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

POE-ESCUDERO FOR 2016?:  POE PREFERS CHIZ AS RUNNING MATE IF SHE DECIDES TO RUN


MAY 18 ---Both Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Chiz Escudero have not yet decided on their plans for the May 2016 national elections. Facebook/Grace Poe, Facebook/Francis Chiz Escudero
Sen. Grace Poe on Monday admitted that she prefers to run with Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero if she decides to seek a higher position for the forthcoming May 2016 national elections. President Benigno Aquino III earlier bared that he met with Poe to discuss her plans for 2016 polls but refused to give the details. Prior to the said meeting, there have been reports that the Liberal Party (LP) is wooing the senator. The Liberal Party maintained that Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is still the party's top presidential bet but some members disagreed. During an ambush interview on Monday, Poe admitted that she has not decided yet whether to pursue a higher position in the 2016 elections but noted that she would be more comfortable with Escudero as a running mate. "Wala pa naman tayo sa punto na matutuloy tayo, pero yung nasabi na Poe-Escudero... Hindi naman maipagkakaila na mahaba na ang pinagsamahan namin, 2004 pa lang magkasama na kami sa tatay ko. Marami na siyang napatunayan sa paninilbihan sa gobyerno," Poe told the members of the press. Poe added that both of them are not members of any political party which would be another factor for choosing Escudero. READ MORE...

ALSO Binay daughter: VP & Lamingan's P221-M joint accounts cited by AMLC for the 2010 polls; acct opened by Lamingan himself


MAY 18 ---In this July 2014 file photo, Makati Rep. Abigail Binay attends President Aquino's State of the Nation Address at Batasan Complex in Quezon City. The lawmaker, the daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, said on Monday that Gerry Limlingan, her father's alleged dummy, is a legitimate investment broker and businessman whose transactions her family is not privy to. Philstar.com/RP Ocampo, file
The family of Vice President Jejomar Binay maintained on Monday that businessman Gerry Limlingan is not his dummy, and the joint accounts cited by the Anti-Money Laundering Council were opened not to hide illegal money. Makati Rep. Abigail Binay admitted that Limlingan, a family friend, and her father opened two joint accounts with P221 million under Metrobank and BDO to facilitate the politician's campaign in 2010. "That account only pertains to the campaign funds during the 2010 elections," Binay said in a live interview with ANC. She said Limlingan was the one who opened the joint account and "conducted business with the banks," not her father. The AMLC recently bared in a report suspicious transactions linked to Binay. It said Limlingan, whom Abigail said is like her "surrogate father," has 95 bank accounts including those in Canada, some of which were opened with other alleged dummies. Asked why the businessman only declared a P30,000 in his income tax return in 2011 and 2012 when he has been worth billions, Abigail said Limlingan runs his own securities company and is a trade expert. READ MORE...

ALSO by Boo Chanco: Where in the world is Gerry Limlingan


MAY  18---Boo Chanco It is not a game… it is the question of the hour: Where in the world is Gerry Limlingan? Reputed to be the trusted finance man of VP Jojo, he has disappeared at about the time the Senate started hearing the case of the Makati parking buildings. Suspicious transactions have been revealed by AMLC. Credible explanations, not mere denials, are required. It is not enough for Limlingan’s lawyers to say he is a legitimate businessman who paid for legitimate transactions for services of third parties including market research firms. I am sure Haydee Yorac, whose name is still in the law firm’s letterhead, would have agreed. Limlingan must come out and say so himself and tell us the source of the billions of pesos in money transfers he was dealing with. The Binays can claim Jojo only has five accounts among those frozen but until Limlingan surfaces and explains the accounts under his name and some with Jojo and other aides of Jojo, a serious cloud of doubt remains over the integrity of the VP’s finances. According to abs-cbnnews.com, “what really caught the attention of the AMLC were the 95 bank accounts of Limlingan, either individually or jointly with other alleged Binay dummies, including a certain Bebeng Baloloy. The AMLC noted that many of these transactions did not have financial justifications, and most of the transfers were done on cash basis.”  On face value and because Limlingan is nowhere to provide good explanations, the AMLC revelations look like money laundering done by a trusted aide. To prove that suspicion wrong, Limlingan must surface and answer tough questions on the circumstances of those accounts and money transfers. READ MORE...

ALSO: Abi Binay says she doesn't know where Ninong Gerry is
[VP Binay's financial adviser is Abi's ninong]


MAY 18 ---Her father's running mate? Makati Rep. Abigail Binay has only one request when it comes to choosing her father's running mate for the 2016 presidential elections. "Basta isa lang sasabihin ko. 'Wag lang si Trillanes. Kunin niya na lahat ng tao, 'wag lang si Trillanes," added Rep. Binay. Rep. Binay says she prefers Senator Grace Poe to be her father's running mate next year. "I'm speaking for myself. Why not Grace Poe? That's the most ideal. Binay-Poe is the most ideal (pairing)," said Rep. Binay. She also thinks Sen. Chiz Escudero will also be a good running mate for his dad. "Why not Chiz?. Magkasama sila nung 2010. It's always a possibility-- Binay and Chiz," explained the Makati Representative. FROM ABS-CBN  Makati Rep. Abigail Binay said she and her family does not know where businessman Gerry Limlingan is, saying they have not been in touch since last year. In an interview with radio dzMM, Binay said even her father has lost contact with Limlingan, who is allegedly his right hand man and is now subject of an arrest warrant by the Senate. “Hindi sya nagpapakita, kahit kay Vice President [Jejomar Binay] at sa aming pamilya, since last year. Di po namin alam kung nasaan si Mr. Limlingan,” she said. Binay said, however, that the public should sympathize with Limlingan considering he was ambushed in 2010. “Intindihin natin ‘yung tao, nagkaroon ng death threat ‘yung tao noong 2010. Na-ambush sya. He fears for his life. Hindi biro ang nangyari sa kanya, kaya gusto nyang magtago.”  In a separate interview with dzMM, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said he believes Limlingan is “alive” and is just around, noting he has gotten himself a lawyer from the Yorac Sarmiento Arroyo Chua Coronel & Reyes Law Firm. READ MORE...
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Who is Gerry Limlingan? October 9, 2014 9:10pm 94 92 0 2107


READ ON BELOW

ALSO: Trader bewails asset freeze as VP ‘dummy’


MAY 18 ---TIU BUSINESSMAN Antonio Tiu bewailed Sunday the issuance of a freeze order by the Court of Appeals against his bank accounts as well as those of his three companies, saying the appellate court was misled by the Anti-Money Laundering Council, which has allowed itself to be used for political harassment. Tiu, who has been dragged into the Senate hearings on the alleged irregularities involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, accused the AMLC of lying to the CA in order to justify the inclusion of his assets in the freeze of order, lamentably including all the bank accounts of his mother. “Since last year when my name was dragged into the Senate hearings involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, I have been preparing myself and my companies for the barrage of attacks we would face. While I had already conceded that certain government agencies would relentlessly proceed with the attacks even if they have no basis both in fact and in law, I was hoping that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) would be independent from any political pressure or persuasion. Regrettably, my trust in the AMLC was misplaced. Worse, I did not expect that the AMLC would recklessly cause the inclusion of all the bank accounts of my 61-year-old mother in the freeze order just to further harass me,” Tiu said. “She is a private citizen who should have been spared by this. But no, they targeted my mother for no reason at all except to once again harass me,” he added. READ MORE...

Grace Poe shots back at Binay: Face Senate, answer allegations, country needs an honest leader
[VP Binay was Fernando Poe's campaign manager during the 2004 Presidential election campaign vs Gloria Arooyo]


MAY 18 ---Grace Poe prefers Chiz as running mate if she ever decides to run for higher office in 2016; says one more year is a long time yet for her to make her decision. Senator Grace Poe on Monday asked Vice President Jejomar Binay to face the Senate and personally answer the corruption allegations being hurled against him. It was the first time Poe spoke about the Vice President in relation to the allegations of plunder and graft raised against him by his political opponents in Makati City. “Para sa akin mapapatunayan lalo 'yan (honesty) kung magpakita siya at i-esplika niya ang mga paratang laban sa kanya hindi lamang yung mga tagapagsalita niya, kasi kahit ako hindi mapapagkaila na may pinagsamahan kami, kaibigan namin siya pero hindi rin namin siya nakakausap tungkol dito. Gusto rin namin malaman,” she said. “Kaya nga ang hirap din mag-attend ng hearing na ang mismong pinaparatangan ay hindi sumasama, para bang nagsasalita ka sa likod ng taong 'yun,” Poe added. Poe, a neophyte senator, recently rose in presidential preference surveys and placed second to Binay who has been consistently leading the polls. Binay's ratings have dropped in the wake of the corruption allegations against him. Binay, Makati City's mayor for almost two decades, on Sunday, warned against voting for "inexperienced" leaders in the 2016 elections. READ MORE...

COMMENTARY Impeaching the Vice-President: Not a question of immunity


MAY 18 ---By Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, Dean of the Graduate School of Law of San Beda College In a democracy, it is necessary that the people are rightly informed and formed in respect to what the Constitution ordains. The Constitution enumerates those officials who can be removed from office only by impeachment: The President, the Vice-President, the Chief Justice and the Justices of the Supreme Court, the members of the Constitutional Commissions and the Ombudsman. There is nothing about immunity of these officials for criminal activity. What is however clear is that the Constitution provides for their removal from office exclusively by impeachment because of the high office they occupy and to protect them from harassment by the precipitous filing of criminal and administrative cases against them. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:


ABS-CBN

Abi Binay says she doesn't know where Ninong Gerry is-- ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 05/18/2015 9:02 PM


Makati Rep. Abigail Binay has only one request when it comes to choosing her father's running mate for the 2016 presidential elections. "Basta isa lang sasabihin ko. 'Wag lang si Trillanes. Kunin niya na lahat ng tao, 'wag lang si Trillanes," added Rep. Binay. Trillanes is aggressively pursuing corruption allegations against the Binays particularly during the Senate Blue Ribbon Subcommittee hearings. Rep. Binay says she prefers Senator Grace Poe to be her father's running mate next year. "I'm speaking for myself. Why not Grace Poe? That's the most ideal. Binay-Poe is the most ideal (pairing)," said Rep. Binay. She also thinks Sen. Chiz Escudero will also be a good running mate for his dad. "Why not Chiz?. Magkasama sila nung 2010. It's always a possibility-- Binay and Chiz," explained the Makati Representative. FROM ABS-CBN

MANILA - Makati Rep. Abigail Binay said she and her family does not know where businessman Gerry Limlingan is, saying they have not been in touch since last year.

In an interview with radio dzMM, Binay said even her father has lost contact with Limlingan, who is allegedly his right hand man and is now subject of an arrest warrant by the Senate.

“Hindi sya nagpapakita, kahit kay Vice President [Jejomar Binay] at sa aming pamilya, since last year. Di po namin alam kung nasaan si Mr. Limlingan,” she said.

Binay said, however, that the public should sympathize with Limlingan considering he was ambushed in 2010. “Intindihin natin ‘yung tao, nagkaroon ng death threat ‘yung tao noong 2010. Na-ambush sya. He fears for his life. Hindi biro ang nangyari sa kanya, kaya gusto nyang magtago.”

In a separate interview with dzMM, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said he believes Limlingan is “alive” and is just around, noting he has gotten himself a lawyer from the Yorac Sarmiento Arroyo Chua Coronel & Reyes Law Firm.

READ MORE...
He said Limlingan needs to answer all the accusations that have come out in the course of the 20 hearings in the Senate.

He said Limlingan will have to answer if he is the "dummy" of the vice president. What he knows, for sure, is that Binay and Limlingan are close.

Pimentel said Limlingan is a consultant for the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, where Binay is chairman.

Pimentel said the businessman is also a trustee of the University of Makati as well as president of the JC Binay Foundation.

These details are on top of the information that the Senate subcommittee was able to secure from resource persons, including Limlingan’s alleged role in the bidding of contracts in Makati.

LIMLINGAN IS ABI'S NINONG

The Makati representative, on the other hand, said the Binay family is not denying they are close to Limlingan. Limlingan was the younger Binay’s principal sponsor at her wedding.

She said this is the reason why she confirmed the joint accounts between her father and Limlingan, which is one of the five accounts of the Vice President frozen by a court.

She said the account was used for the contributions and expenditures for her father’s 2010 campaign.

“This was declared in my father’s statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE). Kaya nga sana tinignan ng AMLC ang kanyang ITR at statement of expenditures.”

Asked what she would advise Limlingan and the 16 others who have been cited for contempt, Binay said: “Personal choice ko ito, pero kung ako ang nasa pwesto nila, magpapakulong na lang ako. Pero ako lang ‘yun.”

Pimentel said it’s now up to the Senate sergeant-at-arms to implement the arrest warrants once signed. If an accused is arrested, he or she may have to be detained until May 28, the date of the next hearing, he said.

He also said they may coordinate with the Pasay city jail, in case the Senate won’t be able to house all 17.

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GMA NEWS ONLINE  --FLASHBACK NEWS REPORT OCTOBER 9, 2014

Who is Gerry Limlingan? October 9, 2014 9:10pm 94 92 0 2107

Who is Gerry Limlingan, the person whose name has surfaced several times in Senate hearings on alleged irregularities involving Vice President Jejomar Binay?

Limlingan had been tagged by former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado as a supposed bagman of Binay when the latter was still Makati City mayor.

Yet, despite repeated invitations and subpoenas by the Senate, Limlingan has yet to surface.

Bureau of Immigration records show he is still in the country, having last gone abroad in 2003, GMA News' Jun Veneracion reported on "24 Oras" Thursday evening.

Mercado had claimed during Senate hearings that Limlingan acted as a supposed dummy of Binay in businesses and properties that are not declared in Binay's Statements of Assets and Liabilities.

These allegedly include Agri-Fortuna Inc., the company that bought Binay's piggery business in Rosario, Batangas.

GMA News has made repeated attempts to contact Limlingan.

At the Vistamar Building in Makati where he reportedly resides, a security guard said he had left as early as 2010.

Makati City Hall said Limlingan was not one of its employees.

The Office of the Vice President also said Limlingan was not working there.

'Close friend'

In 2010, after Limlingan survived an ambush in Cainta town in Rizal province, Binay —then running for Vice President—issued a statement describing Limlingan as a close friend.

At the time, Binay said the ambush may have been politically motivated.

Binay's spokesman Joey Salgado said Limlingan was never an employee or consultant of the Makati CIty government or the Office of the Vice President.

"I wouldn't know the level of closeness," he added.

Mitzi Sedillo

Meanwhile, Mercado also mentioned a certain Mitzi Sedillo, supposedly another dummy of Binay at Agri-Fortuna and supposedly an aide of Limlingan.

Sedillo allegedly has a unit at a housing project of the Makati City government. The housing unit has a rental rate of P3,900 a month.

But the administration of Makati Home said that while Unit 127 is in Sedillo's name, they could not say if Sedillo actually lived there.

Bernadette Portallano

Another person tagged by Mercado as a director and officer of Agri-Fortuna, and another supposed dummy of Binay, is Bernadette Portallano.

GMA News went to Portallano's house in West Rembo in Makati but was told she had transferred to Cavite province.

Portallano reportedly worked at a funeral parlor that was involved in the Makati city government's burial-for-the-poor program.

Salgado said that while it is easy to make accusations, it is a different thing to prove them.

"Madali magparatang. Madali magturo ng pangalan. But ... will that stand in court? Kung tingin nila may basehan, dalhin sa korte," he said. —Joel Locsin/NB, GMA News


MANILA STANDARD

Trader bewails asset freeze as VP ‘dummy’ By Rey E. Requejo, Macon Ramos Araneta | May. 18, 2015 at 12:01am


TIU

BUSINESSMAN Antonio Tiu bewailed Sunday the issuance of a freeze order by the Court of Appeals against his bank accounts as well as those of his three companies, saying the appellate court was misled by the Anti-Money Laundering Council, which has allowed itself to be used for political harassment.

Tiu, who has been dragged into the Senate hearings on the alleged irregularities involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, accused the AMLC of lying to the CA in order to justify the inclusion of his assets in the freeze of order, lamentably including all the bank accounts of his mother.

“Since last year when my name was dragged into the Senate hearings involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, I have been preparing myself and my companies for the barrage of attacks we would face. While I had already conceded that certain government agencies would relentlessly proceed with the attacks even if they have no basis both in fact and in law, I was hoping that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) would be independent from any political pressure or persuasion. Regrettably, my trust in the AMLC was misplaced. Worse, I did not expect that the AMLC would recklessly cause the inclusion of all the bank accounts of my 61-year-old mother in the freeze order just to further harass me,” Tiu said.

“She is a private citizen who should have been spared by this. But no, they targeted my mother for no reason at all except to once again harass me,” he added.

READ MORE...
Tiu admitted that he received Friday a copy of the CA’s order dated May 11, 2015 freezing his bank accounts as well as those of his companies Greenergy Holdings, Inc., Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corporation and Earthright Holdings, Inc.

The businessman, who has been accused by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV of acting as dummy for the Vice President, denied the allegations made by AMLC that he lacks the capability to justify his business and financial dealings.

“The AMLC lied to the Court of Appeals and its authorized representatives perjured themselves,” he added.

Tiu said a simple perusal of the disclosures of Greenergy lodged with the Philippine Stock Exchange “would already belie the claim of the AMLC.”

Tiu said that the AMLC’s alleged “unjustified transactions” actually involved the following transactions where SPCMB Law acted his counsel: 1) the sale of Greenergy’s interest in a biomass power plant for at least P400 million; 2) the sale by Earthright of marketable securities to Greenergy for about P110 million; 3) the acquisition by Greenergy of additional marketable securities in the amount of around P170 million; and 4) receipt by Greenergy of the unpaid subscription that was due from him, Earthright and Sunchamp for the total amount of more than P300 million.

“Clearly, AMLC acted in bad faith and deliberately concealed from the Court of Appeals the truth on the transactions that allegedly warranted my inclusion as well as those of my companies in the freeze order. They knew that the transactions were legitimate and fully documented, disclosed to the public and even to the SEC where one of the AMLC members is head,” the businessman said.

“It is disappointing that politicians and the AMLC are willing to risk the lives of more than 5,000 hardworking employees, farmers and suppliers who are directly and indirectly reliant on my businesses for their livelihood. This cycle of politics being involved in business, and business being involved in politics depending on who is in power must be stopped if we want our country to move forward and attain its true potential,” he said.

Tiu also deplored the leaking of the AMLC report to the public that resulted in the “defamatory articles coming out in the media which is against based on the AMLC report that was not truthful.”

On May 11, the Court of Appeals ordered 242 bank accounts frozen, including Binay’s and those of his wife, Elenita, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, several other associates and alleged dummies for the Vice President.

A spokesman for the Vice President on Sunday said he expected the Justice Department and the National Bureau of Investigation to get involved in the investigation of Binay in a last-ditch effort to destroy his credibility.


QUICHO

“The leak of the one-sided report of the AMLC is the start of their last ditch effort to malign the Vice President,” said Renato Quicho in a statement.

“As we enter the survey season, we expect within the next few weeks, the NBI and DOJ will resurrect the Rosario property issue despite clear statements and evidence showing Tony Tiu’s company as its owner.

The Vice President has denied ownership of the 350-hectare estate with luxurious amenities in Rosario town.

Tiu is the owner of Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp., which supposedly has the real and enforceable rights over the property in Batangas.

“We also expect the Ombudsman to press its obsession to suspend Mayor Jun Binay despite the clear absence of factual and legal basis,” said Quicho.

The Vice President’s daughter, Senator Nancy Binay, challenged the AMLC to prove that it has not been used by the administration to go after its political opponents.

She questioned why former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, who had a falling out with Binay, was given a copy of the AMLC report on the Binay assets.

Mercado has testified against the Binays in several Senate hearings.


GMA NEWS ONLINE

Grace Poe shots back at Binay: Face Senate, answer allegations, country needs an honest leader  By AMITA O. LEGASPI,GMA News May 18, 2015 4:17pm


Grace Poe prefers Chiz as running mate if she ever decides to run for higher office in 2016; says one more year is a long time yet for her to make her decision.

Senator Grace Poe on Monday asked Vice President Jejomar Binay to face the Senate and personally answer the corruption allegations being hurled against him.

It was the first time Poe spoke about the Vice President in relation to the allegations of plunder and graft raised against him by his political opponents in Makati City.

“Para sa akin mapapatunayan lalo 'yan (honesty) kung magpakita siya at i-esplika niya ang mga paratang laban sa kanya hindi lamang yung mga tagapagsalita niya, kasi kahit ako hindi mapapagkaila na may pinagsamahan kami, kaibigan namin siya pero hindi rin namin siya nakakausap tungkol dito. Gusto rin namin malaman,” she said.

“Kaya nga ang hirap din mag-attend ng hearing na ang mismong pinaparatangan ay hindi sumasama, para bang nagsasalita ka sa likod ng taong 'yun,” Poe added.

Poe, a neophyte senator, recently rose in presidential preference surveys and placed second to Binay who has been consistently leading the polls. Binay's ratings have dropped in the wake of the corruption allegations against him.

Binay, Makati City's mayor for almost two decades, on Sunday, warned against voting for "inexperienced" leaders in the 2016 elections.

READ MORE...
Asked if she felt alluded to, Poe on Monday said she was doing what she could to serve the country.

“Hindi ko naman ipagkakaila na ikumpara sa marami sa kanila, maikli lang ang karanasan ko sa gobyerno. Ang kasagutan ko simple lang: kalidad ng serbisyo, katapatan, kasama na rin ng paglilingkod nang magaling,” Poe said.

“Hindi naman sa pagbubuhat ng bangko [pero] sa ikli ng panahon na nasa gobyerno ako, sinikap ko naman na gumawa ng marami para makatulong lalo na sa mga pinakamahihirap nating kababayan na naapi at hindi naririnig,” she added.

GMA News Online sought reactions from the Binay camp but has yet to receive any as of posting time.

President Benigno Aquino III, who has repeatedly trumpeted the administration's supposed gains in good governance, has met with Poe and discussed the need to continue the reforms.

Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the LP's expected standard-bearer in 2016, has also met with the senator.

“We broached the idea of continuing the things this administration has been trying to do. Now, in what capacity, hindi pa finalized iyon," Aquino told reporters recently.

The Senate has repeatedly asked Binay to attend the hearings to answer the allegations against him, but he refused to do so.

Whistleblowers have accused Binay, among others, of plunder and graft in connection with the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II and the Makati Science High School.

The Court of Appeals recently issued a freeze order on 242 bank accounts and insurance policies belonging to Binay, members of his family and several close associates.

Binay has repeatedly denied the allegations and dismissed them as part of a vilification campaign against him.

Poe said she believes only Binay, a former Makati mayor, can give light regarding the accusations on the overpriced Makati buildings, his alleged illegal transactions, and others.

Binay was the campaign manager of Poe's father, the late actor and one-time presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., in the 2004 elections.

Poe was a part of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance's senatorial lineup in 2013 but was eventually dropped early during the campaign period after she failed attend UNA's campaign rallies.

The same happened to Sen. Loren Legarda and Sen. Francis Escudero, who at first were also common candidates of the Liberal Party-led administration coalition and UNA. —KBK/NB, GMA News


GMA NEWS ONLINE

COMMENTARY Impeaching the Vice-President: Not a question of immunity By FR. RANHILIO C. AQUINO May 18, 2015 11:30am


Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino is the Dean of the Graduate School of Law of San Beda College

In a democracy, it is necessary that the people are rightly informed and formed in respect to what the Constitution ordains.

The Constitution enumerates those officials who can be removed from office only by impeachment: The President, the Vice-President, the Chief Justice and the Justices of the Supreme Court, the members of the Constitutional Commissions and the Ombudsman.

There is nothing about immunity of these officials for criminal activity. What is however clear is that the Constitution provides for their removal from office exclusively by impeachment because of the high office they occupy and to protect them from harassment by the precipitous filing of criminal and administrative cases against them.

READ MORE...
Where they have transgressed the law, the procedure is to remove them from office first by impeachment and then to prosecute them.

In one administrative case that passed on an attempt to disbar the chairman of a constitutional commission whose office required membership in the Philippine Bar, the Supreme Court ruled that it was not going to entertain the petition because disbarring the official would be tantamount to removing him from office and thus circumventing the provision on removal by impeachment alone.

Significantly, the Ombudsman Act also makes clear that the Ombudsman may investigate and prosecute all public officers, EXCEPT impeachable officials, although the latter, it may investigate for the purposes of the possible filing of an impeachment complaint.

No, the Vice-President is not immune. No one is, in respect to the commission of crime. But he cannot be prosecuted while he occupies the Office of Vice-President -- thus does the Constitution ordain.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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