HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK...

BULLY SENATORS: BINAY FEARS BEING TREATED LIKE CRIMINAL; SNUBS HEARING 

NOV 6 --PHOTO FROM PHILSTAR-CAYETANO & TRILLANES AT SENATE ---Senators' treatment of witnesses and his allies prompted Vice President Jejomar Binay to skip the Senate hearing on Thursday. In his letter to Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Binay said he initially wanted to accept the invitation to the hearing set today. But Binay changed his mind after Senators Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV sent his representatives out of the session hall in the hearing last week. Binay was referring to Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco and lawyer JV Bautista, members of his United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) who gatecrashed the recent hearing. The Vice President claimed that he authorized the two to speak on his behalf.

"Kung ang aking mga awtorisadong kinatawan ay trinatong parang mga kriminal, wala akong makitang katiyakan na ako ay bibigyan ng pagkakataon na magpahayag nang malaya, kikilanin ang aking karapatan o tatratuhin ng may paggalang," Binay said in his letter, which was read by Bautista in a televised press conference at the Senate. "Ang inasal nina Sen. Cayetano at Trillanes noong Oktubre 30 at sa mga nakaraang pagdinig ay patunay na hindi sila handang makinig sa anumang paliwanag na sumasalungat sa kanilang konlusyon na ako ay nagkasala na," he added. Binay also admonished the senators for not giving some witnesses the proper treatment fitting for resource persons. "Sila ay inimbitahan upang makatulong gumawa ng magagandang batas ayon sa nilalaman ng resolusyon. Ngunit sila ay trinatong parang mga kriminal," Binay said. "Ito ay ipinapakita nila sa kanilang patuloy na panghahamak, pangmamaliit, pambabara at pananakot sa mga ordinaryong mamamayan na ang mga testimonya ay knotra sa kanilang konklusyon," he also said.

Binay believes that attending the probe will set a bad precedent, where the Vice President, the second highest official of the land, can be summoned to a hearing by some senators. "Sa mga kadahilanang ito, nagdesisyon ako na huwag dumalo sa pagdinig ng Senado ngayong Nobyembre 6," he said. Guingona, who invited Binay to the hearing, was disappointed with Binay's absence despite the Blue Ribbon Committee's assurance that he will be treated with respect and fairness. The Blue Ribbon Committee voted not to allow Binay's representatives to read his statement and affidavit during the hearing. The documents, however, could still be submitted to the Senate records, according to Guingona. Binay said the affidavit would disprove the allegations that he profited from various projects in Makati and that he concealed his alleged ill-gotten wealth by using dummies.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Binay snubs Senate probe, flies to Cebu 

NOV 6 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay went to Cebu on Thursday and snubbed the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the corruption allegations against him. According to a live report on ANC, Binay is now in Cebu for official engagements, including interviews with local radio stations and a visit to Toledo City. Binay is also expected to meet with business and government leaders and attend tomorrow the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) Centennial Jamboree in Cebu City. The ANC report said Binay would be staying in Cebu until Saturday. Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, Blue Ribbon Committee chair, invited Binay to the hearing.

He regretted Binay's failure to attend the Senate probe despite the Blue Ribbon Committee's assurance that he will be treated with respect and fairness. Binay sent his allies, Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco and lawyer JV Bautista, who tried to submit his affidavit and a letter explaining his absence. In his letter, Binay said he decided not to attend the hearing because of the unfair treatment given to his allies and some resource persons in the past hearings. Binay is being investigated in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall II parking building and other projects that he supposedly profited from. He has been accused of using dummies to conceal his alleged ill-gotten wealth, including a 350-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay would rather talk to people than attend Senate ‘circus’ 

NOV 6 --Vice President Jejomar Binay will rather tour the country and talk to each Filipino to answer the accusations against him than attend the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing. Lawyer JV Bautista, interim secretary general of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), in a televised press conference on Thursday said Binay was willing to go around the country and talk to 100 million people. “Ngunit hindi po sya tutungtong dito sa circus ng Senate…” Bautista said. (But he will not set foot at the Senate circus). “Hindi po pwedeng madungisan ang kanyang pagkatao at ang kanyang opisina nitong tatlong nagwawalang senador na ito,” he added. (His reputation and his office should not be tainted by these three senators who are running amok.) In his letter to Senator Teofisto Guingona III, committee chairperson, Binay said it would not be proper for him to attend the hearing. “This will set a bad precedent, where the Vice President, the second highest official of the land, can be summoned to a hearing by some senators,” he explained.

Binay, who is in Cebu, accused the senators of being a party to “a syndicate of lies.” Binay is being accused of pocketing kickbacks from the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall parking building. Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernest Mercado also accused his family of owning a 350-hectare estate in Batangas. Mercado said Binay’s ill-gotten wealth was used to purchase and develop the property. Binay, who will run as president in 2016, said his political rivals were behind the black propaganda against him. Guingona and the other senators were expecting Binay to appear before the Senate and answer corruption allegations. However, media reported that Binay arrived in Cebu on Thursday morning to meet with business and government officials. Bautista read Binay’s letter in a press conference at the Senate while the hearing was ongoing. Binay said he initially wanted to attend the hearing upon receiving Guingona’s invitation after the senator assured him of being given respect that “befits (his) position as Vice President of the Republic.” However, he was dismayed with Senator Alan Cayetano who “drove away” Bautista and Navotas Representative Tobias “Toby” Tiangco, interim president of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

“The behavior of Senators Cayetano and Trillanes last October 30, and in previous hearings, proves that they are not ready to hear any explanation that contradicts their conclusion that I am guilty,” Binay wrote. He said Cayetano and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV were bullying and intimidating people whose testimony before the Senate contradicted their views. “If these senators were not even admonished in the past eleven hearings, and if my authorized representatives were treated like criminals, I see no assurance that I will be given the chance to speak freely, that my rights will be recognized, or that the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines will be accorded the respect it deserves,” Binay said. He said he would also submit his affidavit containing his “detailed response to the baseless accusations and lies of our political rivals”. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

(ALSO) Antonio Tiu lambasted Blue Ribbon: ‘I’m not guilty of any crime’

NOV 5 --An emotional Antonio Tiu held a press conference on Wednesday, lambasting the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee for allegedly subjecting him to “ridicule” and “insults” when he appeared twice in its hearings. “Inuulit ko po (I repeat), I’m not a dummy. I’m not a money launderer. I’m not guilty of any crime,” Tiu said when he started his press conference in Quezon City, reading from his prepared statement in his laptop. The businessman has been tagged as the alleged dummy of Vice President Jejomar Binay for the controversial property in Rosario town, Batangas province. Both denied the allegation. Tiu said he was abroad when his name was dragged into the controversy.

“While abroad, I received several text messages warning me to cooperate if I wanted a free pass. Otherwise, various government agencies will start to run after me. To my mind, these text messages constitute real threats and blackmails,” Tiu said. “I went to Senate inquiry as a resource person. But to my total dismay, I was accused of being a dummy, a money launderer, a tax evader and a dishonest businessman.” Tiu’s voice started to crack when he made the following statements: “My patient explanation of my business practices was ridiculed , constantly interrupted and branded as lies. Instead of focusing on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall 2 parking building, I found myself being grilled by the senators on the issues that have nothing to do on the supposed subject matter,” Tiu said. Then addressing the senators, the businessman asked how he and his Sunchamp Agri-Tourism Park had been dragged into the subcommittee’s investigation on the allegedly overpriced parking building in Makati City. “Because they can’t find any evidence against me, the senators have unleashed against my companies the full arsenal of the government ― BIR, AMLC, DENR, DAR, NBI and SEC,” he said. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Tiu blasts Cayetano over cruel ‘kidnap’ joke  

NOV 6 --Businessman Antonio Tiu yesterday lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano for his insensitive “kidnapping” joke when he tried to force the former to agree to open his bank account for Senate scrutiny recently. Tiu, who is being accused as dummy of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, added that he is contemplating on filing oral defamation charges against Cayetano. Visibly trying to control his tears, Tiu said that Cayetano has put that the life of his family and other Filipino-Chinese businessman in danger with that cruel kidnapping joke. In a press conference in Quezon City, Tiu claimed that Cayetano told him that there is no danger in divulging his bank account in public as he can easily negotiate the payment of the ransom money with the kidnappers in case he or any member of his family are kidnapped.

“Lahat ng ito ay tinanggap ko ng buong pagpapakumbaba. Ngunit ang pinakamasakit sa akin ay ito: Hindi na nakuntento si Sen. Cayetano na maliitin ang pagkatao ko, inilagay pa niya sa panganib ang buhay ko at ng aking pamilya sa kaniyang pagpilit sa akin na isiwalat ang aking pera sa bangko. Ang sabi niya, hindi naman daw mapanganib na gawin ko ito dahil pwede naman daw akong makipagtawaran sa mga kidnappers kung sakaling kidnapin ako o ang miyembro ng aking pamilya (I humbly accepted the insults but Sen. Cayetano not only degraded me but also put the life of my family in danger while trying to force me to open my bank account public. He told me that there is no danger in doing so since I can easily strike a deal with the kidnappers in case I or my family are victimized),” Tiu said. “Hindi ka pa ba masaya na pinagbintangan mo ako ng walang basehan at ipinahiya mo ako ng paulit-ulit sa harap ng taumbayan? At ngayon gusto mo namang i-pain ang buhay ko at ng pamilya ko sa kidnappers (Are you not yet satisfied that you accused me without basis and ridiculed me in public? And now, you want to throw me and my family to the hands of kidnappers?)” Tiu asked Cayetano.

Tiu said making kidnapping a laughing matter at the expense of achieving political mileage is a sham, stressing that the Filipino-Chinese community, of which he is part of, takes kidnapping seriously and a real threat as he appealed for “respect for his life and his family.”

Tiu blasts coordinated bid to cripple his firms; Becoming collateral damage in destructive partisan politics 

NOV 6 ---Faced with the prospect of his business projects, mostly publicly-listed, becoming collateral damage in destructive partisan politics, particularly the current efforts to demolish presidential frontrunner Vice President Jejomar Binay, businessman Antonio Tiu lashed out at the coordinated efforts to target his companies with “the full strength of government,” for his refusal to “cooperate” with the detractors of Binay. Tiu told reporters that government agencies are now hot on his trail after he was accused of being a dummy of Binay in the 350-hectare Batangas property which Tiu claims as his own during the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearing run by three Binay opponents who are Senators Koko Pimentel, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) yesterday hinted it may take action on the Batangas property after the agency issued a statement that it has no record in its database of Laureano Gregorio Jr. as a landowner of a CARP-covered land (already distributed or in the balance still to be distributed). DAR said it also has no record of Gregorio being issued a DAR clearance to transfer. “He is also not a farmer beneficiary of CARP. “This does not mean, however, that Mr. Gregorio does not own land in Rosario; it is the Register of Deeds that has the complete records of all lands in Rosario and other places,” the agency noted. Tiu’s Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp. acquired Gregorio’s rights to the property, a transaction that was disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), which was converted into an agro-tourism venture of Tiu.

Tiu said Sunchamp was leasing the land from several parties, including Agrifortuna Inc., but the contract with Agrifortuna was for less than 10 hectares. Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio De los Reyes confirmed that the zoning in that area of Rosario town In Batangas was agricultural but he said the DAR had yet to determine which part of the property was covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). The other day, the stock exchange operator also issued a statement saying that it is monitoring developments in the Senate hearings “as it may involve dealings of companies listed at the PSE.”  Tiu is the chairman of Greenergy Holdings Incorporated and AgriNurture Inc, both of which are PSE-listed companies. “We conduct monitoring for all listed companies to ensure that they adhere to our disclosure rules and that the investing public is properly informed. In the case of Greenergy and AgriNurture, we want to make sure that any narration of Tiu during the Senate hearings that are considered material developments, have actually been disclosed or are properly disclosed to the public,” PSE president and CEO Hans Sicat said.

“Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corporation is not a listed company but any transaction of Sunchamp that may materially affect any listed company will still need to be properly disclosed by the concerned listed company,” Sicat added. “If there are any illegal acts conducted by officers of listed companies that are proven true, this could have an impact on any application for listings of such company in the context of our suitability rules. If there will be continuous disclosure violations by any company that will be established by the Exchange after the conduct of its own investigations and affording due process, they will also be subjected to penalties as provided by the PSE rules,” Sicat said. Tiu in addressing media said that the subcommittee of three “is complainant, prosecutor and judge” against him and the issues that is being raised against Binay. “I am standing by the truth that I am a buyer of the Rosario property in good faith,” Tiu said. Tiu also revealed even before being summoned at the Senate, he was already “threatened and blackmailed” by unidentified personalities.* READ MORE...

(ALSO) Trillanes: Binay’s sins caused his ‘crucifixion’  

NOV 5 ---MANILA, Philippines–It’s his own sins against the people that crucified Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said on Wednesday.
Trillanes said that if Binay was suffering from the allegations, it was of his own doing. “I think he is being crucified by his own sins against the country. The lashes he feels are representative of every crime he has committed against the people,” he said. On Tuesday, Binay, president of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, told delegates to a jamboree in Marikina City that Boy Scouts should treat him as an ordinary citizen and not as the Vice President who was being crucified on the cross by his political enemies. Trillanes is one of the three lawmakers actively involved in the subcommittee investigation of the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II.

The probe has expanded to alleged kickbacks and the use of dummies to hide Binay’s assets, including a 350-hectare estate in Batangas province. The allegations on the kickbacks and dummies came from Binay’s erstwhile ally, former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado. Binay and his spokespersons have criticized the hearings as a farcical exercise and have contended that these are meant to derail his plans to run for President in 2016. Due process  --At Clark Freeport, Levi Baligod, former counsel of the main witness in the pork barrel scandal, said Binay had the right to due process. Baligod, a lawyer and private complainant in the plunder cases against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, said Senators Aquilino Pimentel III, Alan Peter Cayetano and Trillanes “could not be prosecutor, judge and accuser at the same time.”  The investigation, Baligod said, should be returned to the Senate blue ribbon committee from its subcommittee to give Binay due respect. “The process needs to be insulated from partisan politics,” said Baligod, former lawyer of pork barrel scam whistle-blower Benhur Luy, during a forum at the Widus Hotel on Wednesday. Baligod said he had been going around the country because nongovernment organizations have been inviting him to speak on the pork barrel scam.–With a report from Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

ALSO by Francisco Tatad: The issue is bigger than Binay
(Of False accusers, not 'Detractors') 
NOV 6 ---A distraught reader asks, How can three brash young men, in such a hurry, go berserk in the Senate without being restrained and held to account by the leaders of the Chamber or by the other members? Why have we not heard from the other senators whose faces we see in all sorts of cheap commercial ads and who are occasionally mentioned as “presidential aspirants” for 2016? Have we become so numb or impotent against this lawless display of power?

Somewhere in the text, the reader identifies the three brash young men as Senators Antonio Trillanes 4th, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Aquilino Pimentel 3rd. The Binay camp calls them and their allies his “detractors.” Vice President Binay has refused, correctly in our view, to honor their invitation to appear before a subcommittee of the Senate blue ribbon committee, which is investigating his alleged wrongdoing and ill-gotten wealth when he was still mayor of Makati. But on Tuesday he met with Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the public affairs chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, reportedly to shed light on the allegations against him. No details have been reported about the meeting. But one malicious texter has suggested that Binay had gone to the bishop for confession, in an effort to obtain “absolution, without restitution.”

This is clearly foul. Confession is a private conversation between a priest and a penitent, inside a confessional, without the media watching from a distance, waiting for a statement. What took place was a private meeting between a hierarch of the Church and a public official, while the media waited outside for a possible statement. It was preceded by a press release saying Binay would like to tell the bishop the facts about the allegations coming from his “detractors.” Binay’s spokesmen were less than precise in referring to his accusers as his “detractors.” This was not the right word at all; they are attack dogs, pure and simple. One commits the sin of “detraction” when one reveals to another a third person’s private faults without any valid justification. Thus when somebody informs the media that her female celebrity-friend cannot let a single day pass without having to have a male companion in bed, she is guilty of detraction. The information may be true, but its public disclosure does not serve any good at all.

So if you simply call your accuser a “detractor,” you question your accuser’s motive in revealing your private fault, but you do not deny the truth of the allegation. This is not the case of Binay. He has denied everything, so he is dealing with false accusers rather than mere “detractors.” Now, the CBCP has a genuine interest in finding out the truth or falsity of the allegations against the country’s second highest official. But the CBCP, like the Senate blue ribbon committee, is not the forum, and cannot be the forum to proclaim the Vice President guilty or not guilty of the allegations. It has to be the courts to do this, and the senators’ duty is to go to court if they honestly believe the VP is guilty of any serious wrongdoing. But by throwing all those bricks against Binay in a forum that cannot usurp the court’s function, they may have simply turned him into an underdog, if not some kind of political martyr. * READ MORE...


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

Binay fears being treated like a criminal


TRILLANES, TRILLANES

MANILA, NOVEMBER 10, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Louis Bacani- Senators' treatment of witnesses and his allies prompted Vice President Jejomar Binay to skip the Senate hearing on Thursday.

In his letter to Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Binay said he initially wanted to accept the invitation to the hearing set today.

But Binay changed his mind after Senators Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV sent his representatives out of the session hall in the hearing last week.

Binay was referring to Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco and lawyer JV Bautista, members of his United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) who gatecrashed the recent hearing. The Vice President claimed that he authorized the two to speak on his behalf.

"Kung ang aking mga awtorisadong kinatawan ay trinatong parang mga kriminal, wala akong makitang katiyakan na ako ay bibigyan ng pagkakataon na magpahayag nang malaya, kikilanin ang aking karapatan o tatratuhin ng may paggalang," Binay said in his letter, which was read by Bautista in a televised press conference at the Senate.

"Ang inasal nina Sen. Cayetano at Trillanes noong Oktubre 30 at sa mga nakaraang pagdinig ay patunay na hindi sila handang makinig sa anumang paliwanag na sumasalungat sa kanilang konlusyon na ako ay nagkasala na," he added.

Binay also admonished the senators for not giving some witnesses the proper treatment fitting for resource persons.

"Sila ay inimbitahan upang makatulong gumawa ng magagandang batas ayon sa nilalaman ng resolusyon. Ngunit sila ay trinatong parang mga kriminal," Binay said.

"Ito ay ipinapakita nila sa kanilang patuloy na panghahamak, pangmamaliit, pambabara at pananakot sa mga ordinaryong mamamayan na ang mga testimonya ay knotra sa kanilang konklusyon," he also said.

Binay believes that attending the probe will set a bad precedent, where the Vice President, the second highest official of the land, can be summoned to a hearing by some senators.

"Sa mga kadahilanang ito, nagdesisyon ako na huwag dumalo sa pagdinig ng Senado ngayong Nobyembre 6," he said.

Guingona, who invited Binay to the hearing, was disappointed with Binay's absence despite the Blue Ribbon Committee's assurance that he will be treated with respect and fairness.

The Blue Ribbon Committee voted not to allow Binay's representatives to read his statement and affidavit during the hearing. The documents, however, could still be submitted to the Senate records, according to Guingona.

Binay said the affidavit would disprove the allegations that he profited from various projects in Makati and that he concealed his alleged ill-gotten wealth by using dummies.

Binay snubs Senate probe, flies to Cebu By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated November 6, 2014 - 10:42am 6 747 googleplus0 1


Vice President Jejomar Binay gestures while denying allegations of corruption during a televised press conference at the PICC in Pasay City. ERNIE PENAREDONDO

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Vice President Jejomar Binay went to Cebu on Thursday and snubbed the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the corruption allegations against him.

According to a live report on ANC, Binay is now in Cebu for official engagements, including interviews with local radio stations and a visit to Toledo City.

Binay is also expected to meet with business and government leaders and attend tomorrow the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) Centennial Jamboree in Cebu City.

The ANC report said Binay would be staying in Cebu until Saturday.

Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, Blue Ribbon Committee chair, invited Binay to the hearing. He regretted Binay's failure to attend the Senate probe despite the Blue Ribbon Committee's assurance that he will be treated with respect and fairness.

Binay sent his allies, Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco and lawyer JV Bautista, who tried to submit his affidavit and a letter explaining his absence.

In his letter, Binay said he decided not to attend the hearing because of the unfair treatment given to his allies and some resource persons in the past hearings.

Binay is being investigated in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall II parking building and other projects that he supposedly profited from.

He has been accused of using dummies to conceal his alleged ill-gotten wealth, including a 350-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas.

* Binay has refused to attend the hearings held by a Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee, calling it a "kangaroo court." He believes that Sens. Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV have already prejudged him.

His camp earlier said that he will appear at the Senate only upon the invitation of the mother Blue Ribbon Committee.

Trillanes said they would grill Binay for at least six hours if shows up. But even with his absence, the senator said the investigation will still continue.

"What he does or will not do, siya ang accountable doon, si Vice President Binay," Trillanes said in a televised press conference on Wednesday. "Kapag hindi siya magpakita, ibig sabihin hindi mo talaga mapagkakatiwalaan itong taong ito."

Earlier this week, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco of the United Nationalist Alliance claimed in an interview on ANC that Binay was planning to attend the Senate hearing.

Tiangco, however, has been dissuading Binay from facing the Senate, saying he has nothing to gain from it.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Binay would rather talk to people than attend Senate ‘circus’ Kristine Angeli Sabillo
@KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 1:56 PM | Thursday, November 6th, 2014


File photo shows Vice President Jejomar Binay delivering a speech in Pasig City. Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay will rather tour the country and talk to each Filipino to answer the accusations against him than attend the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing.

Lawyer JV Bautista, interim secretary general of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), in a televised press conference on Thursday said Binay was willing to go around the country and talk to 100 million people.

“Ngunit hindi po sya tutungtong dito sa circus ng Senate…” Bautista said.

(But he will not set foot at the Senate circus).

“Hindi po pwedeng madungisan ang kanyang pagkatao at ang kanyang opisina nitong tatlong nagwawalang senador na ito,” he added.

(His reputation and his office should not be tainted by these three senators who are running amok.)

In his letter to Senator Teofisto Guingona III, committee chairperson, Binay said it would not be proper for him to attend the hearing.

“This will set a bad precedent, where the Vice President, the second highest official of the land, can be summoned to a hearing by some senators,” he explained.

Binay, who is in Cebu, accused the senators of being a party to “a syndicate of lies.”

Binay is being accused of pocketing kickbacks from the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall parking building. Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernest Mercado also accused his family of owning a 350-hectare estate in Batangas. Mercado said Binay’s ill-gotten wealth was used to purchase and develop the property.

Binay, who will run as president in 2016, said his political rivals were behind the black propaganda against him.

Guingona and the other senators were expecting Binay to appear before the Senate and answer corruption allegations. However, media reported that Binay arrived in Cebu on Thursday morning to meet with business and government officials.

Bautista read Binay’s letter in a press conference at the Senate while the hearing was ongoing.

Binay said he initially wanted to attend the hearing upon receiving Guingona’s invitation after the senator assured him of being given respect that “befits (his) position as Vice President of the Republic.”

However, he was dismayed with Senator Alan Cayetano who “drove away” Bautista and Navotas Representative Tobias “Toby” Tiangco, interim president of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

“The behavior of Senators Cayetano and Trillanes last October 30, and in previous hearings, proves that they are not ready to hear any explanation that contradicts their conclusion that I am guilty,” Binay wrote.

He said Cayetano and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV were bullying and intimidating people whose testimony before the Senate contradicted their views.

“If these senators were not even admonished in the past eleven hearings, and if my authorized representatives were treated like criminals, I see no assurance that I will be given the chance to speak freely, that my rights will be recognized, or that the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines will be accorded the respect it deserves,” Binay said.

He said he would also submit his affidavit containing his “detailed response to the baseless accusations and lies of our political rivals”.

Antonio Tiu lambasted Blue Ribbon: ‘I’m not guilty of any crime’ Maila Ager @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 12:34 PM | Wednesday, November 5th, 2014


TIU

MANILA, Philippines―An emotional Antonio Tiu held a press conference on Wednesday, lambasting the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee for allegedly subjecting him to “ridicule” and “insults” when he appeared twice in its hearings.

“Inuulit ko po (I repeat), I’m not a dummy. I’m not a money launderer. I’m not guilty of any crime,” Tiu said when he started his press conference in Quezon City, reading from his prepared statement in his laptop.

The businessman has been tagged as the alleged dummy of Vice President Jejomar Binay for the controversial property in Rosario town, Batangas province. Both denied the allegation.

Tiu said he was abroad when his name was dragged into the controversy.

“While abroad, I received several text messages warning me to cooperate if I wanted a free pass. Otherwise, various government agencies will start to run after me. To my mind, these text messages constitute real threats and blackmails,” Tiu said.

“I went to Senate inquiry as a resource person. But to my total dismay, I was accused of being a dummy, a money launderer, a tax evader and a dishonest businessman.”

Tiu’s voice started to crack when he made the following statements: “My patient explanation of my business practices was ridiculed , constantly interrupted and branded as lies. Instead of focusing on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall 2 parking building, I found myself being grilled by the senators on the issues that have nothing to do on the supposed subject matter,” Tiu said.

Then addressing the senators, the businessman asked how he and his Sunchamp Agri-Tourism Park had been dragged into the subcommittee’s investigation on the allegedly overpriced parking building in Makati City.

“Because they can’t find any evidence against me, the senators have unleashed against my companies the full arsenal of the government ― BIR, AMLC, DENR, DAR, NBI and SEC,” he said.

* BIR is Bureau of Internal Revenue, AMLC is Anti-Money Laundering Council, DENR is Department of Environment and Natural Resources DAR is Department of Agrarian Reform, NBI is National Bureau of Investigation while SEC is Securities and Exchange Commission.

“The Senate blue ribbon subcommittee of the three is complainant, prosecutor and judge,” said the businessman, apparently referring to Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Alan Cayetano, who were actively attending the hearings.

“I’m standing by the truth that I’m a buyer of the Rosario property in good faith,” Tiu said.

While he “quietly suffered the insults thrown at me by the honorable senators,” Tiu said he accepted them all but not when Cayetano forced him to disclose his bank accounts, which he said had put him and his family in danger.

“Ang sabi niya, hindi naman daw mapanganib ang gagawin kong ito dahil pwede naman daw akong makipagtawaran sa mga kidnappers kung sakaling kidnappin ako o sino mang miyrmebro ng aking pamilya. Senator Cayetano, tama po ba at makatao na gawin niyong biro ang kidnapping? Tama po ba na sa kagustuhang ipahiya ako ginawa ninyong katatawanan ang isyu ng kidnapping lalo na sa aming miyembro ng Filipino-Chinese community na araw-araw humaharap sa panganib na ito?” Tiu asked.

“Sen. Cayetano ano ang mararamdaman ninyo kung ginawa kong biro ang kidnapping at ang pamilya ninyo ang pinagtungkulan ko? Di ka ba masayang pinagbintangan mo ako ng walang basehan? Pinahiya mo ako ng paulit-ulit sa harapan ng taumbayan at ngayon gusto mo namang ipain ang buhay ko pati pamilya ko sa mga kidnappers?” he said.

Tiu pointed out that kidnapping is a serious and real threat for Chinese-Filipino businessmen like him.

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Tiu blasts Cayetano over ‘kidnap’ joke by Chito A. Chavez November 6, 2014 Share this:


TIU, CAYETANO

Businessman Antonio Tiu yesterday lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano for his insensitive “kidnapping” joke when he tried to force the former to agree to open his bank account for Senate scrutiny recently.

Tiu, who is being accused as dummy of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, added that he is contemplating on filing oral defamation charges against Cayetano.

Visibly trying to control his tears, Tiu said that Cayetano has put that the life of his family and other Filipino-Chinese businessman in danger with that cruel kidnapping joke.

In a press conference in Quezon City, Tiu claimed that Cayetano told him that there is no danger in divulging his bank account in public as he can easily negotiate the payment of the ransom money with the kidnappers in case he or any member of his family are kidnapped.

“Lahat ng ito ay tinanggap ko ng buong pagpapakumbaba. Ngunit ang pinakamasakit sa akin ay ito: Hindi na nakuntento si Sen. Cayetano na maliitin ang pagkatao ko, inilagay pa niya sa panganib ang buhay ko at ng aking pamilya sa kaniyang pagpilit sa akin na isiwalat ang aking pera sa bangko. Ang sabi niya, hindi naman daw mapanganib na gawin ko ito dahil pwede naman daw akong makipagtawaran sa mga kidnappers kung sakaling kidnapin ako o ang miyembro ng aking pamilya (I humbly accepted the insults but Sen. Cayetano not only degraded me but also put the life of my family in danger while trying to force me to open my bank account public. He told me that there is no danger in doing so since I can easily strike a deal with the kidnappers in case I or my family are victimized),” Tiu said.

“Hindi ka pa ba masaya na pinagbintangan mo ako ng walang basehan at ipinahiya mo ako ng paulit-ulit sa harap ng taumbayan? At ngayon gusto mo namang i-pain ang buhay ko at ng pamilya ko sa kidnappers (Are you not yet satisfied that you accused me without basis and ridiculed me in public? And now, you want to throw me and my family to the hands of kidnappers?)” Tiu asked Cayetano.

Tiu said making kidnapping a laughing matter at the expense of achieving political mileage is a sham, stressing that the Filipino-Chinese community, of which he is part of, takes kidnapping seriously and a real threat as he appealed for “respect for his life and his family.”

* Tiu, chairman of Sunchamp Agri-Tourism Park in Rosario, Batangas, which the lawmakers alleged is owned by the Binay family, denounced what he branded as “baseless” and “unfounded” accusations that have hurt not only his family but also the investors and employees who depend on his businesses.

He described the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee as the complainant, prosecutor, and judge rolled into one as he stood firmly to his claim that he is the buyer of the Rosario property.

Tiu noted that the paper work for the transfer of the titles to Sunchamp is still ongoing, stressing that the company, its investors, and partner-farmers will turn a good profit from the agri-tourism revenues in the future.

In the same press conference, Tiu asked Cayetano, Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Aquilino Pimentel III what Suncamp has to do with their inquiries on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.

After the Senate found no direct link of his company to the anomaly, Tiu accused the senators of unleashing the full arsenal of the government, specifically the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Anti-Money Laundering Council (ALMC), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against his companies.

Tiu claimed that he was in Spain on a business trip when the controversy started, saying he was dumbfounded when he heard his name and Sunchamp was dragged into the controversy.

“Instead of staying abroad, I opted to come back to clear my name and to personally answer all unfounded and baseless accusations against my person and businesses. I owed it to my family, investors, and partner-farmers to address the issue head on,” Tiu said.

While in Spain, Tiu said he received several text messages warning him to “cooperate” if he wanted a free pass while cautioning him that various government agencies would run after him and ruin his businesses.

“To my mind, these threats constitute real threats and blackmail,” Tiu noted.

Tiu expressed dismay when he first appeared at the Senate as he was ridiculed, interrupted, and branded as lies his statements regarding the nature and practice of his business ventures.

“Instead of focusing on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II, I found myself being grilled by the senators on issues that I had nothing to do with the purported subject matter, Tiu added. (With a report from Melody M. Aguiba)

FROM THE TRIBUNE

Tiu blasts coordinated bid to cripple his firms; Becoming collateral damage in destructive partisan politics Written by Angie M. Rosales Thursday, 06 November 2014 00:00

Faced with the prospect of his business projects, mostly publicly-listed, becoming collateral damage in destructive partisan politics, particularly the current efforts to demolish presidential frontrunner Vice President Jejomar Binay, businessman Antonio Tiu lashed out at the coordinated efforts to target his companies with “the full strength of government,” for his refusal to “cooperate” with the detractors of Binay.

Tiu told reporters that government agencies are now hot on his trail after he was accused of being a dummy of Binay in the 350-hectare Batangas property which Tiu claims as his own during the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee hearing run by three Binay opponents who are Senators Koko Pimentel, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) yesterday hinted it may take action on the Batangas property after the agency issued a statement that it has no record in its database of Laureano Gregorio Jr. as a landowner of a CARP-covered land (already distributed or in the balance still to be distributed).

DAR said it also has no record of Gregorio being issued a DAR clearance to transfer. “He is also not a farmer beneficiary of CARP. “This does not mean, however, that Mr. Gregorio does not own land in Rosario; it is the Register of Deeds that has the complete records of all lands in Rosario and other places,” the agency noted.

Tiu’s Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp. acquired Gregorio’s rights to the property, a transaction that was disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), which was converted into an agro-tourism venture of Tiu.

Tiu said Sunchamp was leasing the land from several parties, including Agrifortuna Inc., but the contract with Agrifortuna was for less than 10 hectares.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio De los Reyes confirmed that the zoning in that area of Rosario town In Batangas was agricultural but he said the DAR had yet to determine which part of the property was covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The other day, the stock exchange operator also issued a statement saying that it is monitoring developments in the Senate hearings “as it may involve dealings of companies listed at the PSE.”

Tiu is the chairman of Greenergy Holdings Incorporated and AgriNurture Inc, both of which are PSE-listed companies.
“We conduct monitoring for all listed companies to ensure that they adhere to our disclosure rules and that the investing public is properly informed. In the case of Greenergy and AgriNurture, we want to make sure that any narration of Tiu during the Senate hearings that are considered material developments, have actually been disclosed or are properly disclosed to the public,” PSE president and CEO Hans Sicat said.

“Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corporation is not a listed company but any transaction of Sunchamp that may materially affect any listed company will still need to be properly disclosed by the concerned listed company,” Sicat added.

“If there are any illegal acts conducted by officers of listed companies that are proven true, this could have an impact on any application for listings of such company in the context of our suitability rules. If there will be continuous disclosure violations by any company that will be established by the Exchange after the conduct of its own investigations and affording due process, they will also be subjected to penalties as provided by the PSE rules,” Sicat said.

Tiu in addressing media said that the subcommittee of three “is complainant, prosecutor and judge” against him and the issues that is being raised against Binay.

“I am standing by the truth that I am a buyer of the Rosario property in good faith,” Tiu said.

Tiu also revealed even before being summoned at the Senate, he was already “threatened and blackmailed” by unidentified personalities.

* “While abroad, I received several text messages warning me to cooperate, if I wanted a free pass. Otherwise, other government agencies would come after me,” Tiu said.

“You can hit me, but spare my family,” Tiu said amid tears to those threatening him.

He particularly pinpointed Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano for “endangering” his “family– based on the charges being raised against him in the Senate proceedings.

“I quietly suffered the insults thrown at me. I humbly accepted all of these but what I can’t endure is his placing the lives of members of my family at risk in his insistence for me to reveal my bank accounts,” Tiu said.

Cayetano in the last Senate probe insisted that Tiu waive secrecy on his bank accounts to prove that his income is legitimate.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV tried to turn the tables on Tiu as he belied Tiu’s claims of alleged blackmail and security threats possibly coming from their ranks saying that if anyone is out to harm him, it is those whom the businessman is aligned with as they’re the ones out to gain from the issue if he will no longer cooperate in the ongoing Senate inquiry.

“I was not carried away by his theatrics. We will still go after him. We will get to the bottom of this,” the senator said.

Trillanes said he does not feel alluded to, on the claims of Tiu saying he’s not out to inflict harm on the latter, besides the fact that he does not have any direct communications with him or means to send a threatening message through mobile text.

Trillanes: Binay’s sins caused his ‘crucifixion’Leila B. Salaverria @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:29 AM | Thursday, November 6th, 2014


TRILLANES, BINAY

MANILA, Philippines–It’s his own sins against the people that crucified Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said on Wednesday.

Trillanes said that if Binay was suffering from the allegations, it was of his own doing.

“I think he is being crucified by his own sins against the country. The lashes he feels are representative of every crime he has committed against the people,” he said.

On Tuesday, Binay, president of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, told delegates to a jamboree in Marikina City that Boy Scouts should treat him as an ordinary citizen and not as the Vice President who was being crucified on the cross by his political enemies.

Trillanes is one of the three lawmakers actively involved in the subcommittee investigation of the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II. The probe has expanded to alleged kickbacks and the use of dummies to hide Binay’s assets, including a 350-hectare estate in Batangas province.

The allegations on the kickbacks and dummies came from Binay’s erstwhile ally, former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado.

Binay and his spokespersons have criticized the hearings as a farcical exercise and have contended that these are meant to derail his plans to run for President in 2016.

Due process

At Clark Freeport, Levi Baligod, former counsel of the main witness in the pork barrel scandal, said Binay had the right to due process.

Baligod, a lawyer and private complainant in the plunder cases against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, said Senators Aquilino Pimentel III, Alan Peter Cayetano and Trillanes “could not be prosecutor, judge and accuser at the same time.”

The investigation, Baligod said, should be returned to the Senate blue ribbon committee from its subcommittee to give Binay due respect.

“The process needs to be insulated from partisan politics,” said Baligod, former lawyer of pork barrel scam whistle-blower Benhur Luy, during a forum at the Widus Hotel on Wednesday.

Baligod said he had been going around the country because nongovernment organizations have been inviting him to speak on the pork barrel scam.–With a report from Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

MANILA TIMES OPINION

The issue is bigger than Binay November 6, 2014 10:46 pm by FRANCISCO TATAD


FRANCISCO S. TATAD

A distraught reader asks, How can three brash young men, in such a hurry, go berserk in the Senate without being restrained and held to account by the leaders of the Chamber or by the other members?

Why have we not heard from the other senators whose faces we see in all sorts of cheap commercial ads and who are occasionally mentioned as “presidential aspirants” for 2016?

Have we become so numb or impotent against this lawless display of power?

Somewhere in the text, the reader identifies the three brash young men as Senators Antonio Trillanes 4th, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Aquilino Pimentel 3rd. The Binay camp calls them and their allies his “detractors.”

Vice President Binay has refused, correctly in our view, to honor their invitation to appear before a subcommittee of the Senate blue ribbon committee, which is investigating his alleged wrongdoing and ill-gotten wealth when he was still mayor of Makati.

But on Tuesday he met with Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the public affairs chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, reportedly to shed light on the allegations against him. No details have been reported about the meeting.

But one malicious texter has suggested that Binay had gone to the bishop for confession, in an effort to obtain “absolution, without restitution.”

This is clearly foul.

Confession is a private conversation between a priest and a penitent, inside a confessional, without the media watching from a distance, waiting for a statement. What took place was a private meeting between a hierarch of the Church and a public official, while the media waited outside for a possible statement. It was preceded by a press release saying Binay would like to tell the bishop the facts about the allegations coming from his “detractors.”

Binay’s spokesmen were less than precise in referring to his accusers as his “detractors.”

This was not the right word at all; they are attack dogs, pure and simple.

One commits the sin of “detraction” when one reveals to another a third person’s private faults without any valid justification.

Thus when somebody informs the media that her female celebrity-friend cannot let a single day pass without having to have a male companion in bed, she is guilty of detraction.

The information may be true, but its public disclosure does not serve any good at all. So if you simply call your accuser a “detractor,” you question your accuser’s motive in revealing your private fault, but you do not deny the truth of the allegation. This is not the case of Binay. He has denied everything, so he is dealing with false accusers rather than mere “detractors.”

Now, the CBCP has a genuine interest in finding out the truth or falsity of the allegations against the country’s second highest official.

But the CBCP, like the Senate blue ribbon committee, is not the forum, and cannot be the forum to proclaim the Vice President guilty or not guilty of the allegations.

It has to be the courts to do this, and the senators’ duty is to go to court if they honestly believe the VP is guilty of any serious wrongdoing. But by throwing all those bricks against Binay in a forum that cannot usurp the court’s function, they may have simply turned him into an underdog, if not some kind of political martyr.

* Their worse mistake is that they have given the impression that, as far as they are concerned, the 2016 presidential campaign has already officially begun, and that Binay is already an official candidate for President. Their more serious mistake, which is not less than a crime, is that they have given the impression that they are prepared to participate in any presidential election under prevailing conditions, without first recasting the system that has been thoroughly corrupted and debased by the rigging of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) voting machines in 2010 and 2013.

For many thoughtful and patriotic Filipinos, this is the real issue rather than the worthiness or unworthiness of any presidential aspirant at this point. This is what the legal technicians call the prejudicial question.

Four years into the Aquino presidency, we have come to realize that because the PCOS machines were thoroughly corrupted, and it was a private foreign company rather than the Commission on Elections that conducted the elections, we did not have a real and valid presidential election in 2010 nor a real and valid senatorial election in 2013.

Of course this position is debatable.

But it impugns the legitimacy of the national officials “elected” in those elections.

This is why the National Transformation Council insists that before we start talking of the next presidential elections, and who should be running or not running there, we must first overhaul our electoral system under a non-partisan, multisectoral transitional council, which is not identified with any presidential aspirant.

This is where Trillanes, Cayetano and Pimentel could meaningfully intervene, if they will.

Like the NTC, they could insist on a credible electoral process as a conditio sine qua non for the holding of the next elections. Of course, the three senators are committed to destroying Binay.

But they certainly have sent themselves on a fool’s errand if they believe that by doing what they are doing they have moved themselves and their rumored principal, Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas, closer to inheriting Malacañang after B. S. Aquino 3rd steps down.

There’s no logic to this whatsoever.

By their sheer arrogance and abrasiveness alone, they have destroyed themselves much more than they could have possibly destroyed Binay.

If the surveys are to be believed, although I have very serious reservations about them, the three young men are now bleeding (politically) more profusely than Binay.

But whether or not the nation’s thirst and hunger for decency and fair play succeeds in giving Binay a much fairer deal, we have to agree that our most pressing business is to get rid of all our corrupt politicians as the Supreme Court has ordered, and a growing number of citizens insist upon.

We must change the corrupt regime and the dysfunctional political system before 2016.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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