PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

POLITICAL WAR GOES ON: MAYOR JUNJUN BINAY WANTS MORALES, DE LIMA CITED IN CONTEMPT


Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales (left) and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. PCIJ PHOTOS/STOCK  Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. yesterday asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to cite Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in contempt for allegedly defying the court’s order stopping his preventive suspension. In an amended petition, the embattled son of Vice President Jejomar Binay accused Morales and De Lima of colluding with Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Vice Mayor Romulo Peña in preventing the implementation of the 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) he secured from the CA’s Sixth Division. Mayor Binay’s camp alleged that De Lima, Roxas, Morales and Peña acted in unison in defying the Court of Appeals’ restraining order and also showed their ill motives and biases against the Binays. “Worse, their actions insult the integrity of the Court of Appeals. Thus, they should be cited for contempt of court,” his lawyers stressed. READ MORE...

ALSO VP Binay at national IBP convention: Ombudsman, DILG, DoJ defied rule of law
(TRO SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLARIFIED WITH CA — VP)


VP Binay during the 5th national Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) convention at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City Tribune files   The Aquino administration, specifically the Ombudsman, the Department of Justice and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), had defied the rule of law for ignoring the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) on the six-month suspension issued by the Ombudsman on his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, Vice President Jejomar Binay said yesterday. Binay in a speech during the 5th national Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) convention at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City said the rule of law should be upheld and that government agencies should recognize the TRO. He said the right recourse of the agencies should be to file a motion for clarification before the CA on the TRO and not ignore it. The DILG served the suspension order to Mayor Binay by posting it on the door of the Makati City Hall building. After two hours, the CA issued the TRO on the mayor’s suspension. Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima chorused that the TRO  was moot since it was issued after the suspension order was served and Makati City Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña was sworn as acting Mayor. “It was clearer than day, the Ombudsman and the DILG defied the rule of law,” the Vice President said. “All lawyers of note and legal experts have struck a blow for the rule of law by asserting the primacy of the temporary restraining order over the unilateral interpretations of the two executive departments and the Ombudsman,” he said referring to the DoJ and the DILG. Binay said “justice can never prevail nor the stability of the social order preserved” without following the rule of law. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Who is the legal mayor of Makati now?


Acting Mayor Peña  and Mayor Binay  All did not end well, after all, with the issuance by the Court of Appeals of a 60-day temporary restraining order on the suspension of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay by the Ombudsman. It only made the situation in Makati more confusing and disorderly. Why? Because the CA was too slow—for which our courts and aging justices are notorious—in issuing the TRO. It issued the TRO in the early afternoon of March 16. But by then, the Department of Interior and Local Government had served the suspension order and Vice Mayor Kid Peña had been sworn in as acting mayor. Junjun refuses to surrender the mayoralty, naturally, and is holed up in his office in the 21st floor of the new City Hall. He says the TRO stopped the suspension and he remains the mayor of the country’s financial center. He continues to run the affairs of the city government, signing documents and withdrawing funds from banks to pay for City Hall expenses. Acting Mayor Peña holds office in the headquarters of his motorbike group, and has also been signing documents and issuing orders. Which means there will be hell to pay when things are finally ironed out. There will be plenty of documents nullified and City Hall expenses disallowed. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Makati grassroots officials garbed in black back Mayor Binay


The city's barangay leaders also rallied behind Mayor Binay, presenting their own manifesto of support and solidarity to him as "the duly mandated City Mayor of Makati" in a courtesy call at his office. MAKATI CITY - Employees of the city government and barangay leaders of Makati on Friday added their voices to the growing clamor of supporters of Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. "Junjun" Binay for adherence to the rule of law so that normalcy can be restored in the operations and services of City Hall. The city's barangay leaders also rallied behind Mayor Binay, presenting their own manifesto of support and solidarity to him as "the duly mandated City Mayor of Makati" in a courtesy call at his office. "We are calling on the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice and Office of the Ombudsman to respect and honor the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Sixth Division of the Court of Appeals," the manifesto stated. The barangay chiefs also urged the concerned agencies to file any justifiable inquiry with the "proper competent courts."  Meanwhile, thousands of city personnel wearing black shirts gathered at 10am on the City Hall quadrangle to express their sentiments about the mounting tension and continued disruption of their work caused by the stubborn refusal of the DILG to heed the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Court of Appeals to stop the enforcement of a suspension order against Binay. CONTINUES READING...

ALSO: Makati execs reject acting mayor; Palace defends Binay’s suspension
[Impact on economy?
“We all know Makati is the country’s financial center. We have every reason to worry about the negative perception being created in the minds of foreign investors by this situation where the executive department, the DILG secretary no less, for political purposes is impeding services and willfully violating an order of the court” Makati spokesman Salgado said, referring to Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II].


DILG' appointed: Acting Mayor Peña of Makati  
A memorandum signed last Thursday by Makati Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña informing members of the city council and the different departments of the city government that he is now the “acting mayor” was rejected by its recipients.
Malacañang, on the other hand, said the Office of the Ombudsman has made it clear that the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) to stop Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay’s suspension no longer has any effect.  It is now Binay against the ombudsman, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday over radio station dzRB. “It think the ombudsman has made itself very clear and the DILG, as the department tasked by the ombudsman to implement the order, has done it,” she said. Valte said as far as the three institutions are concerned, the TRO “no longer has any effect because the vice mayor has taken his oath” as acting mayor. She refused to comment on Binay’s call to follow the rule of law even as he was the one who challenged the six-month suspension order issued by the ombudsman.  READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay files contempt raps vs Morales, de Lima


JUNJUN   MAKATI CITY - Makati Mayor Junjun Binay has also filed contempt charges against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. The complaint is supplemental to the earlier contempt charges that Binay filed against Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas and other DILG and Philippine National Police officials. Binay filed the charges against Roxas and others over their non-compliance with the Court of Appeals' temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Ombudsman's order to suspend him for six months. "We had to add Ombudsman Morales dun sa contempt. Eh kasi she already gave a statement and she refuses to recognize the ruling of the Court of Appeals," Binay said. Binay also called on Justice Secretary Leila de Lima not to meddle in the standoff between him and the DILG. "Kasi ang hirap dito, wala naman silang lawful standing, wala silang personality pero alam mo nakikisali sa [issue]… ano bang role ng DOJ [Department of Justice] dito?" he said. He explained that the DILG has a legal personality in this case because it was ordered by the Office of the Ombudsman to implement the six-month preventive suspension order. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: ‘Acting’ mayor’s office is small stinking room


VICE MAYOR Romulo “Kid” Peña Jr., holding office at a small room in the old City Hall, shows a memo to city employees saying he’s the acting mayor. RICHARD A. REYES   Makati Vice Mayor Romulo Peña Jr. began holding office in a small room on the second floor of the rundown old Makati municipal building from which he issued his first memorandum as the acting mayor on Friday. The office, measuring about 20 square meters and with some of its rusty windows haphazardly covered with cardboard, was where Peña received guests and did some paper work. A nameplate written on white paper which read “Hon. Romulo Peña Jr. Acting City Mayor” sat on his desk. His staffers worked in the hallway leading to Peña’s office.  Reporters took notice of a strong smell, apparently coming from a nearby toilet.  “The water supply was cut off just today. We are still fixing that,” Peña said.  In the afternoon, Peña had a closed-door meeting with Senior Supt. Carmelo Valmoria, the National Capital Regional Police Office chief; Renato Brion, regional director for Metro Manila of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG); and Senior Supt. Serio Soriano of the Bureau of Fire Protection. “They were here to give some guidance,” Peña said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Business leaders score Makati row; concerns about 'confusion' on implementation of actions


Mayor Binay  WHILE Makati City employees rallied behind beleaguered Mayor Junjun Binay, business leaders have expressed concern at the confusion caused by the government’s defiance of a court order stopping Binay’s preventive suspension pending a preliminary investigation. “They have to resolve this in the soonest time possible,” Management Association of the Philippines president Francisco del Rosario Jr. said in an interview aired over CNN Philippines. Del Rosario said people who are getting licenses, permits, and approvals from city hall, if their projects are delayed and will likely incur additional costs. “The thing that we would hate to see is that the institutions are not able to implement and are not able to smoothly implement whatever actions they want to take. And they are causing disruptions because of it,” said Philippine Chamber of Commerce chairman emeritus Donald Dee in a separate interview aired by the news station. “We will be accused by investors that in the Philippines, everything is inefficient, everything doesn’t work. We don’t know who’s leading, who’s supposed to make decisions. These kinds of things we cannot afford to have,” Dee added  “The business community expects that justice will be served,” Del Rosario said. “So if something wrong is perceived to have happened, for example, corruption, they really expect the justice system to implement the laws and file cases if need be.”  On Friday, Acting City Administrator Vissia Marie Aldon said city councilors, department heads and division chiefs of the city government of Makati have refused to accept a memorandum signed by Vice Mayor Romulo Peña as ‘acting mayor’. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Mayor Junjun Binay wants Morales, De Lima cited in contempt


Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales (left) and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. PCIJ PHOTOS/STOCK

MANILA, MARCH 23, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Edu Punay - Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. yesterday asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to cite Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in contempt for allegedly defying the court’s order stopping his preventive suspension.

In an amended petition, the embattled son of Vice President Jejomar Binay accused Morales and De Lima of colluding with Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Vice Mayor Romulo Peña in preventing the implementation of the 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) he secured from the CA’s Sixth Division.

Mayor Binay’s camp alleged that De Lima, Roxas, Morales and Peña acted in unison in defying the Court of Appeals’ restraining order and also showed their ill motives and biases against the Binays.

“Worse, their actions insult the integrity of the Court of Appeals. Thus, they should be cited for contempt of court,” his lawyers stressed.

Binay has included Morales and De Lima in the contempt petition after they issued identical opinions that the TRO was moot and academic since it was issued three hours after the suspension was served and Peña took his oath as acting mayor.

The two officials – both appointees of President Aquino – said the TRO was “moot and academic” since the act it intended to restrain was the implementation of the six-month suspension order against the mayor, which was carried out by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) three hours before the CA issued the order.

Roxas and Peña used the legal opinion of Morales and De Lima as basis for insisting on the effectivity of the suspension order against Binay.

When sought for reaction, De Lima downplayed the contempt charge.

“Any such charge for indirect contempt in the context of this case will sound hollow considering that there can be no basis for contempt if the TRO was, by its very nature, rendered ineffective and moot and academic due to two supervening events, namely, the service of the suspension order and the oath taking of the acting mayor,” she told reporters in a text message.

“Where is the contumacious act here?” she asked. ..


TRIBUNE

VP Binay on speech at IBP convention: Ombudsman, DILG, DoJ defied rule of law Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 22 March 2015 00:00


VP Binay during the 5th national Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) convention at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City Tribune files 

(TRO SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLARIFIED WITH CA — VP)

The Aquino administration, specifically the Ombudsman, the Department of Justice and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), had defied the rule of law for ignoring the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) on the six-month suspension issued by the Ombudsman on his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, Vice President Jejomar Binay said yesterday.

Binay in a speech during the 5th national Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) convention at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City said the rule of law should be upheld and that government agencies should recognize the TRO.

He said the right recourse of the agencies should be to file a motion for clarification before the CA on the TRO and not ignore it.

The DILG served the suspension order to Mayor Binay by posting it on the door of the Makati City Hall building. After two hours, the CA issued the TRO on the mayor’s suspension.

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima chorused that the TRO

was moot since it was issued after the suspension order was served and Makati City Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña was sworn as acting Mayor.

“It was clearer than day, the Ombudsman and the DILG defied the rule of law,” the Vice President said.

“All lawyers of note and legal experts have struck a blow for the rule of law by asserting the primacy of the temporary restraining order over the unilateral interpretations of the two executive departments and the Ombudsman,” he said referring to the DoJ and the DILG.

Binay said “justice can never prevail nor the stability of the social order preserved” without following the rule of law.

CONTINUE READING...
“The rule of law provides predictability in the outcome of conflicts arising from transactions in commerce and industry. That is why upholding the rule of law is actually a pre-requisite to progress,” Binay said.

The Vice President and the Makati Mayor have been slapped corruption allegations by their political opponents before the Ombudsman over alleged overpricing in the construction of the 11-storey Makati City Hall Building 2.

The Binays, however, repeatedly denied allegations that they amassed unexplained wealth from kickbacks in some projects in Makati, where the Vice President was mayor for two decades before his son succeeded him in 2010.

The Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, however, has been holding regular hearings which the Binay camp called as inquisitions since it involved all allegations that can be dugged by their opponents on the Vice President and his family.

Binay said the issue his son is facing right now somehow affected their family.

“We are affected. We’re just humans” Binay said. “It is saddening that the rule of law is not being followed in all of this,” he added.

Acting Makati City Administrator Vissia Marie Aldon, meanwhile, said city councilors, department heads and division chiefs of the city government of Makati have refused to accept a memorandum signed by Peña as ‘acting mayor’.

In his memorandum dated March 19, 2015, Peña informed the city officials of his assumption of the post and cites its supposed legal bases, including issuances from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Ombudsman, and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Aldon, who was appointed by Mayor Binay last March 16 to replace former City Administrator Eleno Mendoza, Jr., said the different offices and departments of the city government will not heed Peña’s memo, including his directive for all city officials to submit to him for approval all city ordinances, official documents and official actions.

“We recognize Mayor Jun Binay as the chief executive of Makati. We have to respect the decision of the courts. To us city officials, not once did Makati have two mayors. We only have one mayor, and that is Mayor Binay,” Aldon said.

The city official assured constituents and the public that the city government of Makati continues to function normally, with all its departments and offices carrying out their respective tasks.
City information officer and spokesman Joey Salgado said the prevailing concern among city officials including Mayor Binay was the “long-term impact” of the political standoff not only on Makati’s local economy but on the national economy.

“We all know how important Makati is to the Philippine economy, being the country’s financial center. We have every reason to worry about the negative perception being created in the minds of foreign investors by this situation where the executive department, the DILG secretary no less, for political purposes is impeding services and willfully violating an order of the court. What signal does that send to foreign investors?” Salgado said.

Salgado said the city government hoped Roxas and concerned government agencies prolonging the political standoff in Makati because of their continued defiance of the court order would realize that their actions could seriously undermine the economic gains achieved by the Aquino administration. “Allowing the situation to drag on any longer would have an adverse impact on the legacy of President Aquino,” he said.

Salgado also reiterated Mayor Binay’s objection to the DILG letter to Land Bank, the city’s repository bank, notifying bank officials of the mayor’s suspension and his replacement by Peña as ‘acting mayor’.
“The DILG does not have the authority to represent the city government so why is it issuing such notices? That is already going beyond the mandate given to them by the Ombudsman, which is to serve the suspension order,” Salgado said.

He also wondered why it was not Peña himself who wrote the letter to the bank. “If the DILG firmly believes in his authority as the city’s chief executive, why did it not let Peña write and sign the letter himself?” Salgado said.

However, Salgado said the city government remains confident that the banks will respect the temporary restraining order issued by the Court of Appeals in response to Binay’s petition for certiorari.

In a related development, the Court of Appeals on Friday issued a Notice of Resolution rendered by the Sixth Division on the petition for contempt filed by Binay’s lawyers against officials of the DILG, Ombudsman, DOJ, PNP and Peña.

The resolution directs the respondents to file their comments on the petition within an “inextendible period” of three days from receipt of the notice. It also sets the hearings of the petition on March 30 and March 31, 2015 at 3p.m.


INQUIRER

Who is the legal mayor of Makati? Neal H. Cruz @inquirerdotnet 12:13 AM | Friday, March 20th, 2015


Acting Mayor Peña  and Mayor Binay

All did not end well, after all, with the issuance by the Court of Appeals of a 60-day temporary restraining order on the suspension of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay by the Ombudsman. It only made the situation in Makati more confusing and disorderly.

Why? Because the CA was too slow—for which our courts and aging justices are notorious—in issuing the TRO. It issued the TRO in the early afternoon of March 16. But by then, the Department of Interior and Local Government had served the suspension order and Vice Mayor Kid Peña had been sworn in as acting mayor.

Junjun refuses to surrender the mayoralty, naturally, and is holed up in his office in the 21st floor of the new City Hall. He says the TRO stopped the suspension and he remains the mayor of the country’s financial center. He continues to run the affairs of the city government, signing documents and withdrawing funds from banks to pay for City Hall expenses.

Acting Mayor Peña holds office in the headquarters of his motorbike group, and has also been signing documents and issuing orders. Which means there will be hell to pay when things are finally ironed out. There will be plenty of documents nullified and City Hall expenses disallowed.

CONTINUE READING...
Meanwhile, the Binay camp continues to attract protective crowds by providing free food, free movies and other forms of free entertainment. So that even if you do not love the Binays, and even if you are not a resident of Makati, you will be enticed to join the crowds around the new City Hall.

The DILG, on the other hand, continues to have its own crowd, a detachment of policemen surrounding the old City Hall where Acting Mayor Peña transacts business.

Meanwhile, lawyers of the two camps have come out with their own conflicting interpretations of what or who should prevail as a result of the TRO and the swearing in of an acting mayor.

Junjun’s lawyers say the TRO stopped the implementation of the suspension order and that he remains the mayor. On the other hand, lawyers on the side of the DILG (and they include Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, a former associate justice of the Supreme Court) say the TRO came too late.

A TRO preserves the status quo, Secretary De Lima says. And what was the status quo when the TRO was issued? The suspension order had been served and Peña sworn in as the acting mayor.

The Binay camp disagrees: The TRO stopped the suspension and Junjun remains the legitimate mayor of Makati. It has filed charges of contempt of court against the DILG and police officials. And as usual, the CA justices are too slow in issuing a decision on this case.

How long will the circus in Makati go on while the justices take their own sweet time in resolving the issue? The people of Makati and business firms cannot transact business with City Hall because of the confusion. They do not know which mayor they should approach. If they go to the wrong mayor, their documents may eventually be nullified.

City Hall employees also do not know whose orders to follow. If they follow the wrong mayor, they would be a bad shot to the other.

And the banks are in a quandary. Whose signatures on withdrawal checks should they honor? They can lose millions of pesos if they make the wrong decision.

And what about the business establishments that cannot transact business with City Hall because of the confusion? They can lose hundreds of millions of pesos in unrealized income.

And which mayor will pay the salaries of City Hall employees? Of course, both sides will try to make the payments to earn their loyalty.

But what will happen when, later, the mayor from whom they accepted their salaries is declared illegal and they are told to refund the money which they had already spent? What if they accepted their salaries from both mayors and they had spent the money by the time the confusion is clarified?

The justices, both of the CA and the Supreme Court, should shake their aging bones and decide quickly to resolve the controversy before things get worse.

* * *

If you are harassed by the controversies hounding the nation—the Mamasapano massacre and whether P-Noy should be faulted for it, the Bangsamoro Basic Law and what should be done with it, and now the circus in Makati—relax and laugh by watching Willie Nepomuceno’s latest show at the Music Museum tonight starting at 8:30 p.m.

Willie is guaranteed to banish the blues with his impersonations and skits poking fun at the rich and famous. He says Pope Francis will be at his show tonight to bless the audience and impart heaven-sent but down-to-earth words of wisdom. He will even agree to have a selfie with you.

* * *

After 21 days jet-setting through Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and nine other cities in Europe, Aliw awardee Margaux Salcedo will return to the Tap Room of the Manila Hotel on Wednesday, March 25.

Margaux’s dulcet voice, singing style and choice of songs are also guaranteed to chase the blues away. Forget Mamasapano, P-Noy and the Binays by listening to her at the Tap Room.


INTERAKSYON.COM

Makati grassroots officials garbed in black back Mayor Binay By: Clara Masinag, InterAksyon.com March 20, 2015 1:48 PM InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5


The city's barangay leaders also rallied behind Mayor Binay, presenting their own manifesto of support and solidarity to him as "the duly mandated City Mayor of Makati" in a courtesy call at his office.

MAKATI CITY - Employees of the city government and barangay leaders of Makati on Friday added their voices to the growing clamor of supporters of Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. "Junjun" Binay for adherence to the rule of law so that normalcy can be restored in the operations and services of City Hall.

The city's barangay leaders also rallied behind Mayor Binay, presenting their own manifesto of support and solidarity to him as "the duly mandated City Mayor of Makati" in a courtesy call at his office.

"We are calling on the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Justice and Office of the Ombudsman to respect and honor the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Sixth Division of the Court of Appeals," the manifesto stated.

The barangay chiefs also urged the concerned agencies to file any justifiable inquiry with the "proper competent courts."

Meanwhile, thousands of city personnel wearing black shirts gathered at 10am on the City Hall quadrangle to express their sentiments about the mounting tension and continued disruption of their work caused by the stubborn refusal of the DILG to heed the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Court of Appeals to stop the enforcement of a suspension order against Binay.

CONTINUE READING...
Led by their respective administrative officers, employees from various departments and offices of the city government read in unison a written statement declaring their support for Mayor Binay and appealing to concerned agencies to spare them from further anxiety and hardship.

"We appeal to the DILG and the Ombudsman to stop bullying our Mayor and obey the court's orders. Please set aside your personal interests and ambition for the sake of the majority, especially the residents of Makati. May you not remain deaf to the advice of respected lawyers, lawmakers and constitutional experts, and abide by the TRO," the employees stated.

The employees decried the stressful situation they have been subjected to at the workplace for over a week now. "Instead of making us feel safe and secure, which is supposedly the intention of surrounding us with armed police personnel, it has, instead, caused undue anxiety and fear among us," they stated. Given the volatile situation, they said violence could suddenly erupt anytime and they might get hurt.

The city employees also expressed apprehension over the possibility of delays in the release of their salaries, owing to the confusion sown by the DILG in sending a written order to the banks identifying Vice Mayor Kid Peña as the authorized signatory on fund disbursements.

"The DILG has clearly overstepped its bounds, to the detriment of city government employees and our families. Because of its recent actions, we now face the bleak prospect of going hungry and bereft of basic necessities should there be delays in the release of our salaries," they said.

The employees said most of them are ordinary employees who depend on their salaries for their family's daily sustenance. Likewise, the disruption in service delivery would surely affect a majority of the city workforce who are Makati residents themselves, they said.

"We dread the impending loss of access to valuable services of the city government, especially on health care and education, which have given much relief to our families," they said.

They also cited the growing anxiety marring the excitement of parents whose children are about to graduate this month from various levels in the city's public school system.

"We are aware that, unless the issue is settled peaceably and lawfully, there is no guarantee that we will continue to enjoy all the great benefits and services provided by the present city administration, such as quality education for our children. We hope our children will not be deprived of the opportunity to realize their dreams and have a bright future," they said.

The city employees concluded their statement by reiterating their unwavering trust and support for the leadership of Mayor Binay.

"He was elected by the people of Makati as our Mayor, and he was the one given the mandate to lead and manage the city, carrying on the legacy of good governance built by his father, former Makati Mayor and now Vice President Jojo Binay," they concluded.

Previously, on Thursday, senior citizens composed of officers of the Federation of Barangay Councils of Makati Senior Citizens (FBCMSC), Inc. paid a courtesy call on Mayor Binay and personally handed him a Resolution expressing their full support for him and other city officials who were included in the suspension order of the Ombudsman.

Two big transport groups, United Transport Federation of Makati (UTFM) composed of 42 associations of jeepney operators and drivers, and AB-MATRIFED (Organization of Tricycle Associations in Makati City) with 644 associations, also formally declared their support for Mayor Binay and his administration on Thursday.


PHILSTAR

Makati execs reject acting mayor; Palace defends Binay’s suspension By Mike Frialde and Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 22, 2015 - 12:00am

 

DILG appointed: Acting Mayor Peña of Makati

MANILA, Philippines - A memorandum signed last Thursday by Makati Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña informing members of the city council and the different departments of the city government that he is now the “acting mayor” was rejected by its recipients.

Malacañang, on the other hand, said the Office of the Ombudsman has made it clear that the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) to stop Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay’s suspension no longer has any effect.

It is now Binay against the ombudsman, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday over radio station dzRB.

“It think the ombudsman has made itself very clear and the DILG, as the department tasked by the ombudsman to implement the order, has done it,” she said.

Valte said as far as the three institutions are concerned, the TRO “no longer has any effect because the vice mayor has taken his oath” as acting mayor.

She refused to comment on Binay’s call to follow the rule of law even as he was the one who challenged the six-month suspension order issued by the ombudsman.

READ MORE...
The CA issued the TRO in response to Binay’s petition for review of the charges of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the service filed against him and 22 other former and current city government officials in connection with the allegedly overpriced P2.8-billion city hall parking building.

Only one mayor

Acting city administrator Vissia Marie Aldon said yesterday the city councilors, department heads and division chiefs of the city government of Makati have refused to accept Peña’s memorandum.

In his memorandum dated March 19, Peña informed city officials he assumed the post of acting mayor and cited the move’s legal bases, including issuances from the DOJ, the ombudsman, and the DILG.

Aldon, who was appointed by Binay on March 16 to replace Eleno Mendoza Jr., said the different offices and departments of the city government will not heed Peña’s memo, including his directive for all city officials to submit to him for approval all city ordinances, official documents and official actions.

“We recognize… Binay as the chief executive of Makati. We have to respect the decision of the courts. To us city officials, not once did Makati have two mayors. We only have one mayor, and that is Mayor Binay,” Aldon said.

Aldon has assured Makati City residents and the public that the city government continues to function normally, with all its departments and offices carrying out their respective tasks.

Impact on economy?

Meanwhile, Makati City spokesman Joey Salgado yesterday said the ongoing standoff between Peña and Binay is causing “long-term impact” not only on Makati’s local economy but on the national economy as well.

“We all know how important Makati is to the Philippine economy, being the country’s financial center. We have every reason to worry about the negative perception being created in the minds of foreign investors by this situation where the executive department, the DILG secretary no less, for political purposes is impeding services and willfully violating an order of the court. What signal does that send to foreign investors?” Salgado said, referring to Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

He also reiterated Binay’s objection to the DILG’s letter to the Land Bank of the Philippines notifying bank officials of the mayor’s six-month suspension and his replacement by Peña as acting mayor.

Salgado said the DILG went “beyond the mandate” given to it by the ombudsman, which is to serve the suspension order, by issuing the letter.

He said the city government remains confident that the bank will respect the TRO.

DOJ defends opinion

On the other hand, DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima denied insinuations that the legal opinion she issued on the TRO was unconstitutional.

“How can the act of rendering an opinion be unconstitutional? It does not purport to adjudicate or bind any one. It is an opinion. It is advisory in nature,” she said in a speech before the district conference of the Rotary International District 3800 on Friday.

She said her legal opinion does not violate the separation of powers when the request was made by the DILG “on what recent developments mean for them when it comes to the leadership of a local government unit.”

She also defended Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, a former associate justice of the Supreme Court, whose suspension order against Binay was supposed to have taken effect on March 16, ahead of the TRO.

“Let the Office of the Ombudsman do its job. It is difficult enough to hold powerful people accountable, let us not make it more difficult by allowing court processes to be used to derail its investigations,” De Lima said.

She said courts are not supposed to interfere unless the ombudsman acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion.

De Lima cited a provision in Republic Act 6770, the Ombudsman Act of 1989, which expressly prohibits the issuance of injunctions, such as a TRO, by any court, that would delay an investigation being conducted, unless the subject matter of the investigation is apparently outside the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Notice of suspension not served

The camp of the mayor’s father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, believes the DILG did not properly serve the suspension notice.

Lawyer Rico Quicho, the elder Binay’s spokesperson for political affairs, said in a radio interview with STAR columnist Jarius Bondoc yesterday that the DILG was not able to comply with the rules on how to serve a notice.

“Based on our rules of court, there are two ways to serve the notice,” he said in Filipino. “First is through personal service… If that is not possible, then there is the substitute service, which is through registered mail.”

But according to Quicho, the DILG simply posted the notice of suspension against the mayor and swore in Peña as acting mayor.

“That is not valid,” he said. – With Janvic Mateo


ABS-CBN

Binay files contempt raps vs Morales, de Lima By Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News Posted at 03/19/2015 4:17 PM

MAKATI CITY - Makati Mayor Junjun Binay has also filed contempt charges against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

The complaint is supplemental to the earlier contempt charges that Binay filed against Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas and other DILG and Philippine National Police officials.

Binay filed the charges against Roxas and others over their non-compliance with the Court of Appeals' temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Ombudsman's order to suspend him for six months.

"We had to add Ombudsman Morales dun sa contempt. Eh kasi she already gave a statement and she refuses to recognize the ruling of the Court of Appeals," Binay said.

Binay also called on Justice Secretary Leila de Lima not to meddle in the standoff between him and the DILG.

"Kasi ang hirap dito, wala naman silang lawful standing, wala silang personality pero alam mo nakikisali sa [issue]… ano bang role ng DOJ [Department of Justice] dito?" he said.

He explained that the DILG has a legal personality in this case because it was ordered by the Office of the Ombudsman to implement the six-month preventive suspension order.

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Binay, however, said the DOJ need not interpret the TRO of the CA because de Lima is not an interpreter of the law.

"Biglang sasama pa natin ang DOJ, eh wala naman sila dun sa naging issues dito. And how can you ask Secretary of Justice to explain a ruling done by the Court? It should be the Court, not Secretary De Lima," the mayor said.

Binay commended the Palace for issuing the statement that the rule or law should be followed in the Makati standoff situation.

The Subido, Pagente, Certeza, Mendoza, and Binay Law Office said Morales, De Lima, Roxas, Makati Vice Mayor Romulo Peña, were "acting in unison in defying the CA's restraining order, [showing] their ill motives and bias against the Binays."

"Worse, their actions insult the integrity and competence of the CA. Thus, they should be cited for contempt of court."

Peña was sworn in as Makati's acting mayor on Monday, about an hour after the DILG posted the suspension order on Binay on the wall of the Makati City Hall.

A TRO was later released by the CA on the suspension order, but the DILG, Department of Justice, and the Office of the Ombudsman contested its effectivity.

The two departments and the anti-graft body insist that there was nothing to restrain as the suspension order was already served and Peña was already sworn in as acting mayor.

The DILG argued that the court should have issued a status quo ante order (SQAO) instead of a TRO because the suspension order was already served.

On Thursday morning, senior citizens of Makati paid a visit to Binay to show their support and recognition to Binay as their city's leader.

He also appealed to Peña to stop performing duties as acting mayor, saying the city hall employees were being "held hostage" by his actions.

"Are we saying that the Vice-Mayor now threatens the stopping of the [release of] salaries of employees and make them suffer because he is insisting that he is the Mayor? Eh kawawa naman yung mga tao, 'di makakasweldo dahil sa pagpupumilit niya," he said.

"Let's respect the rule of law."

He also asked Peña to refrain from claiming that he is now the duly designated official who can sign the city official documents.


INQUIRER

‘Acting’ mayor’s office is small stinking room  Niña P. Calleja  @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 2:43 AM | Saturday, March 21st, 2015


VICE MAYOR Romulo “Kid” Peña Jr., holding office at a small room in the old City Hall, shows a memo to city employees saying he’s the acting mayor. RICHARD A. REYES

Makati Vice Mayor Romulo Peña Jr. began holding office in a small room on the second floor of the rundown old Makati municipal building from which he issued his first memorandum as the acting mayor on Friday.

The office, measuring about 20 square meters and with some of its rusty windows haphazardly covered with cardboard, was where Peña received guests and did some paper work.

A nameplate written on white paper which read “Hon. Romulo Peña Jr. Acting City Mayor” sat on his desk. His staffers worked in the hallway leading to Peña’s office.

Reporters took notice of a strong smell, apparently coming from a nearby toilet.

“The water supply was cut off just today. We are still fixing that,” Peña said.

In the afternoon, Peña had a closed-door meeting with Senior Supt. Carmelo Valmoria, the National Capital Regional Police Office chief; Renato Brion, regional director for Metro Manila of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG); and Senior Supt. Serio Soriano of the Bureau of Fire Protection.

“They were here to give some guidance,” Peña said.

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The DILG, which served the Ombudsman’s order suspending Makati Mayor Junjun Binay for six months, insists that Peña is the acting mayor despite the temporary restraining order that Binay obtained from the Court of Appeals (CA) stopping the suspension.

“We are assisting the DILG. We are here to ensure the security in the area,” Valmoria told reporters.

Peña said that he and his staff are taking over the functions of Makati mayor “one day at a time.”

“Always remember that I didn’t want this position. It came to me since I was the vice mayor. I’m sworn to assume the mayoralty post in case it is vacated,” he said.

Peña said he has been going around the city to hear out the people’s sentiments.

Binay, who has refused to cede his office on the 21st floor of the Makati City Hall to Peña, on Friday met barangay captains and councilors who pledged their continued support.

Peña on Friday issued his first memorandum as acting mayor to the heads of the departments and divisions concerning the suspension of Binay.

Attached to the memorandum were the legal opinion of the Department of Justice, the manifestation of the Ombudsman, and the advisory of the DILG addressed to the Department of Finance, Land Bank of the Philippines, Commission on Audit, and Civil Service Commission on the issue of Binay’s suspension.

However, acting city administrator Vissia Marie Aldon said she and the other City Hall officials had not received the memorandum.

“We only recognize one mayor and it is Mayor Jun Binay,” said Aldon, who claimed to be speaking for all the department heads.

Binay’s lawyers said they were studying the filing of usurpation of authority charges against Peña.

“If he signs it as acting mayor it will be illegal. It will be in violation of the court order,” said lawyer Patricia Alvarez.

“If the vice mayor does not comply or if the persons enjoined under the CA resolution do not comply with that order, then they will be liable for contempt,” she said.

Alvarez said the Binay camp was still gathering documents showing acts of the vice mayor constituting usurpation of authority, which they will verify and consider in deciding to file charges against Peña.


MANILA STANDARD

Business leaders score Makati row By MST News | Mar. 22, 2015 at 12:01am


Mayor Binay

WHILE Makati City employees rallied behind beleaguered Mayor Junjun Binay, business leaders have expressed concern at the confusion caused by the government’s defiance of a court order stopping Binay’s preventive suspension pending a preliminary investigation.

“They have to resolve this in the soonest time possible,” Management Association of the Philippines president Francisco del Rosario Jr. said in an interview aired over CNN Philippines.

Del Rosario said people who are getting licenses, permits, and approvals from city hall, if their projects are delayed and will likely incur additional costs.

“The thing that we would hate to see is that the institutions are not able to implement and are not able to smoothly implement whatever actions they want to take. And they are causing disruptions because of it,” said Philippine Chamber of Commerce chairman emeritus Donald Dee in a separate interview aired by the news station.

“We will be accused by investors that in the Philippines, everything is inefficient, everything doesn’t work. We don’t know who’s leading, who’s supposed to make decisions. These kinds of things we cannot afford to have,” Dee added

“The business community expects that justice will be served,” Del Rosario said. “So if something wrong is perceived to have happened, for example, corruption, they really expect the justice system to implement the laws and file cases if need be.”

On Friday, Acting City Administrator Vissia Marie Aldon said city councilors, department heads and division chiefs of the city government of Makati have refused to accept a memorandum signed by Vice Mayor Romulo Peña as ‘acting mayor’.

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In his memorandum, dated March 19, 2015, Peña informed city officials of his assumption of the post and cites its supposed legal bases, including issuances from the Department of Justice, Office of the Ombudsman and Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Aldon, who was appointed by Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay last March 16 to replace former City Administrator Eleno Mendoza, Jr., said the different offices and departments of the city government will not heed Peña’s memo, including his directive for all city officials to submit to him for approval all city ordinances, official documents and official actions.

“We recognize Mayor Jun Binay as the chief executive of Makati. We have to respect the decision of the courts. To us city officials, not once did Makati have two mayors. We only one mayor, and that is Mayor Binay,” Aldon said.

The city official assured constituents and the public that the city government of Makati continues to function normally, with all its departments and offices carrying out their respective tasks.

City information officer and spokesperson Joey Salgado said the prevailing concern among city officials including Binay was the “long-term impact” of the political standoff not only on Makati’s local economy but on the national economy.

“We all know how important Makati is to the Philippine economy, being the country’s financial center. We have every reason to worry about the negative perception being created in the minds of foreign investors by this situation where the executive department, the DILG secretary no less, for political purposes is impeding services and willfully violating an order of the court. What signal does that send to foreign investors?” Salgado said.

Salgado said the city government hoped Roxas and concerned government agencies prolonging the political standoff in Makati because of their continued defiance of the court order would realize that their actions could seriously undermine the economic gains achieved by the Aquino administration.

“Allowing the situation to drag on any longer would have an adverse impact on the legacy of President Aquino,” he said.

Salgado also reiterated Binay’s objection to the DILG letter to Land Bank, the city’s repository bank, notifying bank officials of the mayor’s suspension and his replacement by Peña as acting mayor.

“The DILG does not have the authority to represent the city government so why is it issuing such notices? That is already going beyond the mandate given to them by the Ombudsman, which is to serve the suspension order,” Salgado said.

He also wondered why it was not Peña himself who wrote the letter to the bank. “If the DILG firmly believes in his authority as the city’s chief executive, why did it not let Peña write and sign the letter himself?” Salgado said.

However, Salgado said the city government remains confident that the banks will respect the temporary restraining order issued by the Court of Appeals in response to Binay’s petition for certiorari.

In a related development, the Court of Appeals on Friday issued a Notice of Resolution rendered by the Sixth Division on the petititon for contempt filed by Binay’s lawyers against officials of the DILG, Ombudsman, DOJ, PNP and Peña.

The resolution directs the respondents to file their comments on the petition within an inextendible period of three days from receipt of the notice. It also sets the hearings of the petition on March 30 and March 31, 2015 at 3pm.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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