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

BINAY PROBE: TRILLANES ADMITS  ANTI-VP  WITCH HUNT
[Based on reports we got, Atty. Darlene Berberabe (president) of Pag-IBIG Fund and Prof. Tomas Lopez, University of Makati president, were able to explain the issues substantially. But we don’t expect Senator Trillanes, who has already prejudged the issue, to acknowledge the answers,” OVP's Salgado added.]


MAY 12 ---University of Makati president Prof. Tomas Lopez Photo from INTERAKSYON
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV admitted yesterday of being selective in going after only firms with supposed links on Vice President Jejomar Binay, gathering information on them and presenting these in the overextended Senate subcommittee hearing. However, this did not stop the chief anti-Binay senator from claiming that the proceedings, in their 20th edition, were in aid of legislation. Trillanes during yesterday’s hearing said that documents he gathered were on some 30 companies that had transactions with the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig) Fund and which he assumed he can associate with Binay. The apparent biases of Senate probers against Binay and his purported cohorts in questionable deals with the Makati City government and other government agencies were further magnified in the continuing hearing by the blue ribbon subcommittee yesterday.READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay will back out from the 2016 presidential race, assures Trillanes


MAY 14 ---Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO 
Now the cat is out of the bag, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is almost certain that Vice President Jejomar Binay will back out from the presidential race in 2016. “Tapos na ang boksing. Kahit magaling sila magsinungaling, hindi na nila kayang lusutan ito (Game is over. Even if they’re good in lying, they can’t get out of this),” Trillanes said in a text message to reporters on Thursday. “Ngayon, kung umatras sya sa kanyang kandidatura, mas makakapamili ang mga Pilipino kung sino ang karapatdapat mamuno sa ating bansa na walang pangamba na maaring may mahalal muli na isang mandarambong (Now if he’s going to withdraw his candidacy, the Filipino people can choose who is the right leader for the country, without worries that the one who will be elected is a thief),” he said. The senator issued the statement after the media reported the purported report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), which supposedly indicated that a a total of P11 billion had been recorded in the accounts of Binay, his alleged dummies and his son Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. since 2008. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Template of corruption’ bared by Trillanes
[Binay camp calls it 'template of lies'; Nancy Binay calls it 'CJ Corona template']


MAY 12 ---Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Koko Pimentel during the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee hearing. INQUIRER PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA –“Too much of a coincidence.” This was the reaction of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday, pointing out that some people associated with Vice President Jejomar Binay were benefiting either through positions in or obtaining loans from government bodies on his watch. They include: — Three directors of the insurance brokerage firm that allegedly cornered the insurance of Pag-Ibig Fund (Home Development Mutual Fund) who happened to be partners of the Villaraza Angangco law firm that Trillanes had earlier accused of facilitating the bribery of Court of Appeals justices. — Tomas Lopez, president of University of Makati (UMak) and head of the Philippine Healthcare Educators Inc., which manages the nursing college in UMak and a member of the Pag-Ibig board of trustees. Lopez also is a director of Agro Fortuna, which used to own the so-called Hacienda Binay in Rosario, Batangas province. — Former Quezon City Mayor Brigido Simon, Binay’s campaign coordinator during the 2010 elections in 2010. “I wished this was just a coincidence. But citing the pattern of corruption or template of corruption of Binay, I sincerely doubt that,” Trillanes said at the resumption of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee’s expanded inquiry into allegations of corruption against Binay. READ MORE...

ALSO Binay: I don’t have hidden wealth


MAY 12 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA
Vice President Jejomar Binay broke his silence on Thursday, saying he had no “hidden wealth” and that his money came from legitimate sources. “Wala akong 242 accounts. Lima lang ang kasama sa freeze order na may pangalan ko. At sa limang accounts na ito, lahat ng pondo ay legal at hindi tagong yaman. Mali talaga ang AMLC,” Binay said in a statement. (I don’t have 242 accounts. Only five accounts in the freeze order are under my name. The funds in these five accounts are legal and did not come from hidden wealth. The AMLC is wrong.) AMLC is Anti-Money Laundering Council, which reportedly submitted a report to the Court of Appeals indicating that the bank deposits under the Vice President’s name, alleged dummies and his son, Makati Mayor Jun-Jun Binay, have reached P11 billion since 2008. READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay: I don't have 242 bank accounts; Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is part of political demolition job


MAY 14 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay said the the Anti-Money Laundering Council is only making up stories that his family and allies own 242 bank accounts, insurance policies and securities investments. Facebook/Jojo Binay
- Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday stressed that the report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is part of a demolition job against him. The AMLC earlier reported that Binay and his kin have 242 bank accounts and insurance policies and ordered to freeze his assets through the Court of Appeals. Binay denied the allegations, insisting that he only has five accounts from the list of the freeze order under his name. “Hindi lang pala sa Senado may gumagawa ng kwento at manghuhula. Sa Anti-Money Laundering Council din. Malinaw sa paglalabas ng report ng AMLC na handa ang mga kalaban ko na labagin ang batas para lang siraan ako,” Binay said in a statement. READ MORE...

ALSO: Court freezes Binay assets; CA order covers 242 accounts of VP, kin, pals


MAY 13 ---BELEAGUERED BINAY The Court of Appeals has ordered a freeze on some 200 bank accounts and other assets of Vice President Jejomar Binay, shown here during a press conference at the Makati Sports Club in December last year. JOAN BONDOC  The Court of Appeals (CA) has granted a petition by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to freeze the bank accounts of Vice President Jejomar Binay totaling P600 million. The 33-page order issued on May 11 also covered bank accounts of Binay’s son Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr., his wife Elenita and his alleged dummies Gerardo Limlingan, Eduviges Baloloy, Antonio Tiu, Lily Hernandez Crystal, Carmelita Palo Galvan, Francisco Balaguer Baloloy, Bernadette Cezar Portollano, Mitzi Sedillo, Margeurite Lichnock, Melissa Gay Castañeda Limlingan, Victor Limlingan, James Lee Tiu, Pee Feng Lee, Ann Lorraine Buencamino Tiu, Frederick Dueñas Baloloy, Mario Alejo Oreta, Jose Orillaza, Daniel Subido, Man Bun Chong, Joy Mercado and Omni General Services Inc. The order was issued in connection with the investigations being conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman on alleged irregularities in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II, purportedly overpriced at P1.3 billion, and Makati Science High School. A copy of the order was secured by the Inquirer. The ex parte petition for the issuance of a frozen order is granted. A freeze order is hereby issued valid and effective immediately for a period of six months,” said the order by the CA’s First Division. It said Binay’s accounts in banks, insurance and securities companies should be frozen “wherever they may be found.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: VP Binay has only 5 bank accounts—lawyer


MAY 13 ---VP Binay family lawyer Claro Certeza Vice President Jejomar Binay has only five bank accounts under his name, and not 242 accounts as reported in the media, his lawyer said on Wednesday, citing the purported copy of the freeze order allegedly being circulated by Binay’s erstwhile ally, former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado. “It is an outright lie to say or make it appear that Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has 242 accounts as reported in media. Even based on the purported copy of the Freeze Order being circulated by Ernesto Mercado, there are only five accounts that mentioned the name of Vice President Binay,” Binay family lawyer Claro Certeza said in a statement. “It is also apparent from the purported copy of the Freeze Order that the AMLC deliberately misled the Court of Appeals by omitting the fact that Vice President Binay received campaign contributions in the amount of P231 million and incurred expenses in the amount of P218 million through his designated banks accounts which were all duly reported in his Statement of Campaign Contributions and Expenses filed with the Comelec,” he said. AMLC is Anti-Money Laundering Council, which asked the court to freeze Binay’s assets, while Comelec stands for the Commission on Elections. Certeza said the AMLC was also not truthful with the CA “because it deliberately concealed the fact that Vice President Binay and his wife were earning additional income from their respective businesses in addition to the Vice President’s salary.”  READ MORE...

 ALSO Binay camp: LP has copy of AMLC report


MAY 13 ---Binay family’s counsel JV Bautista (center) and Vice President Jejomar Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado (standing, right) are in a huddle before a Senate hearing on the allegedly overpriced Makati parking building II on Jan. 29, 2015, with Rep. Abby Binay, lawyer Claro Certeza and (sitting) lawyer Dodo Sarmiento and former Senators Joker Arroyo and Rene Saguisag. Binay’s camp on Tuesday, May 12, said the Liberal Party had a copy of the report by the Anti-Money Laundering Council on his bank accounts, expressing fears it might use the report to further destroy him. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC
The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday said the Liberal Party (LP) had a copy of the report by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on his bank accounts, expressing fears it might use the report to further destroy him. Binay’s spokesman, Joey Salgado, said key LP leaders had gotten hold of the AMLC report as early as last month. “We can expect the LP and their allies to misrepresent the Vice President’s bank accounts, which are all reflected and reported in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and statement of election expenses,” Salgado said in a statement. Senate President Franklin Drilon, the LP vice chair, said the party had no access to the AMLC report. “It’s the first time I’m hearing it,” Drilon told the Inquirer. “There is absolutely no basis to it.” Salgado could not confirm a report that the Court of Appeals would issue a freeze order on Binay’s bank accounts, saying this was confidential. “Court proceedings of this nature are deemed highly confidential and any party who discloses it is subject to contempt,” he said. “We can expect the LP and their allies to misrepresent the Vice President’s bank accounts, which are all reflected and reported in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and statement of election expenses,” Salgado said in a statement. Senate President Franklin Drilon, the LP vice chair, said the party had no access to the AMLC report. READ MORE...

ALSO: Trillanes blasted over Pag-IBIG grilling


MAY 13 ---TRILLANES AT THE SENATE 
Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Tuesday slammed Senator Antonio Trillanes’ “rude treatment” of Home Development and Mutual (Pag-IBIG) Fund Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President Darlene Marie Berberabe during last Monday’s Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing, saying that his demeanor discourages “good people” from joining government service.
Binay said “honest and hardworking individuals” are discouraged from joining government service because of officials like Trillanes “who use their positions to bully and intimidate people.”  “We should encourage exceptional individuals to work in the government, but instead they are being turned off by the likes of Senator Trillanes who hide behind their parliamentary immunity to bully and harass people for personal gain,” the Vice President said in a statement.  “His conduct is unbecoming of a senator of the republic. His demeanor is becoming more and more offensive with every hearing,” Binay said of Trillanes. The Vice President came to the defense of Berberabe who Trillanes said allowed the state shelter agency to be used as an instrument of corruption and abuse. The Vice President said he recommended Berberabe to President Aquino because of the lady lawyer’s “competence and integrity.”  “When I assumed the post as chairman of the Pag-IBIG Board Fund in 2010, the Globe Asiatique (GA) scam was big news. So from Day 1, I was determined to find a professional from the private sector who could clean up the Fund and institute needed reforms,” he said of Berberabe who is also rumored to be among those he is seriously considering to be his runningmate in next year’s presidential election.  ‘TEMPLATE OF LIES’ READ MORE...

ALSO: Pag-IBIG head felt insulted, disrespected in Senate probe
["When I read my opening statement ang haba-haba ko daw sumagot and then I am cut, I am disrespected, I am called names, I am a rubber stamp," Berberabe said.]


MAY 13 ---Pag-IBIG president Darlene Marie Berberabe has earlier cleared Vice President Jejomar Binay of allegations that he used his position to enter into anomalous acts within the housing firm. Manny Marcelo
- Pag-IBIG President and Chief Executive Officer Darlene Berberabe on Wednesday said Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has no basis for his allegations against the housing firm. In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Berberabe said that she was frustrated by the way she was treated in the Senate. "When I read my opening statement ang haba-haba ko daw sumagot and then I am cut, I am disrespected, I am called names, I am a rubber stamp," Berberabe said. During a Senate hearing last Tuesday, Trillanes claimed that Vice President Jejomar Binay favored four companies in exchange for a share of their profits. Berberabe denied the accusations and reiterated that there was no corruption within the housing firm. The senator accused Berberabe that Binay used her as an instrument of abuse. Trillanes urged the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct a fraud audit on Pag-IBIG but Berberabe insisted that there was no need to do so. The Pag-IBIG chief added that the COA has already sent a team that audited the firm's developmental loans and found that it complies with the government auditing and accounting manual. "The evidence for corruption and the evidence for non-corruption is the same. COA said no reason for fraud audit," Berberabe said. Trillanes regarded the Pag-IBIG anomalies as another "bombshell" against Binay following the issue on the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. READ MORE...

ALSO: Senate exposé scored
[The senate probe did not find concrete evidence that Makati officials who are members of the UMak board in a regular or ex-officio capacity – including Vice President Jejomar C. Binay – received dividends or shares of profits at any given time.].


MAY 6 ---Appeal for fairness. Calauan, Laguna Mayor Buenafrido Berris and Vice Mayor Allan Jun Sanchez ask senators to spare the town the recrimination that will possibly arise from the hearings against Vice President Jejomar Binay. LINO SANTOS
THE camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday described Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s “bombshell’’ at Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee investigation hearing as another dud after officials debunked his claim that city funds were used to subsidize a University of Makati program.
The events at the Senate led Binay’s lawyer JV Bautista to take Senate President Franklin Drilon to task “sleeping and condoning” what is happening in the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee which has already held 19 hearings on Binay’s supposed corruption. Another Binay lawyer Rico Quicho, Binay’s political spokesperson, said Trillanes’ latest bombshell showed that the hearings have clearly evolved a show opera meant to boost Trillanes’ presidential aspirations. “Once again, records belie the malicious claims of Trillanes. The Senate hearings have so far produced nothing but totally unsubstantiated claims against the Vice President,” Quicho said in a statement. Quicho claimed that no Makati City official in the University of Makati’s (UMak) Board of Trustees benefited from the UMak’s Public-Private Partnership program, as alleged by Trillanes. READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay and the P600-million hoax


MAY 14 ---By Atty. Harry Roque, Jr You have to give it to Vice President’s Jejomar Binay’s detractors. Not content with the unprecedented 21 Senate hearings against him, they have succeeded this time in freezing the assets of at least 33 individuals allegedly because they benefitted from the overpriced buildings in Makati. This is a PR coup for the handlers of Mar Roxas who until today, must believe that the best defense is offense. I’m sure, though, that history will prove that politicians who aspire for higher office at the expense of simply destroying the reputation of their competitors, rather than standing on their own merits, will not be rewarded by the people. As the surveys show, those at the forefront of destroying the Vice-President have remained in Dante’s inferno as far as public acceptance is concerned. So how should we react to the freeze of P600-million worth of assets? Well, it should be viewed as yet another political propaganda against the acknowledged presidential front-runner in 2016. Consider: One, the amount of P600 million is insignificant if we consider the number of persons involved. The Inquirer reported that the P600 million constituted the assets of no less than 33 persons. At the average therefore, that amounts to only 18 million pesos per person. That’s no big deal given the declared net worth of our public officials. PNoy himself declared at least P50 million in net worth, while VP Binay himself declared no less than P60 million. If we were to deduct the VP’s declared net worth from the P600 million, that’s only an average of only 16 million per person. Given that some of those in the list include Ten Outstanding Young Men awardee and Xavier Alumnus Antonio Tiu, I’m sure the P600 million in frozen assets is insignificant since Tiu alone should be worth at least P600 million. But the damage has been done. To the unthinking mind, VP Binay could not have amassed P600 million from his 25 years in public office. Ergo, many more ordinary persons may be convinced not to vote for Binay in 2016. But the detractors of Binay are wrong. The people will eventually conclude that the P600 million in frozen assets is just that: frozen. Unless the courts declare that the sum is actually fruits of a predicate crime under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, they enjoy the presumption of being clean money frozen due to political maneuverings. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Trillanes admits anti-VP witch hunt


University of Makati president Prof. Tomas Lopez Photo from INTERAKSYON

MANILA, MAY 18, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Angie M. Rosales Tuesday, 12 May 2015 - Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV admitted yesterday of being selective in going after only firms with supposed links on Vice President Jejomar Binay, gathering information on them and presenting these in the overextended Senate subcommittee hearing.

However, this did not stop the chief anti-Binay senator from claiming that the proceedings, in their 20th edition, were in aid of legislation.

Trillanes during yesterday’s hearing said that documents he gathered were on some 30 companies that had transactions with the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig) Fund and which he assumed he can associate with Binay.

The apparent biases of Senate probers against Binay and his purported cohorts in questionable deals with the Makati City government and other government agencies were further magnified in the continuing hearing by the blue ribbon subcommittee yesterday.
 



READ MORE...
The admission of Trillanes, one of the main accusers of Binay, that is equivalent to a political fishing expedition came after Pag-Ibig Fund president and chief executive officer (CEO) Darlene Marie Berberabe noted her observation on the senator’s latest revelations in the hearing, that at least four that have obtained developmental loans from the government-owned corporation, totaling an estimated P134 million, were apparently “extracted” by him out of the 30 other developers, due to their supposed political, social or personal connections with Binay.

Berberabe herself told the committee chaired by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel that under the chairmanship of Binay and the new management of Pag-Ibig in the last four years, there were at least 30 developers who were awarded or accredited with projects or loans.

C“We are a professional organization,” Berberabe said, in an apparent protestation to the insinuation of Trillanes, as the senator implied that the transaction of Prosperidad Real Development Inc., Major Homes Inc., Bumbaran Development Corp. and Astra Realty Corp. could constitute “behest loans.”

“We found out about the 30 (developers). There was information on some about their connections also to the Vice President but it did not pass my threshold on sufficiency of evidence to present (in the hearing) because they are not known publicly. The connection is going to be just my word so I said forget it, let us not present them,” Trillanes said.

A statement from the camp of the Vice President said continuing the hearings is useless since Trillanes already prejudged Binay.

“The Vice President is monitoring the situation in Northern Luzon, particularly his home province of Isabela. He has directed the Office of the Vice President (OVP) to be ready to provide assistance to those affected by Typhoon Dodong,” Joey Salgado, head of the OVP-media affairs, said.

“Based on reports we got, Atty. Darlene Berberabe (president) of Pag-IBIG Fund and Prof. Tomas Lopez, University of Makati president, were able to explain the issues substantially. But we don’t expect Senator Trillanes, who has already prejudged the issue, to acknowledge the answers,” Salgado added.

Berberabe, in an interview with reporters after the hearing, claimed that the said companies cited by Trillanes constituted merely a fraction of the P1.39 billion total development loans disbursed by Pag-Ibig Fund and “all of them are either fully paid or current compared to the transactions of the Pag-IBIG fund under the Arroyo administration when 70 percent were found to be non-performing loans.


Home Development Mutual Fund (also known as Pag-IBIG Fund) President and CEO Darlene Marie Berberabe

Major Homes, chaired by Mario Oreta and involved some other personalities alleged to be privy to the questionable transaction of Alphaland Corp. with Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), that was granted P20 million loan represents only three percent of the total loans of Pag-Ibig Fund.

Prosperidad Real Development Inc. that listed among its incorporators former Rep. Rodolfo Plaza, whom Trillanes claimed is a known Binay ally, and his wife Shirley Marie Plaza, a consultant in the Office of the Vice President, managed to corner even less at 2.8 percent of the total loan in Pag-Ibig’s loan portfolio.

Bumbaran Development Corp. that has one of its incorporators former Quezon City Mayor Brigido Simon and former Binay campaign coordinator in Mindanao during the 2010 elections, got P14 million while Astra Realty Corp. bagged P60 million.

Under Binay’s stewardship of HDMF, the average developmental loan yearly is at P200 million compared to the last six years or some 80 percent drop in the figures under the Arroyo administration where the accumulated amount was at P1 billion.

But Trillanes would not stop at the issue on development loans as he tried to establish veracity on his claims on the alleged involvement of known lawyer F. Arthur Villaraza in the P50 million ($1.12 million) bribery of Binays to two Court of Appeals (CA) justices. This alleged bribery has been denied by the justices, the law firm and the Binays.

The bribery was alleged to have something to do with the CA’s Sixth Division issuance of temporary restraining order (TRO) on the implementation of the Ombudsman’s suspension order against Makati City Mayor Erwin Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr.

Trillanes aimed his guns at the termination of Pag-Ibig’s contract with 30 insurance companies in favor of one identified as Locktom Philippines Insurance & Reinsurance Brokers Inc. that listed Raoul R. Angangco, Maria Concepcion P. Simundac and Leo Bernard M. Samaco as officers of the company.

Angangco is a senior partner in V&A (Villaraza and Angangco) Law firm where Villaraza is the chair and chief executive officer, Samaco a junior associate and Concepcion a senior associate.

Trillanes claimed that Lockton was supposed to have a monopoly in insurance in Pag-Ibig Fund and claimed that it is with the camp of the Vice President.

“I really wish that it’s a mere coincidence but again citing the pattern of corruption, with a template of corruption of Binay, I sincerely doubt that. To CoA (Commission on Audit), please review the regularity of this transaction with Lockton and if need be, negate or abolish for example that agreement, for us to be assured that this was not pursued to because of private interest,” the senator said.

Berberabe pointed out that prior to Lockton, she mentioned that the company has had transactions with Pag-Ibig even during the time of the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino,
there was a monopoly in the handling of insurance business in HDMF and handled an accumulated P1.3 billion for the last 20 years.

The arrangement was reviewed especially since the contract carried a “perpetual” provision, meaning it did not have a time period and also studied market rates which was later on found to be very high.

With the approval of the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) and advice from the Department of Finance (DoF), Insurance Commission (IC) and several other agencies, the lifting of the monopoly on insurance business was ordered, she said.

“What are the results of these? If that’s P1 million, what used to be P410 a month in contributions for the premium now it is only P230 a month. There used to be no burial benefit. Now there is P20,000 in benefit to the heirs,” she said.

“If we did not remove the monopoly, then we will continue to perpetuate the monopoly. All we wanted to do was to subject it to a good governance of bidding,” Berberabe said, adding that eight firms participated in the bidding.

“We are proud about what we did for the insurance brokerage. If you ask all our developers, they would say this is an achievement, this new management under President Aquino’s administration is proudest of what we did,” she said.

But Trillanes was not easily convinced, claiming that Pag-Ibig merely instituted a “layering” of sort to accommodate the preferred insurance company.


The 'Bully' according to VP Binay

“Under our arrangement, Pag-Ibig fund has the last say in selecting the insurance companies because we also wrote or drafted the terms of reference and every year we would have a say in the list of the insurance companies that the insurance brokerage is going to accredit so that we have the power,” Berberabe said.

“That’s even worse, Atty. Berberabe,” Trillanes commented.

“In all the good things we said it has been worst (if it comes to Trillanes),” she retorted.

The heated exchanges did not end there, as the issue on alleged housing scam involving Globe Asiatique was brought up anew by Trillanes who tried to impress upon the committee that the real property developer did not commit any crime, claiming that Pag-Ibig was merely out to pin down its president, Delfin Lee and deprive him of his liberty.

Berberabe’s complaint against Trillanes was similar to that of another resource person, businessman and opthalmologist Jack Arroyo who had been dubbed as an alleged Binay dummy as he noted the issuance of a subpoena on him that compeled his appearance as against the extension of “invitation” to other resource persons.

Senate probers are now out to serve a show cause order to him after he failed to appear in yesterday’s hearing.


INQUIRER

Binay will back out from the 2016 presidential race, assures Trillanes Maila Ager @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 11:37 AM | Thursday, May 14th, 2015


Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Now the cat is out of the bag, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is almost certain that Vice President Jejomar Binay will back out from the presidential race in 2016.

“Tapos na ang boksing. Kahit magaling sila magsinungaling, hindi na nila kayang lusutan ito (Game is over. Even if they’re good in lying, they can’t get out of this),” Trillanes said in a text message to reporters on Thursday.

“Ngayon, kung umatras sya sa kanyang kandidatura, mas makakapamili ang mga Pilipino kung sino ang karapatdapat mamuno sa ating bansa na walang pangamba na maaring may mahalal muli na isang mandarambong (Now if he’s going to withdraw his candidacy, the Filipino people can choose who is the right leader for the country, without worries that the one who will be elected is a thief),” he said.

The senator issued the statement after the media reported the purported report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), which supposedly indicated that a a total of P11 billion had been recorded in the accounts of Binay, his alleged dummies and his son Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. since 2008.

READ MORE...
The AMLC report was also said to have been used as the basis of the Court of Appeals when it reportedly issued a freeze order on the said bank accounts.

Trillanes, who initiated a Senate investigation on corruption allegations against Binay and his family, was confident that appropriate charges against the Vice President would be filed in August this year.

And even before the AMLC report and the alleged court freeze order on Binay’s bank bank accounts came out in the media, the senator had already been telling reporters that the Vice President would eventually withdraw from the race.

Trillanes said there are other “intervening” events, aside from the AMLC report, that would make the Vice President withdraw from the race.

“The filing of his Ombudsman case the Sandiganbayan and the eventual suspension of Mayor Jun-Jun Binay. Besides, kilala nang umaatras yan sa mga matitinding laban (he’s known to back out of major battles),” said the senator.

Binay and Trillanes were supposed to face in a public debate in November, 2014, but the Vice President later backed out.


INQUIRER

‘Template of corruption’ bared Christine O. Avendaño @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 2:19 AM | Tuesday, May 12th, 2015


Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Koko Pimentel during the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee hearing. INQUIRER PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

MANILA, Philippines–“Too much of a coincidence.”

This was the reaction of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday, pointing out that some people associated with Vice President Jejomar Binay were benefiting either through positions in or obtaining loans from government bodies on his watch.

They include:

— Three directors of the insurance brokerage firm that allegedly cornered the insurance of Pag-Ibig Fund (Home Development Mutual Fund) who happened to be partners of the Villaraza Angangco law firm that Trillanes had earlier accused of facilitating the bribery of Court of Appeals justices.

— Tomas Lopez, president of University of Makati (UMak) and head of the Philippine Healthcare Educators Inc., which manages the nursing college in UMak and a member of the Pag-Ibig board of trustees. Lopez also is a director of Agro Fortuna, which used to own the so-called Hacienda Binay in Rosario, Batangas province.

— Former Quezon City Mayor Brigido Simon, Binay’s campaign coordinator during the 2010 elections in 2010.

“I wished this was just a coincidence. But citing the pattern of corruption or template of corruption of Binay, I sincerely doubt that,” Trillanes said at the resumption of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee’s expanded inquiry into allegations of corruption against Binay.

READ MORE...
Trillanes said that after 20 hearings, he had seen this Binay’s “template of corruption” as former mayor of Makati City.

He said this template involved the use of “corporate layering” and use of dummies to make money, he later told reporters, in summing up the outcome of Monday’s hearings.

To reporters later, he said this was “too much a coincidence.”

Nursing college

The hearing on Monday took up alleged anomalies at Pag-Ibig Fund as well as the joint venture agreement between UMak and Systems Technology Inc. (STI) to run a nursing college of the public university.

Pag-Ibig is chaired by Binay who heads the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council. As for the joint venture agreement, Binay, who was then the mayor of Makati City, forged an agreement between UMak and STI to run the nursing college, which was alleged on Monday to be overpriced.

The first half of the hearing centered on lawyer Renato Bondal’s presentation of his evidence of the alleged overpriced UMak Nursing College as well as the questionable joint venture agreement by UMak and STI through a joint venture corporation—the PHEI—to run the nursing college.

Bondal said the 12th-floor building of UMak Nursing College was overpriced by P579 million considering that it costs P44,531 per square meter when compared to a similar building in Makati City, the Shang Grand Tower, which costs P26,277 per square meter.

Deal forged in 7 days

He said it took only seven days to award the contract to Hilmarc Inc., which he said was the “most favored contractor of the city government.”

“This is just in one week, how were they able to evaluate the bids when the contract estimate is P1.5 to P1.7 billion?” Bondal asked.

Talking about the joint venture, Bondal said that a Makati City ordinance and resolution were issued in 2003 authorizing Binay to allow UMak to enter a joint venture with STI to create a building for a nursing college and to run it.

He said there was no bidding involved here.

Likewise, he questioned whether the city council gave UMak the authority to make this deal and create a joint-venture corporation through PHEI when the public university was just a “department under the Makati City government.”

Bondal said he was drafting a complaint so he could file charges against the people responsible for this questionable joint venture.

Arroyo denies charge

He also asked whether the city government authorized ophthalmologist Dr. Jack Arroyo be granted a 20-percent share of the joint venture between UMak and STI, which had 40-percent shares each.

He said Arroyo, whom he had earlier accused of being a dummy of Binay in the joint venture, should show if the stock and cash dividends were part of his income and whether he paid taxes for them.

Arroyo was a no-show at Monday’s hearing after he was subpoenaed by the subcommittee to attend it.

The subcommittee chair, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, said he would issue a show cause order on Arroyo why the body should not sanction him for his nonappearance on Monday.

In a letter to Pimentel on Monday, Arroyo, a nephew of former Sen. Joker Arroyo, questioned the May 9 subpoena issued by the subcommittee as this “conjures, to a layman, something sinister, even suggesting the commission of a crime.” He denied he was a Binay dummy.

At the hearing, Federico Cuervo, president and chief executive of Cuervo Valuers and Advisory Inc., said the so-called P579-million overprice would be lower because when he and Bondal talked he was not aware the 12th floor was just a roof deck and not a complete floor. He also did not know that four floors of the 12-floor building were parking spaces.

Lopez defends deal


ALPHALAND president Mario Oreta  - Senate Probe Philippine Daily Inquirer 2:28 AM | Friday, January 23rd, 2015 Newsreport: In his letter, Oreta said Mercado had telephoned him last December and informed him of the former vice mayor’s intention of having the Alphaland deal included in the Senate hearings against Binay. “I told you that the Alphaland-Boy Scouts deal was entirely aboveboard and any attempt by you to state or infer otherwise would be vigorously opposed by Alphaland,” Oreta said. “Alphaland categorically, and in the strongest possible terms, denies these baseless and false allegations of Mr. Mercado,” the company said in a statement. “There was no kickback paid to any government official in connection with the Alphaland-Boy Scouts project.” INQUIRER FILE

Lopez defended the joint venture with STI, saying he thought this would enhance partnerships with private firms to help nursing students get job placements after they graduate.


University of Makati president Prof. Tomas Lopez

Trillanes and Pag-Ibig Fund president and chief executive officer Darlene Berberabe had heated exchanges when the senator asked her about loans given to allies of Binay.

Trillanes showed four real estate firms that got development loans from Pag-Ibig and that incorporators were known allies of Binay.

These included Prosperidad Real Estate Development Inc., which got a P40-million loan and whose incorporators include former Rep. Rodolfo Plaza and his wife, Shirley Plaza, who is the president of the firm and a consultant of Binay for security issues; Major Homes Inc., which got P20 million and whose incorporators include Mario Oreta, who happens to be president of Alphaland Corp. and who had been summoned to explain Alphaland’s land deal with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, as well as Gilberto Garcia, the president of Noble Care Management Corp., and Irineo Sioson, acting corporate secretary, treasurer and director of Noblecare; Bumbaran Development Corp., which got P14 million and whose incorporators include Simon; and Astra Realty Corp., which got P60 million and whose chair is Nora Bitong, a former top executive of Jaka Group of Companies, the holding firm of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s family.

Trillanes said Oreta had close links with Binay because it was his firm that bought the Vice President’s property in Tagaytay City.

Trillanes also questioned the fact that Lockton Philippines Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers Inc. was able to get the contract to provide life insurance coverage to housing loan borrowers.

Binay shrugs off charges

Berberabe said the selection of Lockton was done in a deliberative process by the Pag-Ibig board and that it got guidance from the Good Governance Commission, the Department of Finance and the Insurance Commission.

But Trillanes pointed out that there were three directors of Lockton who are partners of Villaraza Angangco law firm whom he had accused of facilitating the bribe for Court of Appeals justices who stopped Junjun Binay’s suspension from office.

These three directors were Raoul Angangco, who is also a stockholder; as well as Maria Concepcion Simundac and Leo Bernard Samaco.

Binay’s spokesman, Joey Salgado, shrugged off Trillanes’ claims. He said Berberabe and Lopez had been able to explain the issues substantially.


INQUIRER

Binay: I don’t have hidden wealth Maila Ager @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 12:12 PM | Thursday, May 14th, 2015


Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Vice President Jejomar Binay broke his silence on Thursday, saying he had no “hidden wealth” and that his money came from legitimate sources.

“Wala akong 242 accounts. Lima lang ang kasama sa freeze order na may pangalan ko. At sa limang accounts na ito, lahat ng pondo ay legal at hindi tagong yaman. Mali talaga ang AMLC,” Binay said in a statement.

(I don’t have 242 accounts. Only five accounts in the freeze order are under my name. The funds in these five accounts are legal and did not come from hidden wealth. The AMLC is wrong.)

AMLC is Anti-Money Laundering Council, which reportedly submitted a report to the Court of Appeals indicating that the bank deposits under the Vice President’s name, alleged dummies and his son, Makati Mayor Jun-Jun Binay, have reached P11 billion since 2008.

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Citing the errors in the AMLC report, the Vice President said that his assets did not only come from his salary as a government official but also from his businesses.

“Sinasabi ng AMLC na ang source of funds ko ay ang sweldo ko lang kaya hindi tugma sa amounts ng mga bank accounts ko. Hindi totoo ‘yan,” he said.

(The AMLC said that the source of my funds only came from my salary, so it did not match the amount of money in my bank accounts. That is false.)

“Kasama sa accounts ko ang mga kinita at naipon ko bago pa ako sumama sa gobyerno. Mayroon din kaming negosyo na ilang dekada na. Nagbabayad din kami ng buwis. Pati ang legal campaign contributions na naka-report sa Comelec sabi ng AMLC ay tagong yaman. Mali talaga ang AMLC,” he added.

(Also included in my accounts were my earnings from transactions before I even entered government work. I’ve also had businesses for decades. I also pay my taxes. Even the legal campaign contributions which I reported to Comelec were tagged by AMLC as hidden wealth. But the AMLC is mistaken.)

Binay said the AMLC report was wrong because it also included accounts that were already closed.

“’Yong mga 237 accounts at transactions ng ibang tao, pinalalabas nila na sa akin. ‘Yan po ay hindi totoo at gawa-gawa lang. Mali talaga ang AMLC,” he said.

(They are making it appear that I own the other 237 accounts and transactions of other people. That is not true and just made up. The AMLC is really mistaken.)

The Vice President said the release of the AMLC report was part of a “conspiracy” to destroy him and derail his presidential bid in 2016.

READ: Binay says dirty politics behind raps

He said that it was also clear that the release of the AMLC report was in violation of the law, saying it was “one-sided” and did not include the explanation of the parties involved.

“Malinaw sa paglalabas ng report ng AMLC na handa ang mga kalaban ko na labagin ang batas para lang siraan ako (It is clear that with the release of the AMLC report that my rivals are open to bending the rules of just to destroy my reputation),” Binay added. IDL


PHILSTAR

Binay: I don't have 242 bank accounts; Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is part of a demolition job against him  By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated May 14, 2015 - 3:46pm


Vice President Jejomar Binay said the the Anti-Money Laundering Council is only making up stories that his family and allies own 242 bank accounts, insurance policies and securities investments. Facebook/Jojo Binay

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday stressed that the report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is part of a demolition job against him.

The AMLC earlier reported that Binay and his kin have 242 bank accounts and insurance policies and ordered to freeze his assets through the Court of Appeals.

Binay denied the allegations, insisting that he only has five accounts from the list of the freeze order under his name.

“Hindi lang pala sa Senado may gumagawa ng kwento at manghuhula. Sa Anti-Money Laundering Council din. Malinaw sa paglalabas ng report ng AMLC na handa ang mga kalaban ko na labagin ang batas para lang siraan ako,” Binay said in a statement.

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However, President Benigno Aquino III denied that the Liberal Party was behind the freezing of Binay's assets.

READ: Aquino denies LP involvement in freeze order on Binay assets |

READ ‘LP using AMLC vs Binay’

The vice president added that publishing the AMLC report was illegal since it was one-sided.

Binay denied the claims of AMLC that his only source of income is his salary and noted that he has savings even before joining the government.

"Kasama sa accounts ko ang mga kinita at naipon ko bago pa ako sumama sa gobyerno. Mayroon din kaming negosyo na ilang dekada na. Nagbabayad din kami ng buwis. Pati ang legal campaign contributions na naka-report sa Comelec sabi ng AMLAC ay tagong yaman. Mali talaga ang AMLC," Binay said.

Senators on Wednesday said that the order to freeze the bank accounts of Binay can be a validation of the numerous corruption against him.


INQUIRER

Court freezes Binay assets; CA order covers 242 accounts of VP, kin, pals Nancy C. Carvajal @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:55 AM | Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

The Court of Appeals (CA) has granted a petition by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to freeze the bank accounts of Vice President Jejomar Binay totaling P600 million.

The 33-page order issued on May 11 also covered bank accounts of Binay’s son Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr., his wife Elenita and his alleged dummies Gerardo Limlingan, Eduviges Baloloy, Antonio Tiu, Lily Hernandez Crystal, Carmelita Palo Galvan, Francisco Balaguer Baloloy, Bernadette Cezar Portollano, Mitzi Sedillo, Margeurite Lichnock, Melissa Gay Castañeda Limlingan, Victor Limlingan, James Lee Tiu, Pee Feng Lee, Ann Lorraine Buencamino Tiu, Frederick Dueñas Baloloy, Mario Alejo Oreta, Jose Orillaza, Daniel Subido, Man Bun Chong, Joy Mercado and Omni General Services Inc.

The order was issued in connection with the investigations being conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman on alleged irregularities in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II, purportedly overpriced at P1.3 billion, and Makati Science High School. A copy of the order was secured by the Inquirer.

“The ex parte petition for the issuance of a frozen order is granted. A freeze order is hereby issued valid and effective immediately for a period of six months,” said the order by the CA’s First Division. It said Binay’s accounts in banks, insurance and securities companies should be frozen “wherever they may be found.”

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The AMLC petition stemmed from complaints filed by Nicolas Enciso VI and Renato Bondal—former barangay (village) captains in Makati—in the Office of the Ombudsman.

Also included in the order was the bank account of whistle-blower Ernesto Mercado, Binay’s former vice mayor.

In all, the court order covers 242 banks, securities and insurance accounts of the respondents. The P600 million covered only accounts under Binay’s name. In all, the transactions conducted by Binay, his family and alleged dummies examined by AMLC totaled P16 billion since 2008.

The court said it agreed with the AMLC that there was “probable cause to believe that the individual and joint bank accounts of investments made by, and insurance policies issued” to Binay, his son and associates were “related to unlawful activities.”

The order was based on the findings of the National Statistics Office, claims by Enciso and Bondal that the parking building was overpriced by more than P1.3 billion, Mercado’s testimony in the Senate on his alleged cash deliveries to Junjun Binay and his father’s allies and purported dummies, and statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) that showed incomes from 2007 to 2013 of the Binays to be “disproportionate to the values, frequency and complexity of their banking transactions.”

The records of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed probable links of entities, their directors and officers to the Vice President and his family, the court said.

Mercado’s testimony was corroborated on material points by the records of the SEC and the financial investigations conducted by the AMLC, the court said.

Limlingan, Baloloy and other persons associated with the Vice President made large and frequent transactions soon after the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee conducted hearings into Binay’s alleged shenanigans. Massive withdrawals of funds and pretermination of investments, among others, were made after the Senate began the hearings.

“Taking into consideration that the advanced state of technology of the electronic banking system allows for the closure of bank accounts or transfer of funds in a matter of seconds, the averment of the AMLC that there is an imminent danger that the funds in the subject bank accounts, investment and insurance policies will be withdrawn, transferred, concealed or otherwise disposed of is well taken,” the court said.

The results of the initial investigation conducted by the AMLC already indicate a pre-termination of investments as well as withdrawals and transfers of large amounts of funds from bank accounts sought to be frozen, it said.

“In the light of the foregoing and the sheer number of monetary instruments involved and the AMLC’s declaration that it still needs to conduct further financial investigation for the possible filing of appropriate legal actions against the respondents, we find the issuance of a freeze order, effective for a period of six months against the aforementioned bank accounts, insurance, policies and investments warranted,” the court said.


INQUIRER

VP Binay has only 5 bank accounts—lawyer Maila Ager @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 2:49 PM | Wednesday, May 13th, 2015


VP Binay family lawyer Claro Certeza

Vice President Jejomar Binay has only five bank accounts under his name, and not 242 accounts as reported in the media, his lawyer said on Wednesday, citing the purported copy of the freeze order allegedly being circulated by Binay’s erstwhile ally, former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado.

“It is an outright lie to say or make it appear that Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has 242 accounts as reported in media. Even based on the purported copy of the Freeze Order being circulated by Ernesto Mercado, there are only five accounts that mentioned the name of Vice President Binay,” Binay family lawyer Claro Certeza said in a statement.

“It is also apparent from the purported copy of the Freeze Order that the AMLC deliberately misled the Court of Appeals by omitting the fact that Vice President Binay received campaign contributions in the amount of P231 million and incurred expenses in the amount of P218 million through his designated banks accounts which were all duly reported in his Statement of Campaign Contributions and Expenses filed with the Comelec,” he said.

AMLC is Anti-Money Laundering Council, which asked the court to freeze Binay’s assets, while Comelec stands for the Commission on Elections.

Certeza said the AMLC was also not truthful with the CA “because it deliberately concealed the fact that Vice President Binay and his wife were earning additional income from their respective businesses in addition to the Vice President’s salary.”

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“All these information were duly reported in the Income Tax Returns of the Vice President that span for almost three decades and on file with the Bureau of Internal Revenue,” he said.

The lawyer issued the statements after the media reported the purported freeze order that the court supposedly issued last Monday, May 11.

Certeza said it was regrettable that the strict confidentiality of a proceeding involving an ex parte petition for a freeze order is being “brazenly violated, saying it would be very easy to take a freeze order out of context “in order to destroy the name and reputation of a person since the order is issued based solely on the representations of AMLC.”

“The respondents are not yet given the opportunity to be heard. It is for this reason that, according to the law and the congressional deliberations, ex parte freeze order proceedings must be strictly confidential, with those violating the confidentiality rule being liable for contempt as well as criminal prosecution,” he said.

“It is clear that the intent of this perception game is not to hold people accountable or to find the truth but to malign the reputation of Vice President Binay, as part of his opponents’ orchestrated campaign for the May 2016 elections,” the lawyer further said.

Binay’s spokesman, Rico Quicho, meanwhile, viewed Mercado’s “malicious leakage” of the court order as another blatant attempt to engage the Vice President in trial by publicity and to deprive him of his right to due process provided by the Constitution.

Quicho said the leak was also an “indirect way” to pressure and preempt the independence of the courts, which would eventually decide on the controversy.

“Moreover, this is again geared to condition the minds of the people by maligning the reputation of the Vice President because his detractors have again failed to produce proof to back up their charges in the Senate and before the Ombudsman,” he said in a separate statement.

“This is plain and simple character assassination by means of peddling lies through media releases that come from polluted source.”

“In the end, the rule of law will prevail over these unjust and irresponsible attacks against the Vice President. The Vice President will squarely address and clearly refute these baseless accusations and would triumph in a fair, independent and impartial trial on the merits before a competent tribunal,” the spokesman added.


INQUIRER

Binay camp: LP has copy of AMLC report Christine O. Avendaño @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:58 AM | Wednesday, May 13th, 2015


Binay family’s counsel JV Bautista (center) and Vice President Jejomar Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado (standing, right) are in a huddle before a Senate hearing on the allegedly overpriced Makati parking building II on Jan. 29, 2015, with Rep. Abby Binay, lawyer Claro Certeza and (sitting) lawyer Dodo Sarmiento and former Senators Joker Arroyo and Rene Saguisag. Binay’s camp on Tuesday, May 12, said the Liberal Party had a copy of the report by the Anti-Money Laundering Council on his bank accounts, expressing fears it might use the report to further destroy him. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday said the Liberal Party (LP) had a copy of the report by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on his bank accounts, expressing fears it might use the report to further destroy him.

Binay’s spokesman, Joey Salgado, said key LP leaders had gotten hold of the AMLC report as early as last month.

“We can expect the LP and their allies to misrepresent the Vice President’s bank accounts, which are all reflected and reported in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and statement of election expenses,” Salgado said in a statement.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, the LP vice chair, said the party had no access to the AMLC report.

“It’s the first time I’m hearing it,” Drilon told the Inquirer. “There is absolutely no basis to it.”

Salgado could not confirm a report that the Court of Appeals would issue a freeze order on Binay’s bank accounts, saying this was confidential.

“Court proceedings of this nature are deemed highly confidential and any party who discloses it is subject to contempt,” he said.

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Salgado said the LP had its “fingerprints all over the AMLC probe.”

“This is apparently part of their game plan,” he said. “The Liberal Party has been obsessed with attacking the Vice President. The LP has been aggressively harnessing government resources and agencies against the Vice President and his family ever since he declared his intention to run for President in 2016. The AMLC is apparently one of these agencies.”

He said he would not be surprised if the report had been leaked to the media by Binay’s opponents.

“This is after all a perception game that they are playing. Their intention is to taint the good name of Vice President Binay,” he said.

“What is unfortunate is that the intent of the AMLC Act has been subverted by politics. The act was signed into law to prevent the use of the Philippines as a haven for laundering money for drugs, terrorism and unlawful acts. Today, it is a tool to harass and taint the reputation of political enemies of the LP,” he said.

Salgado said Binay was ready to face this latest issue. He said the documents would prove the AMLC report was “baseless.”


MANILA BULLETIN

Trillanes blasted over Pag-IBIG grilling by JC Bello Ruiz May 12, 2015


TRILLANES AT THE SENATE

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Tuesday slammed Senator Antonio Trillanes’ “rude treatment” of Home Development and Mutual (Pag-IBIG) Fund Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President Darlene Marie Berberabe during last Monday’s Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing, saying that his demeanor discourages “good people” from joining government service.

Binay said “honest and hardworking individuals” are discouraged from joining government service because of officials like Trillanes “who use their positions to bully and intimidate people.”

“We should encourage exceptional individuals to work in the government, but instead they are being turned off by the likes of Senator Trillanes who hide behind their parliamentary immunity to bully and harass people for personal gain,” the Vice President said in a statement.

“His conduct is unbecoming of a senator of the republic. His demeanor is becoming more and more offensive with every hearing,” Binay said of Trillanes.

The Vice President came to the defense of Berberabe who Trillanes said allowed the state shelter agency to be used as an instrument of corruption and abuse.

The Vice President said he recommended Berberabe to President Aquino because of the lady lawyer’s “competence and integrity.”

“When I assumed the post as chairman of the Pag-IBIG Board Fund in 2010, the Globe Asiatique (GA) scam was big news. So from Day 1, I was determined to find a professional from the private sector who could clean up the Fund and institute needed reforms,” he said of Berberabe who is also rumored to be among those he is seriously considering to be his runningmate in next year’s presidential election.

‘TEMPLATE OF LIES’

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On the other hand, in what is seemingly a response to Trillanes’ accusation that he had “template of corruption” as a mayor of Makati City, Binay noted the senator’s “patented template of lies, insinuations, and half-truths” in the Senate hearings.

“They invent lies and and make insinuations about a particular issue. And once they are caught with their lies, they move on to another issues. This has been the pattern in the past 20 hearings. They jump from one issue to another because of the simple reason that they cannot substantiate any of their allegations,” Binay said.

“Nagtataka talaga ako kay Senator Trillanes sapagkat pilit siyang humahanap ng dumi sa Pag-IBIG Fund dahil lamang sa kadahilanang ako ang chairman nito (It’s a wonder why Senator Trillanes keeps on searching for a wrongdoing in Pag-IBIG Fund just because I’m its chairman),” he lamented.

Binay who is the chairman of Pag-IBIG’s board of trustees, being the head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) denied that the housing agency favored any developer in approving loans.

“We have stringent accreditation parameters so we should be measured against them. All loans that have been approved are either fully paid or current and updated,” he pointed out.

THE FOUR COMPANIES

Trillanes during Monday’s Senate hearing into alleged anomalies involving Binay alleged that Pag-IBIG granted development loans to at least four companies owned by personalities supposedly identified with the country’s second highest official.

He said Pag-IBIG released a total of P134-million in loans to these property developers and insurance brokerage firm.

These are Prosperidad Real Estate Development Inc. which got P40 million; Major Homes, Inc., which got P20 million; Bumbaran Development Corp., which got P14 million; and Astra Realty Corp. which got P60 million; and the Lockton Philippines Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers, Inc.


PHILSTAR

Pag-IBIG head felt insulted, disrespected in Senate probe By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated May 13, 2015 - 4:42pm


Pag-IBIG president Darlene Marie Berberabe has earlier cleared Vice President Jejomar Binay of allegations that he used his position to enter into anomalous acts within the housing firm. Manny Marcelo

MANILA, Philippines - Pag-IBIG President and Chief Executive Officer Darlene Berberabe on Wednesday said Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has no basis for his allegations against the housing firm.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Berberabe said that she was frustrated by the way she was treated in the Senate.

"When I read my opening statement ang haba-haba ko daw sumagot and then I am cut, I am disrespected, I am called names, I am a rubber stamp," Berberabe said.

During a Senate hearing last Tuesday, Trillanes claimed that Vice President Jejomar Binay favored four companies in exchange for a share of their profits.

Berberabe denied the accusations and reiterated that there was no corruption within the housing firm. The senator accused Berberabe that Binay used her as an instrument of abuse.

Trillanes urged the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct a fraud audit on Pag-IBIG but Berberabe insisted that there was no need to do so.

The Pag-IBIG chief added that the COA has already sent a team that audited the firm's developmental loans and found that it complies with the government auditing and accounting manual.

"The evidence for corruption and the evidence for non-corruption is the same. COA said no reason for fraud audit," Berberabe said.

Trillanes regarded the Pag-IBIG anomalies as another "bombshell" against Binay following the issue on the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.


MANILA STANDARD, MAY 6, 2015

Senate exposé scored By Vito Barcelo, Joel Zurbano and Macon Araneta | May. 06, 2015 at 12:01am


Appeal for fairness. Calauan, Laguna Mayor Buenafrido Berris and Vice Mayor Allan Jun Sanchez ask senators to spare the town the recrimination that will possibly arise from the hearings against Vice President Jejomar Binay. LINO SANTOS

THE camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday described Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s “bombshell’’ at Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee investigation hearing as another dud after officials debunked his claim that city funds were used to subsidize a University of Makati program.

The events at the Senate led Binay’s lawyer JV Bautista to take Senate President Franklin Drilon to task “sleeping and condoning” what is happening in the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee which has already held 19 hearings on Binay’s supposed corruption.

Another Binay lawyer Rico Quicho, Binay’s political spokesperson, said Trillanes’ latest bombshell showed that the hearings have clearly evolved a show opera meant to boost Trillanes’ presidential aspirations.

“Once again, records belie the malicious claims of Trillanes. The Senate hearings have so far produced nothing but totally unsubstantiated claims against the Vice President,” Quicho said in a statement.

Quicho claimed that no Makati City official in the University of Makati’s (UMak) Board of Trustees benefited from the UMak’s Public-Private Partnership program, as alleged by Trillanes.

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The senate probe did not find concrete evidence that Makati officials who are members of the UMak board in a regular or ex-officio capacity – including Vice President Jejomar C. Binay – received dividends or shares of profits at any given time.

“The Vice President merely represented the City of Makati in the Joint Venture Project as evidenced by the City Council Resolutions and Ordinances. He never held any business interests therein in his own capacity,” he added.

Quicho said based on the Articles of Incorporation of the Philippine Health Educators Inc., the Joint Venture Company of the City of Makati and STI, “Vice President Binay held only one qualifying share in the Company for the sole purpose of representing the City of Makati in the board of directors of the said Company.”

“It’s a good thing Senator Trillanes was never in the AFP’s Explosives and Ordnance Division otherwise he would have been an embarrassment to the unit because all of the bombs he produced in the Senate hearings turned out to be duds,” Quicho quipped.

He likewise belittled Renato Bonda’s latest claim of overpricing, this time with the UMak nursing building. 

“As we have expected, this is another fantastic tale without any factual basis from the same person who admitted his outlandish claim of overpriced birthday cakes were simply guesswork or ‘hula,’’ he said.


VP'S MAN. Lawyer Rico Quicho

Quicho clarified the higher fees in the College of Nursing Bondal mentioned only applied to non-Makati

At the same time, Bautista questioned why Drilon allowed taxpayers money to be wasted on a series of hearings that has yet to produce evidence to prove Binay’s alleged corruption.

“They want the Liberal party to have an advantage so that they also have the fund raising at the DOTC, the Customs,” Bautista said. “There are billions of pesos earned in preparation for the elections.”

He pointed out that Drilon is allowing such demolition job using the Senate because they want to destroy their political opponents since Drilon is the vice chairman of the Liberal Party, which has yet to announce its standard bearer who will slug it out with Binay in next year’s elections.

“Their biggest rival now is Binay who is leading in all surveys despite what is going on in this committee. It would seem that (Sen. Antonio) Trillanes IV is not from this planet, and instead from another planet. He continues what he has been doing and yet his rating would not go up and that of Binay would not go down. They are doing a great disservice to the people,” Bautista said.

Testifying for the nth time before the subcommittee, lawyer Renato Bondal accused the Vice President of using famous ophthalmologist Jack Arroyo, nephew of former Senator Joker Arroyo as his nominee/ dummy in the Philippine Healthcare Educators Inc. (PHEI).

Bondal said Arroyo got 20 percent shares in dividends from PHEI, a private firm created to manage and collect shares from the joint venture between University of Makati and the Systems Technology Institute (STI).

Bondal claimed that Arroyo’s uncle was a lawyer of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay when he was investigated in the Senate over the P2.1-billion overpriced Makati building.

But Bautista said “they are fond of accusing everybody as dummy.”


MANILA STANDARD COMMENTARY

Binay and the P600-million hoax By Atty. Harry Roque Jr. | May. 14, 2015 at 12:01am

You have to give it to Vice President’s Jejomar Binay’s detractors. Not content with the unprecedented 21 Senate hearings against him, they have succeeded this time in freezing the assets of at least 33 individuals allegedly because they benefitted from the overpriced buildings in Makati.

This is a PR coup for the handlers of Mar Roxas who until today, must believe that the best defense is offense. I’m sure, though, that history will prove that politicians who aspire for higher office at the expense of simply destroying the reputation of their competitors, rather than standing on their own merits, will not be rewarded by the people.

As the surveys show, those at the forefront of destroying the Vice-President have remained in Dante’s inferno as far as public acceptance is concerned.

So how should we react to the freeze of P600-million worth of assets? Well, it should be viewed as yet another political propaganda against the acknowledged presidential front-runner in 2016. Consider:

One, the amount of P600 million is insignificant if we consider the number of persons involved.

The Inquirer reported that the P600 million constituted the assets of no less than 33 persons. At the average therefore, that amounts to only 18 million pesos per person. That’s no big deal given the declared net worth of our public officials.

PNoy himself declared at least P50 million in net worth, while VP Binay himself declared no less than P60 million. If we were to deduct the VP’s declared net worth from the P600 million, that’s only an average of only 16 million per person.

Given that some of those in the list include Ten Outstanding Young Men awardee and Xavier Alumnus Antonio Tiu, I’m sure the P600 million in frozen assets is insignificant since Tiu alone should be worth at least P600 million.

But the damage has been done. To the unthinking mind, VP Binay could not have amassed P600 million from his 25 years in public office. Ergo, many more ordinary persons may be convinced not to vote for Binay in 2016.

But the detractors of Binay are wrong.

The people will eventually conclude that the P600 million in frozen assets is just that: frozen.

Unless the courts declare that the sum is actually fruits of a predicate crime under the Anti-Money Laundering Act, they enjoy the presumption of being clean money frozen due to political maneuverings.

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Second, they are wrong in assuming that they could freeze the assets of a sitting vice president.

While I have long advocated that impeachable officials should only be immune from suits arising from sovereign acts pursuant to the rulings in In Re Pinochet by the UK House of Lords and the US Supreme Court case of Clinton vs. Jones, the Philippine Supreme Court has repeatedly refused my pleas to charge then President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo for corruption and for crimes against humanity.

In at least two cases that I filed, the first in connection with the botched and anomalous NBN –ZTE contract and in the case of David vs. Arroyo, the Court has refused to follow the route of the UK and US in narrowing the scope of immunity of impeachable officers. In other words, the AMLA petition to freeze the assets of the VP, including the action of the Regional Trial Court to declare these funds as proceeds of predicate crimes under the law, violate Binay’s immunity from suits. It is only a matter of time before the Supreme Court declares the freezing of the VP’s assets as being unconstitutional.

But to the VP’s detractors, the unconstitutionality of their acts simply does not matter. In typical Machiavellian manner, the task is to prevent, by hook or by crook, the commoner Binay, the dark Vader, a common Tao, from occupying the highest office of the land.

These caciques clearly believe that the presidency should remain in the hands of one of their own.

But times have indeed changed. The public is no longer as gullible as the elite believe them to be.

Because of a thriving free marketplace of ideas, falsities, although welcome, have enabled the masses to discern the truth for themselves. And what is the truth?

The reality is that none of Binay’s detractors can play the game of “holier than thou”.

None of them can come to court, because they themselves have unclean hands. And consequently, none of their charges can stand up in a court of law.

This is the reason why despite being in government for more than 25 years, VP Binay has not been found guilty even once of corruption in a proper court of law. And yes, the truth is that the frozen P600 million is only the fruit of a hoax.

Perhaps, a few words should also be devoted to the propriety of reporting on the freeze order, which according to the law should remain confidential. Here, the secrecy is for at least two reasons: one, to prevent the account holders from concealing their assets.

Two, and more importantly, it is to protect the reputation of the account holders since the freeze order is not tantamount to a finding of guilt.

As we have learned from this incident, media ought to be more vigilant in upholding the law.

Even public figures, after all, are entitled to the presumption of innocence; more so where a law itself requires everyone to treat information as confidential. Now more than ever,

I have learned that freedoms should be balanced with responsibility and the pressing need for the media to comply with the law.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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