condition Gregorio has to meet was to deliver documents to support the real and enforceable rights of Sunchamp, Tiu’s company, over the property. “The purchase of the property is through installment. (Gregorio) was given two years to complete the legal documentation,” he said. He has paid an P11-million down payment and issued postdated checks for the rest of the P446 million to Gregorio, he said. The subcommittee chair, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, asked whether Tiu had any transfer certificate of title (TCT) for the property. Tiu said he did not but added that what he bought was the usufruct, or the right to enjoy the use and advantages of the property. The TCT would be given to him upon completion of the deal. “So you’re not the owner as of now,” Pimentel said. Owner over rights Tiu said that he was the owner of the rights and that it was normal for agriculture properties to have a usufruct over the land.* READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay should not appear at the Senate hearing—Erap 

OCT 23 --Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada believes that Vice President Jejomar Binay who is now the subject of a political demolition job should not appear in the ongoing Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee. In an ambush interview yesterday morning during his appearance at the 40th Philippine Business Conference and Expo at Manila Hotel, Estrada when asked about his views on whether Binay should face the Senate probe, said that he believes the motive of the investigation is not an aid of legislation but clearly to crush the VP’s presidential bid in 2016. The personalities investigating him want to run for the presidency, while the other wants to run for the vice presidency at the expense of VP Binay and it is very clear to all that the Senate hearings are nothing but a demolition job being done on VP Binay.

“I believe despite the demolition efforts being done by them (senators) still Vice President Binay is on top in all surveys” Estrada said. The latest survey, a private one commissioned by an influential foreign group, whose identity cannot be disclosed, due to the survey’s Chatam House Rules, which states that the findings of the survey can be disseminated freely but its survey research firm and the group that has commissioned the survey, cannot be disclosed. The survey showed that Binay remains an overwhelming choice for the presidency in 2016, chosen by 36 percent of respondents, followed far behind by President Aquino at 12 percent and nine percent for Liberal Party (LP) acknowledged standard bearer Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) More experts criticizes Senate probe tactics: Binay warns his friends of more political persecution 

OCT 27 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay warned his friends they, too, could fall victim to political persecution as shown in the ongoing Senate investigation of various corruption allegations thrown at him. “More to come, more to come. Because many of our friends are telling us they will be identified as dummies. That is the direction of the smear campaign against me,” Binay said in an interview with ANC’s “Beyond Politics” last week. Binay had denied allegations made by former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado that he used dummies to hide his ownership of his other assets. He said businessmen Antonio Tiu and Gregorio Laureano, two of those identified as Binay’s dummies, are just acquaintances. “This Mr. Laureano, we just say hi to each other. I think he has a small pawnshop business. This Mr. Tiu, it was my staff who reminded me that he visited me once during an investors’ forum. So they’re not really close friends,” he said.

Mercado has tagged Tiu as one of Binay’s fronts to cover up his ownership of the P1.2-billion 350-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas. Tiu, however, claimed ownership of the property during a recent hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee. In his speech at the 32nd anniversary of the Lion’s Club International District 301-D2 at the Manila Pavilion on Saturday, Binay said the Senate inquiry has become a platform “to unjustly” malign him and his family, including people he said only had the remotest association with him. “I only wish that you could have extended that gift of sight to some members of the Senate who have been so blinded by political ambition that they cannot see that their recent activities and actuations are no longer in aid of legislation but in aid of political persecution,” Binay said. Binay is accused of pocketing public funds by overpricing and rigging the bidding of various projects when he was mayor of Makati City.

The Vice President has refused to attend the Senate hearings, which he described as a “kangaroo court.”  Binay instead challenged Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to a debate. Binay also slammed Trillanes for calling him names. “This is just another proof of Mr. Trillanes’ anti-poor thinking. All of those behind the smear campaign against me think lowly of the poor and those who are dark-skinned,” Binay said in a statement yesterday. Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) also said Trillanes should raise the level of his politics and stop resorting to name-calling. “As a senator, Trillanes should have been more circumspect about his ‘kulay- and asal-mahirap’ remark... but what would you expect from a swollen-headed and trash-talking soul who maligns the poor and thinks very lowly of them. A serial political maniac like Sen. Trillanes would use every opportunity for his political gain,” UNA interim president Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said. “His motives are bared behind his choice of words,” he added. Tiangco also denied allegations from Trillanes that Binay owns several bank accounts abroad. “Another lie from a senator with a history of lying. Unlike Pinocchio, it’s not the nose that grows with every lie but his ego. He is becoming arrogant. We will not be surprised if he will show fake documents because he is very good at lying,” Tiangco said. Lynching party More legal experts also criticized the ongoing Senate investigation against Binay. * READ MORE...


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

VP Binay blasts probe: Prejudged, vicious


 Binay: I won't let senators humiliate me.

MANILA, OCTOBER 27, 2014 (ABS-CBN) Posted at 10/21/2014 12:31 PM - Vice-President Jejomar Binay rejected a Social Weather Stations survey that showed majority of Filipinos want him to appear before a Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee inquiry on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II.

In an exclusive interview on ANC's Beyond Politics with Lynda Jumilla, the vice-president said he sees no need to attend the probe since senators conducting the inquiry have gone out of their way to prejudge and humiliate him.

"Yung ibang senador prejudged na, hinatulan ka na. Linalait ka pa, tinatakot ka pa, kinukutya ka pa. Atsaka ano pa ba ang itatanong? Nasabi na lahat ang itatanong e. Sumosobra na nga duon sa pinakapakay nung - imbestigasyon ba yun?" he said.

In a separate statement issued Wednesday, Binay also described the Senate inquiry as an "inquisition designed to bring disrepute to my person by the abuse of parliamentary rules."

He said the senators, referring to Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV, have already admitted that they do not want Binay to launch a presidential campaign.

"They themselves want to be in power and see me as a threat to that ambition," he said.

The vice-president challenged his accusers to present hard evidence that would back up their claims that he pocketed millions of pesos in kickbacks for various infrastructure projects in Makati when he was still mayor.

He also urged the public to "examine closely the direction the so-called investigation is taking."

"So far, they have resorted to humiliating me and my family with such viciousness I have not seen employed by the Senate before,” he said.

For his part, Senator Trillanes said Binay is just relying on excuses not to show up in the inquiry.

He said that while the Senate will not force the vice-president to attend the hearings, his non-appearance "only shows that he is guilty."

Resource persons invited to the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee have accused Binay of various anomalies including the alleged overprice of the P2.2 billion Makati City Hall Building II.

* A property appraiser earlier said the construction of the 11-storey building would only cost P877 million.

Binay has rejected the claims of overpricing, saying the building construction had passed audits conducted by a government audit team. He said he is ready to answer the allegations before the Office of the Ombudsman.

On Monday, President Aquino confirmed that he and Binay talked about the ongoing Senate investigation and that the vice-president would need to answer the allegations thrown at him.

He said he told Binay "the truth will come out and that between the two of them, the VP knows the truth."

Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, Binay’s spokesperson for political concerns, meanwhile, said it was President Aquino who offered to help the Vice-President during their meeting in Malacañang last week.

"Our understanding is that in the course of the conversation, the President asked about his family and VP replied the family is hurting from all the lies and baseless accusations, especially his wife," Remulla said in a text message to media.

"At this point the President asked how he can help or 'Paano ako makakatulong?' It was in the context that the Senate was mentioned in the conversation," he said.

Remulla said Binay thanked the President for his concern.

Vice President Jejomar Binay will be a no-show at Wednesday's Senate probe on corruption allegations against him.

In an interview on ANC's "Beyond Politics," Binay said he will not give senators the chance to humiliate him in public.

Binay has repeatedly said the investigation is politically-motivated.

Catch Lynda Jumilla's one-on-one interview with Binay on "Beyond Politics" at 7 tonight on ANC. ANC Dateline Philippines, October 21, 2014

FROM PHILSTAR

Binay: Probers have opposed my political plan; they fear revenge if I become President By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated October 21, 2014 - 3:31pm 17 461 googleplus0 0


Vice President Jejomar Binay. STAR file photo

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay claimed on Tuesday that those investigating his alleged corrupt acts are threatened by his presidential bid.

Binay said his probers have opposed his political plan and so they are afraid of being held liable for their own offenses if he gets elected as president in 2016.

"Those investigating me are simply there because as they admitted they do not want me to even launch a presidential campaign, obviously fearing that should the people support me they would be made accountable for their misdeeds and abuse of power," Binay said.

"And they themselves want to be in power and see me as a threat to that ambition," he added.

Binay was apparently referring to Senators Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV, members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee conducting the probe who had also declared their ambition to seek a higher position.

Binay made his statements as he again criticized the Senate investigation, which he believes is masquerading as "in aid of legislation."

"First, the so-called legislative agenda of that investigation has been unmasked as simply an inquisition designed to bring disrepute to my person by the abuse of parliamentary rules," Binay said.

Binay further claimed that the senators have resorted to "humiliating" him and and his family with "such viciousness."

The Vice President is urging Filipinos to examine closely the direction of the Senate probe.

"I ask our people to take a closer look at the so-called Senate subcommittee investigation to see what it really is," he said.

* Binay and his family are being investigated for allegedly pocketing funds through various projects in Makati City such as the Makati City Hall II parking building.

Binay has refused to attend the Senate hearings and face his accusers. On Monday, a Social Weather Stations survey showed that 79 percent of Filipinos want him to testify at the upper chamber.

In an interview with radio dzMM, Binay's spokesman said the Vice President may consider facing the Senate if the investigation will be conducted by the main Blue Ribbon Committee.

"Tinanong natin, kung buong committee as a whole, baka sakali. Pero kung sub-committee lang eh di siya magko-consider," Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla said.

Alleged dummy of Binay family sues Trillanes (philstar.com) | Updated October 22, 2014 - 11:49am 4 3698 googleplus0 0


Businessman Tony Tiu (left) appears at the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing on the alleged overpricing of the construction of the Makati City Hall II parking building on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. Sen. Antonio Trillanes (right) returns at the hearing with Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III. Video screencap | Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-Chinese businessman Antonio "Tony" Tiu tagged in the corruption allegations against Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday filed a defamation complaint against Sen. Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV.

Tiu's lawyer, Czarina Quintanilla filed the civil complaint against Trillanes before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office for "various" statements he made against Tiu.

Trillanes, one of the three members of the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee probing into the alleged overpricing of a Makati City project under former mayor Binay, accused Tiu of being Binay's front in the ownership of an expansive property in Batangas.

Tiu's camp wants Trillanes to pay P4 million in moral damages as well as P1 million in exemplary damages and legal fees, a radio report said.

"Ito ay ikinaso namin dahil po sa sari-saring defamatory [statements] na ginawa ni Sen. Trillanes labas sa aming kliyente," Quintanilla said in an interview with dzMM.

Quintanilla added that Trillanes' accusations are not in keeping with his position as a senator and affects Tiu's role as a respected businessman.

"Labanan ng prinsipyo ito. Kami po ay naninindihan sa katotohanan," the lawyer said.

As the complaint was filed, Tiu faced the Trillanes and the rest of the Senate panel on Wednesday in an effort to clear his name from the controversies.

LIVE: Senate probe on 'overpriced' Makati project

Tiu, chief executive of Greenergy Holdings, said in the Senate investigation that he has legitimate businesses which he developed through the years. - Camille Diola

FROM THE INQUIRER

Antonio Tiu can’t prove ownership of Batangas property By Maila Ager |INQUIRER.net12:12 pm | Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014


Businessman Antonio Tiu. CATHY MIRANDA/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines – Businessman Antonio Tiu failed to present documents during a Senate hearing on Wednesday to prove that he owned the controversial 350-hectare property in Batangas, saying what he only bought so far was the ‘usufruct” or the right to use the land.

Testifying for the first time before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, Tiu explained his businesses and how his Greenergy Holdings Inc. bought the majority shares of the Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp., operating the Batangas property.

Tiu was tagged as the alleged dummy of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was allegedly the real owner of the property.

After Tiu’s presentation, subcommittee chairman, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III asked the businessman if he was done with his explanation to which he said “yes”.

“Yan na yun? Yun ang explanation mo? Yun na yun?” Pimentel asked again.

“Simple lang po ako Mr. Chairman. Ako po ay negosyante, pag-aari ko yung Greenergy, pag aari ng Greenergy ang Sunchamp, pag-aari ng Sunchamp ang Rosario (property),” Tiu, said referring to the Batangas property.

“Walang mga TCT? Wala kang pinapakita na TCT o kahit ano?,” Pimentel said. TCT is transfer of certificate of title.

“Mr. Chairman, ang nabili ko yung usufruct of the land. Yung TCT upon the completion after nai-turn over sa akin, saka nila matatangap yugn next tranche na payment,” Tiu explained.

“So you’re not the owner sa ngayon?” Pimentel asked to which the businessman answered: “I’m the owner over the rights.”

And when Pimentel insisted that he was not yet the owner of the property, Tiu said: “Magiging owner din po tayo …”

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV then asked the businessman why he was claiming in various media interviews that he was owner of the property.

Tiu said it was because he owned the farm, explaining that ownership of the land was different from ownership of the farm.

But Pimentel said, “Well sa mata namin, hindi ikaw ang may- ari sa ngayon. So why are you here Mr. Tiu? Why are you here?”

Antonio Tiu on ‘Binay’ farm: I have rights but no title By Leila B. Salaverria |Philippine Daily Inquirer12:45 am | Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Says he paid P11M for P450M farm


TIES THAT BIND A shot of a PowerPoint presentation by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano during the fourth Senate hearing on reported corruption in Makati City during the Binays’ tenure shows the interlocking directorates of people allegedly close to Vice President Jejomar Binay. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines–Although he was not holding the title to the land, businessman Antonio Tiu on Wednesday told the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee that he owned the Batangas farm and not Vice President Jejomar Binay after paying a mere P11 million for the property worth close to P450 million.

Senators castigated Tiu for claiming ownership when he was not holding the land title yet and it was not apparently a done deal.

Tiu said he acquired the 150-hectare Batangas property from Laureano Gregorio in a P446-million contract, which was subject to certain conditions.

Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado has testified that the high-end agricultural estate in Rosario, Batangas, was 350 hectares and that it was owned by Binay using dummies through Agri-Fortuna.

Tiu said his acquisition of the farm through Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp. was ongoing. One condition Gregorio has to meet was to deliver documents to support the real and enforceable rights of Sunchamp, Tiu’s company, over the property.

“The purchase of the property is through installment. (Gregorio) was given two years to complete the legal documentation,” he said.

He has paid an P11-million down payment and issued postdated checks for the rest of the P446 million to Gregorio, he said.

The subcommittee chair, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, asked whether Tiu had any transfer certificate of title (TCT) for the property.

Tiu said he did not but added that what he bought was the usufruct, or the right to enjoy the use and advantages of the property. The TCT would be given to him upon completion of the deal.

“So you’re not the owner as of now,” Pimentel said.

Owner over rights

Tiu said that he was the owner of the rights and that it was normal for agriculture properties to have a usufruct over the land.

* But Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV was dissatisfied with the explanation, saying Tiu was not the owner of the property.

“Categorically, during your past interviews, you said you owned Hacienda Binay and everything on it. You said it without qualification. Now you are being asked and the TCT is being sought… Now you say you are not yet the owner,” Trillanes said.

Pimentel said Tiu would be the owner of the property only in the future.

“In our eyes, you are not the owner as of now,” he said.

Pimentel also asked what would happen to the deal if Gregorio failed to fulfill the conditions.

Tiu said he would not pay the balance of the P400-million agreement if the title was not delivered to him. The contract would be rescinded, he said.

Tiu had a PowerPoint presentation explaining how he acquired his companies, but he failed to bring the documents pertaining to his deal with Gregorio.

Trillanes irked

This irked Trillanes, who said the businessman had a presentation but did not bring the documents. It also prompted Pimentel to suspend the hearing temporarily so that Tiu could call up his staff to have the documents prepared and sent to the Senate.

Tiu was reluctant to disclose whether Gregorio had registered with the land registrar the deed of assignment of sale to him of the Batangas property, which Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said Tiu should have checked as part of due diligence.

The businessman referred the question to his lawyer, Martin Subido, who declined to disclose the matter by invoking lawyer-client privilege.

Cayetano then asked if Tiu would waive this privilege, but Tiu declined, saying that since his company was publicly listed and all he had to say would be subject to disclosure requirements.

Cayetano alleged that the truth was that there was no such registration.

He then asked whether Tiu was sure Gregorio was not a front of the Binays. Tiu said it was not his practice to research if a property owner was a dummy or not.

3 board members

Cayetano continued to delve into the Vice President’s alleged ownership of the Batangas hacienda, noting that three members of the board of the alleged Tiu-owned Sunchamp were linked to a law firm connected with the Binays.

Tiu admitted that three lawyers from the Subido Pagente Certeza Mendoza and Binay law firm were members of Sunchamp’s board. They are Subido, Maribert Pagente and Paula Katrina Nora. He said he appointed them as his nominees.

But Subido said only he and Pagente were on the Sunchamp board.

According to Cayetano, it was a usual practice of running dummy firms to appoint one’s lawyers to the company.

“Usually they would use a law office. Lawyers would be assigned with one share each, but they still control the company,” he said.

Smacks of dummy setup

Cayetano said if Binay really owned the Rosario, Batangas, property, the assignment of the three lawyers to the board indicated a dummy setup. The true owner, through the lawyers, could protect his interest in the company because, for instance, the company can’t be sold without their knowledge.

“I’m not saying it’s conclusive, but it’s one of the elements having a dummy that the beneficial owner really retains control,” he said.

Tiu insisted the lawyers were nominees he chose, and if they did not act in his interest, he would replace them.

Cayetano noted that out of 100 million Filipinos, Tiu appointed three lawyers connected with the Vice President.

He also noted that Subido was a director in Tiu’s other companies, such as Earthright Holdings Inc., Greenery Holdings, Inc. and AgriNurture Inc.

Tiu also said the only funds his companies had received came from foreign investors, and not from the Vice President.

This was in response to the question of Cayetano, who directly asked him if his P1 billion came from Binay.

Tiu’s companies have over P1.19 billion in cross holdings and personal investments.

According to Cayetano, one of the investors, Black River Food Fund, was a private equity, meaning people can put money there and then tell it to invest in other companies.

Tiu said that Black River was under US law and strict corporate governance standards and that he could not speak on its behalf.

In 2011, Black River invested P1.3 billion in AgriNurture, one of Tiu’s companies, he said.

Cayetano also noted that two British Virgin Island companies had investments in Tiu’s Greenergy and AgriNurture. These are Three Star Capital Ltd. and Southern Field Ltd.

Tiu is the sole director of Three Star while Rene Richard Salazar, whom Cayetano identified as a lawyer of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), is the sole director of Southern Field. UNA is Binay’s political party.

Rambotito in fatigues

Cayetano also noted that if the Vice President had divested in 2010 from Agri-Fortuna and only retained an orchid farm, pictures and articles that supposedly came out later seemed to belie this.

He showed pictures showing the Vice President and Elenita Binay with visitors to the place in 2012 and 2013.
Cayetano said that he learned that Binay toured wives of mayors in the area and that he liked to dress up in fatigues.

He also showed a copy of an article from March to April 2010 of Asian Dragon Magazine identifying the Batangas farm as belonging to Elenita Binay, with the author marveling that the place “looked more like a resort.”

A gathering of the Philippine Orchid Society also had lunch at “Dra. Elenita Binay’s” farm, as shown in its program.
Acts of ownership

“Why is that between 2010 and 2013, Binay still exercised all the acts of ownership?” Cayetano asked.

But JV Bautista, UNA interim secretary general, was incensed, saying these did not constitute evidence that would stand up in court.

“None of these things that you’ve shown to this gallery and national television will constitute evidence. Just because you had a picture taken, does that mean you own the property?” Bautista said.

Top campaign contributor

Renato Bondal, who filed the plunder complaint against the Vice President over the alleged overprice of Makati City Hall Building II, testified that Tiu had in fact close ties with Binay.

Bondal said Tiu’s brother James and the latter’s wife, Anne Lorraine, contributed P15 million to Binay’s campaign in 2010.

Doubting that James had the capacity to donate such an amount, Bondal said he believed that someone had used him to make the payments.

But Antonio Tiu said his brother was a better businessman than him.

FROM THE TRIBUNE

Senators insult, threaten, ridicule Tony Tiu Written by Angie M. Rosales Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00

True to form and character of badgering resource persons, insulting and humiliating them, the three senators in the Blue Ribbon subcommitte once again ridiculed their resource person and witness who refused to agree with their accusations against Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay.

Businessman Antonio “Tony” Tiu yesterday received a heavy beating from the three senators, sitting as members in the subcommittee, who were out to quash his claims on his ownership of the sprawling agricultural estate in Rosario, Batangas, that they insist is the property of the VP and that Tiu is merely his dummy.

But while Tiu failed to substantiate assertions with documents, Tiu stood his ground in disputing allegations of his being a “dummy” of Binay, a matter that even senators appeared to have failed to establish despite the intense grilling they gave the businessman during the six-hour proceedings.

Tiu and several others being accused as well of standing as alleged “dummies” of Binay such as the legal counsel of Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay and Martin Subido, a partner in the law firm of the Vice President, disputed the charges, yet Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV refused to hear of it and buy it.

The Vice President, in a one-on-one interview with Lynda Jumilla in her weekly television show Beyond Politics aired in ANC aired Tuesday, said he is currently “on leave” in the Subido Pagente Certeza Mendoza & Binay law firm.

The moment Tiu was placed in the hot seat, Trillanes and Cayetano wasted no time in confronting the former who is the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Greenery Holdings Inc. (GHI) - the company that bought majority shares of Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp. which is behind the operations of the controversial alleged 350 hectare property in Batangas for his pronouncements made in his various interviews, particularly his statement telling senators to stop engaging in the “politics of the crabs” which means politically pulling down people.

In between grilling by the two senators, Tiu said he made no particular reference to either of the said lawmakers, adding that it was not his intention to insult anyone.

Prior to his appearance in the Senate hearing, Tiu made pronouncements in various interviews claiming that he is the owner of the P446 million-worth Batangas property.

* But when asked by sub-committee chairman Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel to show proof, such as transfer certificate title (TCT) or any other valid document, Tiu could not produce any, explaining that his company acquired from Laureano Gregorio the usufruct of the land.

“The TCT will come upon the completion, and after the turnover to me. Also, they still have not received the next tranche of payment,” he said.

“So you’re not the owner now,” Pimentel commented, to which Tiu clarified saying that he’s “the owner over the rights” and will eventually become the owner.

Of the P446 million, Senate probers were told that Tiu has paid P11 million so far within the last two years – P6 million in 2013 and P5 million this year – following the signing of the contract last year.

“There’s a pending check that will be cleared at the end of the year (in the amount of) if I’m not mistaken, P44 million,” Tiu said, adding that under the agreement they inked with Gregorio there’s a prescribed period of two years for the turnover of the land titles and failure on the part of the owner would mean that the contract will be rescinded.

When asked by Pimentel if the property had already been booked as an asset of GHI, Tiu said such is not yet allowed until they have fully completed the payment of the entire P446 million.

“It is not standard practice to make the balance sheet bigger. We will have it reflected in as soon as possible,” the businessman said.

Tiu repeatedly denied any links with Binay, saying that if at all, it is his brother James who once had an association with the Vice President in setting up a party-list in the past called Alyansa ng mga Namumuhay sa Agrikulturang Industriya ng Pilipinas (ANI-Pilipinas) Inc., saying that he was only dealing with Gregorio on transactions involving the Batangas property.

But both Trillanes and Cayetano repeatedly insisted on the issue saying that members of the law firm of Binay kept on appearing in some documents of companies owned by Tiu such as in the case of Subido who is corporate secretary of GHI.

“This person, the Vice President, will bind everything together, so far in these hearings, that’s why we want him here, we’re inviting him here to explain. He’s saying in the interview that he doesn’t really know you, but it turns out that even in the party list, your family and his (Binays) are together,” Cayetano commented.

Tiu said he has encountered Binay only three times since year 2000.

“The party-list is the ambition of my brother. I have no interest in politics. I am not involved in politics. Clarification your honor, I did not supply hospital beds to city of Makati,” Tiu said.

Subido explained his links with Tiu saying that as a standard practice in any corporation, a holding company that has subsidiaries, the corporate counsel or the corporate secretary of the parent company is also a director or a corporate secretary or corporate counsel of its subsidiaries which is the same situation in his case.

“You haven’t brought this up. When the properties came up, it was only then that you came in as director. Before, you were the corporate secretary,” Cayetano accused again.

“With due respect your honor, I have been a director and (also a) corporate secretary of (one of Tiu’s company) AgriNurture (Inc.) since 2004; I have been a director of Greenergy (GHI) since 2010. So my connection goes way, way back before these incidents that you’re mentioning,” the lawyer said.

Also during the hearing, Cayetano and Trillanes engaged in a heated verbal tussle with United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) secretary general lawyer JV Bautista as the latter reiterated his previous claims on the alleged plot to bring down the Vice President and in which the two senators are supposedly involved.

In the alleged demolition plan with a code name “Stop Nognog 2016” some personalities from the ruling Liberal Party (LP) and Nacionalista Party (NP) in which Trillanes and Cayetano are currently aligned with, plotted against Binay even before the start of the Senate investigation.

Bautista linked an alleged known LP benefactor as the owner of the chopper used to make an aerial ocular of the Batangas property and one of those onboard the said flight included a staff of Cayetano.

“We obtained a copy of the flight plan. The owner of the chopper is Mr. Buddy Zamora (a Roxas supporter and contributor). And among those who took part of the flight, one of those and and I suspect that he was the one who probably took the photo because he is a graphic artist under the employ of Senator Cayetano. What was he doing there?

VP Binay, in his TV interview Tuesday said they had identified anther passenger of the chopper as one of the staff members of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

“I thought this committee is supposed to hear evidence, elicit evidence from witnesses appearing before it, that’s the reason for the subpoena. Why are the senators the one gathering the evidence? You are the ones who show powerpoint presentations after the presentation of (former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto) Mercado, then a powerpoint of Trillanes, then a powerpoint of Cayetano,” Bautista complained before Pimentel.

Cayetano then confronted Bautista by challenging the latter to dispute some published articles showing photos of the Binays entertaining guests at the said Batangas property.

“Mr. senator, you’re a lawyer. None of these things that you have shown to this gallery and to national TV will constitute evidence. Have a shown a picture that he (VP) owns the land? That it is his property? Is that admissible evidence in court, Atty. Cayetano? Let us test it,” Bautista said.

“I think we have given lawyer JV Bautista his 15 minutes and I think he felt good about it,” Trillanes said, to which the UNA lawyer immediately negated.

Binay should not appear at the Senate hearing—Erap Written by Pat C. Santos Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00 THE TRIBUNE

Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada believes that Vice President Jejomar Binay who is now the subject of a political demolition job should not appear in the ongoing Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee.

In an ambush interview yesterday morning during his appearance at the 40th Philippine Business Conference and Expo at Manila Hotel, Estrada when asked about his views on whether Binay should face the Senate probe, said that he believes the motive of the investigation is not an aid of legislation but clearly to crush the VP’s presidential bid in 2016.

The personalities investigating him want to run for the presidency, while the other wants to run for the vice presidency at the expense of VP Binay and it is very clear to all that the Senate hearings are nothing but a demolition job being done on VP Binay.

“I believe despite the demolition efforts being done by them (senators) still Vice President Binay is on top in all surveys” Estrada said.

The latest survey, a private one commissioned by an influential foreign group, whose identity cannot be disclosed, due to the survey’s Chatam House Rules, which states that the findings of the survey can be disseminated freely but its survey research firm and the group that has commissioned the survey, cannot be disclosed.

The survey showed that Binay remains an overwhelming choice for the presidency in 2016, chosen by 36 percent of respondents, followed far behind by President Aquino at 12 percent and nine percent for Liberal Party (LP) acknowledged standard bearer Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas.

* The results showed that there were big variances when compared to the recent Pulse Asia survey showing 31 percent preference for Binay, with Roxas trailing way behind at second with 13 percent.

There was also a large variance in the survey numbers when compared to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey ratings.

Both Pulse and SWS, along with the private survey, were conducted more or less in the same period in the third week of September, 2014.

Pulse and SWS are suspected of manipulating the survey results in favor of the administration.

Based on the results of the private survey, held last Sept. 20 to 27 among 1,875 respondents nationwide, 24 percent of those who picked Binay said that their choice was based on his being pro-poor; 20 percent said that he is a strong leader while 19 percent said he is trustworthy.

Estrada clarified that he is not giving VP Binay unsolicited advice and that the decision that he would appear or not appear before the Senate is up to the Vice President.

The Manila Mayor said that the proper forum is the court or the Office of the Ombudsman and not the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee whose intention is to demolish him.

Earlier, Binay shunned the Senate hearing first on the Senate probe that began as an inquiry into alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building ll but has expanded to a sprawling Batangas estate which ex-Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado claimed is owned by Binay, the vice president lamented on ANC’s Beyond Politics, “That is no longer an investigation. This is to destroy my presidential candidacy.”

He linked LP stalwarts Senate President Franklin Drilon and DILG chief Mar Roxas to the alleged plot that includes the Senate probe and the House float about impeaching him.

Binay, who was not issued a subpoena but just an invitation to appear at the hearings, said partly in Filipino, “What I hate most is their demeanor. I won’t give [senators] that opportunity to disrespect my office.”

The Senate, he added, has prejudged him from the start. “They have already convicted me and they continually ridicule, scare and taunt (the witnesses).”

The Vice President the other day dared Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to a one-on-one debate on condition that the senator sheds his parliamentary immunity.

Binay issued the challenge during an open forum with members of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) after the signing of a memorandum of understanding of the Home Development Mutual (Pag-IBIG) Fund with KBP.

“I’m willing, if you want you can sponsor it. I’m willing to debate with Trillanes. I’ll appear in all your forums,” Binay told KBP members.

This, as the Vice President reiterated he would not be attending the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearing on the supposed overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building ll.

He said that he was willing to debate with Trillanes outside the Senate “anytime, any place.”

“You already know if you have been following what is happening in the Senate – You are just being disrespeted, ridiculed and threatened. I do not want to go down to that level. I won’t dignify it (with my presence).”|

He lamented that the senators conducting the hearing have already pre-judged the proceedings.

“It has been prejudged. For them, I am already guilty. We are already thieves,” Binay said, adding:“It’s a kangaroo court. It’s been prejudged. Where else will one get out of that?

“This is no longer an investigation in aid of legislation. This is all out demolition. They said ‘this investigation is to show that the Vice President is not qualified to be a president’. That’s the proof that politics marks this investigation. They (senators in the panel) are hypocrites,” he stressed.

The Senate blue ribbon committee yesterday accepted the challenge posed by the VP Tuesday night, saying that he will appear in the ongoing investigation against him if the mother committee chaired by Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona III will be the one to invite him.

Binay, in a television interview on the eve of the continuation of the hearing on the Makati City hall parking building, remained firm against the idea of subjecting himself for interrogation by senators sitting in the blue ribbon sub-committee chaired by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel.

Shortly after Pimentel opened the 9 a.m. proceedings, Guingona took the floor to announce that a new invitation will be issued to the Vice President, this time through his committee.

The move is aimed at getting the Vice President’s side on the issues being hurled at him on his alleged involvement in the overpricing of the construction of the Makati City hall parking building as well as charges of alleged unexplained wealth.

Guingona assured the Vice President that he will be afforded the utmost respect, treatment and opportunity in airing his side on the issue.

“What we need from him is the truth, and nothing but the truth, I trust that he will do this,” he said.

Pimentel, last Monday, sent a letter to Binay reiterating his sub-committee’s request to its 10th public hearing already scheduled on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 9 a.m. “to inform the committee what you know regarding the matters under inquiry in view of the testimonies given by the resource persons before the committee.” With Angie M. Rosales

FROM PHILSTAR

More experts criticizes Senate probe tactics: Binay warns his friends of political persecution By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 27, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay warned his friends they, too, could fall victim to political persecution as shown in the ongoing Senate investigation of various corruption allegations thrown at him.

“More to come, more to come. Because many of our friends are telling us they will be identified as dummies. That is the direction of the smear campaign against me,” Binay said in an interview with ANC’s “Beyond Politics” last week.

Binay had denied allegations made by former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado that he used dummies to hide his ownership of his other assets.

He said businessmen Antonio Tiu and Gregorio Laureano, two of those identified as Binay’s dummies, are just acquaintances.

“This Mr. Laureano, we just say hi to each other. I think he has a small pawnshop business. This Mr. Tiu, it was my staff who reminded me that he visited me once during an investors’ forum. So they’re not really close friends,” he said.

Mercado has tagged Tiu as one of Binay’s fronts to cover up his ownership of the P1.2-billion 350-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas.

Tiu, however, claimed ownership of the property during a recent hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee.

In his speech at the 32nd anniversary of the Lion’s Club International District 301-D2 at the Manila Pavilion on Saturday, Binay said the Senate inquiry has become a platform “to unjustly” malign him and his family, including people he said only had the remotest association with him.

“I only wish that you could have extended that gift of sight to some members of the Senate who have been so blinded by political ambition that they cannot see that their recent activities and actuations are no longer in aid of legislation but in aid of political persecution,” Binay said.

Binay is accused of pocketing public funds by overpricing and rigging the bidding of various projects when he was mayor of Makati City.

The Vice President has refused to attend the Senate hearings, which he described as a “kangaroo court.”

Binay instead challenged Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to a debate.

Binay also slammed Trillanes for calling him names.

“This is just another proof of Mr. Trillanes’ anti-poor thinking. All of those behind the smear campaign against me think lowly of the poor and those who are dark-skinned,” Binay said in a statement yesterday.

Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) also said Trillanes should raise the level of his politics and stop resorting to name-calling.

“As a senator, Trillanes should have been more circumspect about his ‘kulay- and asal-mahirap’ remark... but what would you expect from a swollen-headed and trash-talking soul who maligns the poor and thinks very lowly of them. A serial political maniac like Sen. Trillanes would use every opportunity for his political gain,” UNA interim president Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco said.

“His motives are bared behind his choice of words,” he added.

Tiangco also denied allegations from Trillanes that Binay owns several bank accounts abroad.

“Another lie from a senator with a history of lying. Unlike Pinocchio, it’s not the nose that grows with every lie but his ego. He is becoming arrogant. We will not be surprised if he will show fake documents because he is very good at lying,” Tiangco said.

Lynching party

More legal experts also criticized the ongoing Senate investigation against Binay.

* Political analyst and De La Salle University law professor Antonio Contreras and University of the East law dean Amado Valdez both believed the conduct being shown by members of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee against resource persons could boomerang and cast doubt on credibility of the probe.

In separate interviews over the weekend, Contreras and Valdez said the panel already has a foregone conclusion – that Binay is guilty – as shown in the “lynching” of resource persons during previous hearings.

Contreras observed that when former vice mayor Mercado and other “witnesses” spoke, there were no interruptions and were allowed to finish their statements.

“But when Tiu was talking, they butt in,” he said.

Contreras warned that Filipino viewers are not stupid and many frown on the lawmakers’ antics, which might damage the Senate.

“There should be open-mindedness. Instead, conclusions have been made,” he lamented.

Valdez, for his part, said the subcommittee was looking at the wrong angle in attempting to connect Tiu with Binay.

He pointed out the explanation given by Tiu was more believable under common practice and the law. – With Edu Punay


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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