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BINAY SAYS DIRTY POLITICS BEHIND RAPS


Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER file photo  Vice President Jejomar Binay sees “dirty politics” behind the move of the Office of the Ombudsman to open an investigation of allegations that he and his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, were involved in the overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.  But Binay said he and his son were ready to face the music.   “We said from the very start that we are ready to face it and explain what really happened in the proper forum. So, now here is the Ombudsman,” Binay said in a media interview on Saturday after he attended a conference of Seventh-Day Adventists at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City. READ MORE...

ALSO: Is Binay the most corrupt or the most efficient?


THE past few months have seen news headlines in the Philippines, rerun in FilAm media across the US, screaming about the corruption and unexplained wealth of Vice-President Jejomar Binay. Binay, who has continued to enjoy a wide lead over other “presidentiables” like Mar Roxas, Grace Poe, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Alan Peter Cayetano, has dismissed these charges as baseless and rehashed accusations concocted by his political rivals during his long tenure as mayor of Makati. Binay’s problem is that, as the only publically declared aspirant for the presidency in the 2016 elections, and as the consistent leader in all the public opinion polls, he is the logical target for attacks, fair or foul. What exacerbates the problem is that, once Binay’s enemies have released their accusations to the media, the impressionable public has tended to take everything as true. Worse yet, the charges have been cloaked with the protective mantle of a Senate hearing, conducted by two senators who have admitted their self-serving plan to run for president, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes. Binay’s saving grace, in a demented sort of way, is that the Filipino people, in general, have a dim view of politicians, including the so-called paragon of honesty, Noynoy Aquino. As far as they are concerned, everyone in government is corrupt. If Aquino has not personally enriched himself, he is still regarded as corrupt for allowing corruption to happen under his watch. Mar Roxas, who has claimed moral ascendancy has been using billions of government funds to shore up his desperate attempt to become president. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO Tulfo's target: Powerful and shameless Binays of Makati


VP BINAY, MAYOR JUNJUN Interior Secretary Mar Roxas should not bite the bait waiting for him at Makati City Hall in implementing an order from the Office of the Ombudsman preventively suspending Mayor Junjun Binay from holding office in connection with alleged irregularities in the construction of the City Hall Building II.  My sources at Makati City Hall say the camp of Vice President Jojo Binay, father of the current mayor and himself former mayor, has engaged some persons—including women and children—who would deliberately hurt themselves in the ensuing scuffle between the police and citizens barricading City Hall for control of the building.  The “hakot” (trucked and paid) crowd would provoke the police who have been tasked to implement the order into drawing them to a “war,” my sources said.  The police would be made to act in a violent manner against the “hapless” citizens, according to my sources.  Vice President Jojo reportedly learned the tactic as a street parliamentarian during the martial law Marcos era when some rally participants would engage the police in a fight for media mileage. READ MORE...

ALSO By Harry Roque: VP Binay should succeed


Now that the clamor for P Noy to resign because of the Mamasapano fiasco has found steam, the question asked by many is: who should succeed him? Unfortunately, while the Constitution is very clear that he should be succeeded by Vice-President Jejomar Binay, many muddle the issue by insisting on the unconstitutional option that a council of sorts should succeed.
I add my voice to the many that have warned against an unconstitutional succession. The people, and that includes me, voted for Noy-Bi in the last elections cognizant that should P Noy be unable to serve his full term of office for any reason, then he should be succeeded by VP Binay. While I do not pretend to speak for the millions that installed this Noy-Bi leadership, it was certainly my intention that should the son of democracy scion be unable to discharge the functions of his office- and his incompetence in dealing with the Mamasapano incident and its aftermath have made this very clear- then Binay should succeed. Other than that his succession is etched in the Constitution, why should Binay succeed? CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Trillanes feels vindicated as Binays face graft raps


Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS 
MANILA, Philippines–The Ombudsman’s preliminary investigation of alleged anomalies in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II shows that the issues raised against the P1.2 billion project were not purely products of politicking as the Binay camp had alleged, according to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
Trillanes said the development indicates that those making the allegations of irregularities have been able to provide evidence that warrant further action. “It disproves their assertion early on that this is purely political. It’s proven that that’s not the case,” Trillanes said Saturday. Trillanes had initiated the probe of the building project in the Senate. The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee also delved into other controversies involving Vice President Jejomar Binay. A special panel of Ombudsman investigators earlier filed a graft and malversation complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against the Vice President, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay and 22 other Makati government officials for the alleged irregularities in the building project. READ MORE...

ALSO SUSPENDED FOR 6 MONTHS: Junjun Binay refuses to step down, blames Mar for suspension


Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA
Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay on Wednesday challenged the order of the Office of the Ombudsman to suspend him for six months over the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2.
Binay said there was “apparent haste” in the issuance of the preventive suspension order, branding it as a “special express suspension.”   “Talagang may special treatment kaming mga Binay. Special Senate hearing, special COA (Commission on Audit) audit, special panel ng Ombudsman, at ngayon, special express na suspension,” Binay said. Binay said he is not surprised by the Ombudsman’s decision to issue the preventive suspension against him, saying that the special panel of investigators includes prosecutors afilliated with former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo and lawyer Nonong Cruz. READ MORE...

ALSO:Junjun Binay refuses to step down, blames Mar for suspension


Binay said there was “apparent haste” in the issuance of the preventive suspension order, branding it as a “special express suspension.” MANILA, Philippines - Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay on Wednesday challenged the order of the Office of the Ombudsman to suspend him for six months over the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2. Binay said there was “apparent haste” in the issuance of the preventive suspension order, branding it as a “special express suspension.”  “Talagang may special treatment kaming mga Binay. Special Senate hearing, special COA (Commission on Audit) audit, special panel ng Ombudsman, at ngayon, special express na suspension,” Binay said. Binay said he is not surprised by the Ombudsman’s decision to issue the preventive suspension against him, saying that the special panel of investigators includes prosecutors afilliated with former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo and lawyer Nonong Cruz. READ MORE...

ALSO: Junjun stands ground, won’t leave city hall


Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin ‘Junjun’ Binay speaks to supporters outside the Makati City Hall in this photo taken last Jan. 26. STAR/Ernie Peñaredondo 
MANILA, Philippines - Expecting to be served the suspension order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman last Wednesday, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay vowed yesterday to stand his ground and not vacate city hall premises even if it would mean resisting a forcible removal. “We’re not leaving. Our stand is – there is no reason for the suspension order,” Binay told reporters gathered in his office on the 21st floor of the Makati City Hall building. Hundreds of the mayor’s friends and supporters gathered outside city hall in a show of solidarity and ostensibly to prevent him from being forcibly removed from office. He said he expects the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) led by Secretary Manuel Roxas II to serve the six-month suspension order issued by the ombudsman. Asked if he expects to be physically carried out of his office, Binay said: “It depends on what Sec. Roxas is planning to do.” The mayor is the only son of Vice President Jejomar Binay. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Binay says dirty politics behind raps


Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, MARCH 16, 2015 (INQUIRER) Christine O. Avendaño @inquirerdotnet - Vice President Jejomar Binay sees “dirty politics” behind the move of the Office of the Ombudsman to open an investigation of allegations that he and his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, were involved in the overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

But Binay said he and his son were ready to face the music.

“We said from the very start that we are ready to face it and explain what really happened in the proper forum. So, now here is the Ombudsman,” Binay said in a media interview on Saturday after he attended a conference of Seventh-Day Adventists at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Last week, the Ombudsman formed a special panel of investigators to look into the complaint of graft and malversation against Binay, his son and 22 Makati government officials and private contractors for alleged irregularities in the public bidding and awards process of the Makati City Hall Building II, which is largely a car park.

The Ombudsman’s move against the Binays came after it conducted its own investigation.

Since last year, a subcommittee of the Senate blue ribbon committee is investigating the car park project and has yet to conclude its probe.

The probe has expanded to other alleged corrupt and questionable deals involving the Vice President when he was Makati mayor.

These included the security and janitorial services at City Hall, the construction of Makati Science High School Building, his ownership of various condo units, his agricultural estate in Batangas and the deal between the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and Alphaland Corp. to develop the BSP’s one-hectare property in Makati. Binay is a longtime president of the BSP.

The Binays have denied wrongdoing attributed to them by their detractors.

Vilification drive

On Saturday, Binay took issue with the press release the Ombudsman issued the day before, saying the office made it appear that he and his son had been charged with graft. He pointed out that the Ombudsman merely created a fact-finding body to investigate the allegations.

The Vice President said the press release was part of the vilification campaign against the Binays.

In a statement, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Sunday slammed the Aquino administration for its “selective justice” in rushing corruption charges against Binay and his son while sitting on the cases of Liberal Party members and allies.

UNA interim president Toby Tiangco said the Ombudsman’s preliminary probe of the Binays for the allegedly overpriced Makati parking building was a “high-level design to neutralize the political opposition before the 2016 elections.”

Tiangco griped about the “special” treatment the Vice President was getting from the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, a Commission on Audit team and the Ombudsman investigating panel.

“The word ‘special’ does not mean it is searching for the truth but it means a special mission to convict at all cost,” he said.

Diverting attention

Asked whether the announcement that the Ombudsman was conducting a preliminary investigation was meant to divert public attention from the Jan. 25 Mamasapano debacle, the Vice President said, “That’s true.”

Various groups have called on President Aquino to step down, saying he must be held to account for the Mamasapano debacle.

Binay noted that while the nation was still grappling with the police operations targeting two terrorists that ended with the death of 44 police commandos, the Senate resumed the inquiry into the corruption allegations against him. “Now, the Ombudsman is doing an investigation,” he said.

Binay reiterated that he was a target of dirty politics because he had announced that he would run for President in 2016.–
With a report from Gil C. Cabacungan


ASIAN JOURNAL ONLINE (Op-Ed)

Is Binay the most corrupt or the most efficient? ARTICLE By Greg Macabenta Published: January 3, 2015 | No Comments

THE past few months have seen news headlines in the Philippines, rerun in FilAm media across the US, screaming about the corruption and unexplained wealth of Vice-President Jejomar Binay.

Binay, who has continued to enjoy a wide lead over other “presidentiables” like Mar Roxas, Grace Poe, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Alan Peter Cayetano, has dismissed these charges as baseless and rehashed accusations concocted by his political rivals during his long tenure as mayor of Makati.

Binay’s problem is that, as the only publically declared aspirant for the presidency in the 2016 elections, and as the consistent leader in all the public opinion polls, he is the logical target for attacks, fair or foul. What exacerbates the problem is that, once Binay’s enemies have released their accusations to the media, the impressionable public has tended to take everything as true.

Worse yet, the charges have been cloaked with the protective mantle of a Senate hearing, conducted by two senators who have admitted their self-serving plan to run for president, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes. Binay’s saving grace, in a demented sort of way, is that the Filipino people, in general, have a dim view of politicians, including the so-called paragon of honesty, Noynoy Aquino.

As far as they are concerned, everyone in government is corrupt.

If Aquino has not personally enriched himself, he is still regarded as corrupt for allowing corruption to happen under his watch. Mar Roxas, who has claimed moral ascendancy has been using billions of government funds to shore up his desperate attempt to become president.

Cayetano has been charged with plunder.

Trillanes cannot explain how he disposed of P100 million in pork barrel and P100 million in PDAF funds.

Franklin Drilon, who must account for millions in pork barrel and DAP largesse, has been accused of overpricing infrastructure in his home turf in Iloilo. Butch Abad, dubbed the evil genius of DAP, has been giving his lone district of Batanes more money than it logically deserves.

On top of the perception of corruption, the Aquino government has been demonstrably  incompetent, with both Mar Roxas and current DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya as the poster boys.

Perhaps because of these, in survey after survey, Binay continues to be the choice of the masses for president.

Their logic is simple: Since everyone is corrupt, then they would rather vote for someone who cares for them. In this case, Binay, the only presidential aspirant born and raised in poverty, has a decided edge.

Not surprisingly, crusaders for good governance have called the masses “stupid” for making such an “unthinking, illogical preference.”

But if these crusaders, some of whom are personal friends, were to stop and look more closely at the facts, separate the speculative and the innuendoes from the provable and demonstrable, as well as those facts that can stand in a court of law, they may not be too harsh on the “stupid, unthinking masses.”

As an objective journalist, I have endeavored to view the accusations against Binay and against Aquino and his government with a more discerning eye. Morever, having been in media for decades, I am familiar with the tendency of some journalists to twist or color the news or to outright masturbate it for obvious reasons.

I am inclined to believe that many who are cheering the crucifixion of Binay are doing so on the basis of what they have read and heard without really knowing the facts.

In social media and among the civil society stalwarts, it is also the fashionable thing to do.

Yet, so far, none of Binay’s accusers – in spite of being granted virtual immunity by the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee – has come up with evidence that will hold water in a court of law.

This is one obvious reason why Cayetano and Trillanes have not been inclined to let the Ombudsman proceed with the case against Binay.

Of course, the main reason is that the two presidential wannabes would lose the media mileage generated at the Senate hearings.

From an objective perspective, even while the Supreme Court has confirmed the charges of unconstitutionality against the pork barrel and the DAP,  the accusations of corruption that have tainted members of the Aquino administration have yet to be proven.

Similarly, the charges against Binay have to be proven in a court  of  law. Until then, they are all entitled to a presumption of innocence.

On the other hand, there are certain negative aspects of Aquino’s governance that are demonstrable and supported by incontrovertible proof.

For instance, the perilous status of the MRT and the LRT, the scandalous state of the NAIA, the utter incompetence in the handling of post-Yolanda relief and rehabilitation, the inability to develop agriculture and attain rice sufficiency, the worsening state of peace and order, to mention the most obvious.

These are all a black mark on the Aquino government. In contrast, the benefits that the government of Makati has given its residents, throughout the long tenure of Binay and up to the present, are also demonstrable and incontrovertible.

Free elementary and high school education, including books, uniforms, shoes and snacks, subsidized college education in a modern university, including a dualized curriculum formulated with the business sector to ensure immediate employment for graduates (over 90% are hired); free health care, including medicines and hospitalization; day care services for working mothers; unmatched privileges for senior citizens; and computerized and efficient services at City Hall.

And in a metropolis notorious for anarchy in the streets, Makati has the strictest traffic rules.

United Nations-Habitat ranked Makati’s health care system among the best in the world, and a report of the Policy Center of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) considered Makati second to Japan in the Human Development Index.

In 2006, Jojo Binay was named fourth among the Top Ten World Mayors, in an annual selection of outstanding city executives around the globe, next only to the mayors of Melbourne, Amsterdam and Harrisburg (USA).

And a recent (November 24, 2014) news headline read,  “Makati among top 20 cities with highest ISO certification.” And out of the 20, Makati stood alongside London, Boston, Toronto, Dubai and Rotterdam for the highest level of certification (Platinum), based on the stringent standards of ISO 37120.

Published by the International Organization for Standardization of Geneva, Switzerland, ISO 37120 sets a common set of indicators that measure the performance of the city in terms of services and quality of life.

Said Dr. Patricia McCartney, president and CEO of the World Council on City Data (WCCD), ““It is only through the commitment and leadership of cities like Makati that we can continue building a global network of sustainable, smart, and prosperous cities.”

A dear friend of mine and a relative by affinity, Vicky Garchitorena, has rightly pointed out that the Ayalas are the principal reasons for the emergence of Makati as the financial center of the Philippines.

But what she failed to acknowledge is that it was Jojo Binay who made it possible for the residents of Makati, many of them poor, to share in the benefits of Makati’s wealth.

One anti-Binay critic once told me, “Binay may have given Makati residents a lot of benefits, but he also made tons of money in the process.”

My response was neither an admission nor a denial of his statement. I simply asked: “If only half of the billions in legislative and presidential pork barrel funds had been spent on educational, health care and other benefits for the Filipino people, the way Binay did, don’t you think we would have a more progressive Philippines?”


GREG MACABENTA
(gregmacabenta@hotmail.com) Published in Op-Ed
ASIAN JOURNAL ONLINE


INQUIRER

Ramon Tulfo's target: Powerful and shameless Binays of Makati ON TARGET Ramon Tulfo  @inquirerdotnet  Philippine Daily Inquirer 5:24 AM | Saturday, March 14th, 2015


VP BINAY, MAYOR JUNJUN

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas should not bite the bait waiting for him at Makati City Hall in implementing an order from the Office of the Ombudsman preventively suspending Mayor Junjun Binay from holding office in connection with alleged irregularities in the construction of the City Hall Building II.

My sources at Makati City Hall say the camp of Vice President Jojo Binay, father of the current mayor and himself former mayor, has engaged some persons—including women and children—who would deliberately hurt themselves in the ensuing scuffle between the police and citizens barricading City Hall for control of the building.

The “hakot” (trucked and paid) crowd would provoke the police who have been tasked to implement the order into drawing them to a “war,” my sources said.

The police would be made to act in a violent manner against the “hapless” citizens, according to my sources.

Vice President Jojo reportedly learned the tactic as a street parliamentarian during the martial law Marcos era when some rally participants would engage the police in a fight for media mileage.

The Vice President has warned of a “misencounter” at the Makati City Hall should the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) carry out the suspension order.

The use of the word misencounter, in apparent reference to the gun battle between police commandos and Moro rebels in Mamasapano in Maguindanao on Jan. 25, is already a provocation in itself.

It’s defiance of lawful authority.

The Binays, who are holed up at the mayor’s office, in effect, are saying: “Come and get us.”

If Roxas insists in carrying out the Ombudsman’s suspension order, he will be pictured as an oppressor.

The Binays, on the other hand, will be shown as the oppressed. And it’s easy for the Binays to win public sympathy because they project a “kawawa” (pitiful) look.

To most of the “masa” (masses) who compose the majority of the citizenry, the Binays are being persecuted.

Jojo Binay would then gather political capital which he will easily use against potential rival Roxas in the 2016 presidential election if some in the hakot crowd would get hurt.

***

The Binays have filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) with the Court of Appeals against the suspension order.

Let’s monitor the justices in whose division the application for a TRO has been raffled off: Francisco Acosta, Eduardo Peralta and Jose Reyes.

There is a story going around that some money had changed hands in the past to prevent a suspension order on then Mayor Jojo for a graft case in connection with “ghost” employees at Makati City Hall.

The sources are persons who had allegedly talked to the appellate court justices on behalf of Binay.

The ghost employees case against Jojo Binay has been archived.

***

The Binays are acting as if they own every nook and cranny of Makati City.

The Binays—Vice President Jojo, suspended Mayor Junjun, former Mayor Elenita, Senator Nancy and Congresswoman Abigail—have apparently acquired this entitlement mentality by lording it over the city one after the other for decades.

They don’t care whether people think they are shameless so long as they are in power.


MANILA STANDARD

VP Binay should succeed By Atty. Harry Roque Jr. | Mar. 06, 2015 at 12:01am

Now that the clamor for P Noy to resign because of the Mamasapano fiasco has found steam, the question asked by many is: who should succeed him?

Unfortunately, while the Constitution is very clear that he should be succeeded by Vice-President Jejomar Binay, many muddle the issue by insisting on the unconstitutional option that a council of sorts should succeed.

I add my voice to the many that have warned against an unconstitutional succession. The people, and that includes me, voted for Noy-Bi in the last elections cognizant that should P Noy be unable to serve his full term of office for any reason, then he should be succeeded by VP Binay.

While I do not pretend to speak for the millions that installed this Noy-Bi leadership, it was certainly my intention that should the son of democracy scion be unable to discharge the functions of his office- and his incompetence in dealing with the Mamasapano incident and its aftermath have made this very clear- then Binay should succeed.

Other than that his succession is etched in the Constitution, why should Binay succeed?

Well, the people, by electing him into the Vice-Presidency, said so. And they said so for many reason.

To me, it was because of his proven managerial experience in running Makati for almost three decades and his dedication to the cause of human rights, which he proved as a Mabini lawyer during the dark days of martial law.

Sure, there have been talk of corruption against him, including the many things that his former vice mayor has said against him.

But the cynical truth is that in this country, corruption has become systemic. This is why despite the fact that his accusers have devoted record legislative hours in their witch hunt against him, people have taken the attacks against VP Binay in stride coming, as they were, from polluted sources themselves.

The reality is outside of Ping Lacson who refused to accept his pork barrel (and possibly Joker Arroyo, as well), any senator who received his pork barrel and his DAP are not just presumptively but proven to be corrupt by two Supreme Court decisions invalidating both the PDAF and the DAP as being contrary to the Constitution and as forms of misappropriation of public funds.

Clearly, the botched witch hunt against VP Binay is proof of what our rules of evidence already provides: that evidence to be believed, must not only be believable but must come from believable sources as well.

Certainly, talk of corruption from those with proven unclean hands cannot bring a good man down.

But outside of managerial experience and dedication to the protection and promotion of human rights, VP Binay’s profession as a lawyer now comes in handy.

Again, while the Constitution does not prescribe any minimum qualification for the Presidency other than being a natural born Filipino, we now know, particularly from the failed PNoy administration, that a President, as chief enforcer of the law, must know the law.

Here I cannot help but wonder if a lawyer would have made the same mistake as implementing the DAP or asking a suspended PNP Chief to implement a police operation against a high value target. A lawyer is trained to follow the law.

This is why Butch Abad would have the stigma hence of having breached the constitutional separation of powers when as a lawyer, he should have known what the power of the purse meant.

This is why the Ombudsman has said that former PNP Chief Alan Purisima may have usurped authority when he participated in a police action at a time when he was suspended from office.

A President who is a lawyer would not have made such basic mistakes. But PNoy, a non-lawyer, did; this despite his battery of lawyers including the Secretary of Justice, the Presidential Legal Counsel and the Solicitor General. Binay, by contrast, as a lawyer should know better.

But perhaps, the best reason for VP Binay to take over now is because he has become a seasoned and astute politician.

Again the curse in having what Joker Arroyo described as a “student council” leadership is the lack of savvy to unite conflicting interests towards a common direction beneficial to the country.

I myself have never been a politician and cannot see myself working with the likes of those in the close circle of P Noy. But Binay can and he can do so while working at the same time with the Erap camp, FVR’s camp, GMA’s camp and even the far left.

Perhaps, it is this quality that we now need the most in a leader. One who like Mao, can make “a thousand flowers bloom” and harness them to a common direction: a strong, prosperous, respected Philippines in the 21st century, rather than a pathetic third world country with lackluster and mediocre political leadership, prone to mendicancy.

Yes, I confess: I can’t wait for 2016 to see Binay as president. Lets make him president now.


INQUIRER

Trillanes feels vindicated as Binays face graft raps Leila B. Salaverria @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 5:50 PM | Saturday, March 7th, 2015


Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines–The Ombudsman’s preliminary investigation of alleged anomalies in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II shows that the issues raised against the P1.2 billion project were not purely products of politicking as the Binay camp had alleged, according to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Trillanes said the development indicates that those making the allegations of irregularities have been able to provide evidence that warrant further action.

“It disproves their assertion early on that this is purely political. It’s proven that that’s not the case,” Trillanes said Saturday.

Trillanes had initiated the probe of the building project in the Senate. The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee also delved into other controversies involving Vice President Jejomar Binay.

A special panel of Ombudsman investigators earlier filed a graft and malversation complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against the Vice President, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay and 22 other Makati government officials for the alleged irregularities in the building project.

The Senate had forwarded all its documents on the Makati City Hall Building II project to the Ombudsman, and Trillanes expects it to look at all the aspects of the case.

He also said the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee has already concluded the portion of its inquiry on the Makati City Hall II Building and would focus on other anomalies involving the Vice President in its subsequent hearings.

In the Makati City building project, the subcommittee’s main witness had been former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, erstwhile ally of the Binays.

Mercado had alleged that the Vice President received kickbacks from infrastructure projects in the city when he was its mayor.

Other former Makati officials had also testified that then Mayor Binay ordered the rigging of contracts for the city’s infrastructure projects to favor certain suppliers.

The Ombudsman investigators, in their own complaint, had alleged that procurement and award of the Makati City Hall Building II project to Hilmarc’s Construction Corp. was marred by irregularities.

Falsified documents were supposedly used to show the publication of the notices to bid and the purported participation of two losing bidders. One of these bidders had denied participating in the bidding, while the existence of the other bidder could not be established, the complaint alleged.

The complaint also alleged that the design and architectural services for the building was awarded to MANA Architecture and Interior Design Company without public bidding. The bidding for the building’s five phases was also supposedly conducted without a detailed engineering plan, contrary to procurement laws and regulations.


INQUIRER

Mayor Junjun Binay ordered suspended for six months Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 12:04 PM | Wednesday, March 11th, 2015


Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines–The Office of the Ombudsman has placed under preventive suspension Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay and other officials as they face probe for graft in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati Parking Building.

“OmbudsmanPh preventively suspends Mayor Binay Jr., et al for (six) months, pending investigation of the Makati carpark complaint,” the Ombudsman tweeted Wednesday.

This after the Ombudsman is set to start its preliminary investigation against Vice President Jejomar Binay, his son Mayor Binay and 22 others for malversation, falsification, graft and violation of the procurement law in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Parking Building


PHILSTAR

Junjun Binay refuses to step down, blames Mar for suspension By Mike Frialde (philstar.com) | Updated March 11, 2015 - 5:41pm


Binay said there was “apparent haste” in the issuance of the preventive suspension order, branding it as a “special express suspension.”

MANILA, Philippines - Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay on Wednesday challenged the order of the Office of the Ombudsman to suspend him for six months over the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

Binay said there was “apparent haste” in the issuance of the preventive suspension order, branding it as a “special express suspension.”

“Talagang may special treatment kaming mga Binay. Special Senate hearing, special COA (Commission on Audit) audit, special panel ng Ombudsman, at ngayon, special express na suspension,” Binay said.

Binay said he is not surprised by the Ombudsman’s decision to issue the preventive suspension against him, saying that the special panel of investigators includes prosecutors afilliated with former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo and lawyer Nonong Cruz.

Binay said Marcelo and Cruz are not only the lawyers of Interior and Local Government Secetary Mar Roxas, but are also his alleged “operators.”

“Hindi lang sila mga abugado ni DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. Sila rin ay kilalang mga operator ni Secretary Mar Roxas. Sino ang implementing agency ng aking suspension? Ang DILG na pinamumunuan ni Secretary Roxas,” he said.

Binay said his lawyers have filed a petition for certiorari asking the Court of Appeals to issue a temporary restraining order against the Ombudsman’s suspension order.

Binay also vowed to exhaust all legal remedies and appealed for fair and equal treatment from the concerned government agencies. Binay also expressed hope that the courts will remain fair and impartial even if the Ombudsman has not done so.

Binay said the Court of Appeals must first rule on his petition as he argued that the order of the Ombudsman placing him under preventive suspension is not final and immediately implementable. Binay also said he will not leave his City Hall office until the issue is resolved.

“I will exhaust all available remedies. I will continue discharging my duties as mayor until all legal remedies have been respected. While I belong to the opposition, I am still entitled to my rights like any Filipino citizen,” he said.

For his part, Binay’s lawyer, Claro Certeza said until the Court of Appeals has decided for or against Binay’s petition for a temporary restraining order, Binay remains at his post as Makati City mayor.

“We have filed that petition and among the reliefs we are asking for is the issuance of a temporary restraining order. We believe that until such time that our prayer for a temporary restraining order is decided upon, hindi po nila pwedeng alisin si mayor,” Certeza said.

“Maliwanag po na si mayor is duly elected by hundreds and thousands of Makati residents. Maliwanag po yun. So sana, respetuhin nila ang decision ng Makati electorate at huwag dahil sa sabi-sabi ng kung sino-sino ay tatanggalin lang si mayor,” Certeza added.

Certeza said they will inform the DILG which has yet to serve Binay’s preventive suspension order that there is a pending petition for a restraining order.

“We believe na kailangang igalang nila (DILG) ito. There is no basis for the suspension. May mga requirements before an elected official is suspended. Naninawala po kami na dito sa kasong ito, ay wala po yun,” Certeza added.

Meanwhile Mayor Binay appealed for sobriety among Makati residents as he warned them against the lies and unjust persecution against his father Vice President Jejomar Binay.

“Iisa lang naman ang dahilan ng pagggigipit nila. Para hadlangan ang hangarin ng aking ama na maglilingkod sa inyo bilang president ng ating bansa,” Binay said. ..

Suspended Mayor Binay: 'Hindi kami aalis dito' By Mike Frialde (philstar.com) | Updated March 12, 2015 - 2:41pm


Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay told his supporters on Thursday, Mar. 12, 2015, that he will not leave his post. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Embattled Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay on Thursday said he will stand his ground and will not vacate the city hall office even if the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) serves him the order that places him on a preventive suspension for six months.

The preventive suspension order was issued by the Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday over the charges of alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

“Hindi kami aalis dito. Ang stand nga namin ay there is no reason for the suspension order,” Binay told reporters gathered at his office at the 21st floor of the Makati City hall building.

Asked if he expects to be physically carried out from his office by DILG personnel when they will arrive with the suspension order, Binay said it would all depend on what DILG Secretary Mar Roxas is planning to do.

“Depende kung yun ang plinano ni Secretary Roxas,” he said.

Binay said that even though what is now happening to him is reminiscent of what had happened to his then Makati mayor and now Vice President father, it is business as usual at the city hall.

“Well, wala namang barricade. The offices are functioning except for the fact that thousands now are in the quadrangle,” he said.

In October 2006, the DILG served the suspension order against the elder Binay, then Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, and all members of the Makati City Council following an accusation of 'ghost employees' on the city payroll by former Makati Vice Mayor Roberto Brillante, Binay’s political rival.

Refusing to cooperate with the suspension order, the elder Binay barricaded himself inside the Makati City Hall. After a three-day stand-off, the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order. Before it lapsed, the court issued an injunction order, thereby preventing the Office of the President from enforcing its suspension order until the case was resolved.

Mayor Binay said that although he is not encouraging people to form barricades around the city hall building, it would be for the people to decide on what actions they want to take.

“Tignan natin. Kailangan di nating pakinggan ang sasabihin ng mga tao,” he said.

Binay said he spent his first night sleeping on a sofa inside his office. He was visited by his parents and his sisters. Vice President Binay even spent the night with him.

“Mahirap matulog dun sa sofa. Parang dinaanan na natin to nung 2006. Ganitong ganito ang sitwasyon. My parents and my sisters were all here. Dumating din ang children ko. Dito natulog ang father ko,” he said.

Asked how long he intends to stand his ground and camp at his office, Binay said he will stay for as long as it is needed. He added that he would not leave his office to be occupied by “another member of the Liberal Party.” Binay is referring to Makati Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña, his political rival.

“Hanggat kailangan kaming manatili dito, hindi kami aalis. We have filed a petition for certiorari. Pag umalis kami dito, parang ibinigay na namin to. Ang nakataya dito ay hindi namin hahayaan na because of the suspension order, ang papaupuin dito ay another member of the Liberal Party. Halatang halata na ang ginagawa nila dito,” he said.

Binay again lashed at the Office of the Ombudsman for its apparent haste in issuing the suspension order against him.

“Our request to the DILG is to respect this petition. Bakit kailangang madaliin? Lahat pina-fastrack. Imagine, tong suspension order is just for a period of six months. Bakit kailangan ng preventive suspension. Nakailang hearing na sa Senado, may mga dokumento na hiningi, lahat ng pina subpoeana na dokumento, ibinigay na namin dun,” he said.

Binay said that under the Aguinaldo Doctrine, he should not have been implicated in the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2 citing the “Aguinaldo Doctrine.”

The "Aguinaldo Doctrine" is a repeatedly upheld Supreme Court jurisprudence that moots all administrative cases filed against any public official during his previous term, immediately after the official's reelection. The central argument of the doctrine is that an erring public official has been forgiven by his constituents of his administrative liabilities if they reelect him in office.

“The contract for the architectural design was done during the previous administration. Hindi pa ako mayor nun. Paano ako magiging part of that case? Sa Aguinaldo doctrine, kung may mga administrative issues, dapat tapos na yan. Di dapat tayo isuspend dahil tayo ay na-reelect,” he said.

“We were given 10 days to submit our counter-affidavit. Di pa nga kami nakakapag-file, may suspension order na nakasunod. If there will be a need to file for an extension and hopefully it will be granted, e di dun tayo magsusubmit,” he added.

Should the CA rule against his petition for a temporary restraining order, Binay said his lawyers would still explore other possible legal remedies.

“We will talk with our lawyers and talk to them about the other legal remedies available to us,” he said.

Binay stressed that the Ombudsman’s order to suspend him is part of the larger “Operation Nognog” which aims to block his father’s Malacanang bid next year.

“So again, we stand firm that these are all part of opreration nognog and this is just politically motivated. This is just about the 2016 elections,” he said.

Mayor Binay said his father had advised him to stay strong as they remember what had happened in 2006 when his father was also ordered suspended by the Ombudsman.

“Sinasabi nya na magpakatibay ako dito, magpakatatag ako. Ginugunita namin ang nangyari nung 2006. Second term din nya (Vice President Binay) nung nangyari yun,” he said. ..


PHILSTAR

Junjun stands ground, won’t leave city hall By Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 13, 2015 - 12:00am


Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin ‘Junjun’ Binay speaks to supporters outside the Makati City Hall in this photo taken last Jan. 26. STAR/Ernie Peñaredondo

MANILA, Philippines - Expecting to be served the suspension order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman last Wednesday, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay vowed yesterday to stand his ground and not vacate city hall premises even if it would mean resisting a forcible removal.

“We’re not leaving. Our stand is – there is no reason for the suspension order,” Binay told reporters gathered in his office on the 21st floor of the Makati City Hall building.

Hundreds of the mayor’s friends and supporters gathered outside city hall in a show of solidarity and ostensibly to prevent him from being forcibly removed from office.

He said he expects the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) led by Secretary Manuel Roxas II to serve the six-month suspension order issued by the ombudsman.

Asked if he expects to be physically carried out of his office, Binay said: “It depends on what Sec. Roxas is planning to do.” The mayor is the only son of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The ombudsman ordered Binay suspended for six months over charges of corruption in connection with alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

Binay said the scenario at the city hall grounds yesterday was reminiscent of the October 2006 attempt by Arroyo officials to serve a suspension order on his father who was then the mayor. But he stressed it was business as usual yesterday.

“Well, there is no barricade. The offices are functioning except for the fact that thousands now are in the quadrangle,” he said.

In October 2006, the DILG served a suspension order on the elder Binay, then Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado and all members of the Makati City Council over accusations raised by former Makati vice mayor Roberto Brillante that the city government was maintaining ghost employees.

The elder Binay barricaded himself inside the Makati City Hall, protected by hundreds of supporters. After a three-day standoff, the Court of Appeals (CA) issued a temporary restraining order. Before the TRO lapsed, the court issued an injunction order, preventing the Office of the President from enforcing its suspension order until the case was resolved.

Won’t stop barricade

Mayor Binay said that although he was not encouraging people to form barricades around the city hall building, it would be up to them to decide on how to block a questionable order.

“Let’s see. We also have to listen to what the people want to say,” he said.

Binay said he spent his first night under suspension sleeping on a sofa inside his office. He said his children, parents, as well his sisters paid him a visit while his father spent the night with him.

He claimed “another member of the Liberal Party” was aching to see him vacate his office so he could take over. Binay was referring to Makati Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña, a political rival. He said his leaving the premises is like giving up his post and handing it to a political rival on a silver platter.

Binay also lashed out at the ombudsman for reportedly rushing the issuance of a suspension order. He said his lawyers have filed with the CA a petition for TRO on the suspension order.

“Our request to the DILG is to respect this petition,” he said.

Binay said that under the Aguinaldo Doctrine, he should not have been implicated in the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

Under the doctrine upheld by the Supreme Court, administrative cases filed against an elected official are considered moot after the official’s reelection.

According to the doctrine, an erring public official is considered forgiven by his constituents of his administrative liabilities if he gets reelected.

“The contract for the architectural design was done during the previous administration. I was not yet the mayor then. How could I be part of the case?” he said.

He said his lawyers would explore other legal remedies in the event of a CA denial of his bid for a TRO on the suspension order.

Binay stressed that the ombudsman’s order to suspend him is part of “Operation Nognog” aimed at blocking his father’s presidential bid next year.

“So again, we stand firm that these are all part of Operation Nognog and this is just politically motivated. This is about the 2016 elections,” he said.

VP’s appeal

The elder Binay, for his part, said the DILG should hold off serving the suspension order – at least until after the CA has ruled on his son’s petition for a TRO.

“I hope we will not reach that point. I hope they will respect the rights of Mayor Binay,” Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman for political affairs, said.

The suspension is immediately executory unless blocked by a court-issued TRO.

“I hope they will respect the high court, they should wait for its decision before taking any action,” he said.

Quicho said the mayor would continue his work for the people of Makati while awaiting a CA ruling on his appeal for TRO.

“We will wait for the response of the CA, and while waiting, Mayor Binay will continue to serve his constituents in Makati,” he said.

In filing a 24-page petition for a TRO, Mayor Binay accused the anti-graft office of committing grave abuse of discretion and of violating his rights with its issuance of suspension order.

“Clearly, the ombudsman whimsically and capriciously disregarded and violated the foregoing established laws and jurisprudence,” Binay said. He also called the order “illegal and unfounded.”

“Ombudsman has clearly lumped the petitioner with the other respondents in the case lodged before it, with general accusations in a ‘hit or miss’ fashion, relying on a ‘conspiracy’ among all of them,” he said. – With Edu Punay, Aurea Calica, Helen Flores ..


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