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

UNA SHOWS PROOF: 'NBI AGENTS' FORCED STUDENTS TO SIGN PAPERS VS VP BINAY


MAY 29 ---United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim secretary general, lawyer JV Bautista, yesterday showed proof that authorities were harassing residents of properties adjacent to the alleged “Hacienda Binay.” 
“There have been visits by people representing themselves as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). “They went to them near the land of the owners and they threatened, cajoled those people to sign documents which would turn out to be affidavits or sinumpaang salaysay (sworn statements) stating therein that the owner of the property as far as they know, is that the property adjacent to theirs, belongs to Vice President Jojo Binay,” said Bautista. Bautista even showed the affidavit of Rosario, Batangas resident Hilario Agbay Comia, who claimed that he was coaxed into signing a document wherein he said Binay owned the 150-hectare property which Mr. Antonio Tiu had earlier declared to be the property of his corporation Sunchamp. In his May 27, 2015 affidavit, Comia said people who claimed to be NBI agents on May 7, 2015 approached him. “They threatened me and my family and said they will put me in jail since this land is not owned in Rosario, Batangas by me. READ MORE...

ALSO Poe: Enough evidence for Binay plunder rap
[Poe declined to say if she thought Binay was an honest leader, saying it was the wrong time to ask her since she had just signed the committee report against him.]

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MAY 30---In happier times. Vice President Jejomar Binay greets Senator Grace Poe at Manila’s North Cemetery last December, during the 10th anniversary of the death of Poe’s father, the actor Fernando Poe Jr. DANNY PATA 
SENATOR Grace Poe said Friday there is enough evidence to support the Blue Ribbon subcommittee’s recommendation to file plunder charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay over the alleged P2.7 billion overpricing of the Makati City Hall parking building. Poe was among the four signatories to the draft partial report which also suggested the filing of similar charges against the Vice President’s son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay and others, including former and incumbent Makati City officials. “I have read the subcommittee recommendation and found the same supported by documentary evidence as well as expert and personal testimonies that remain unrebutted by competent evidence to the contrary,” said Poe in a text message to reporters. Poe said she did not have second thoughts in signing the report because it was clear from the over 20 hearings that those involved were all liable and should be held accountable. “As in the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) inquiry, I join my colleagues in seeking further investigation by the Ombudsman of the matter and the consequent filing of the appropriate criminal complaint which in this instance appears to be plunder,” further read the text message. READ MORE...

ALSO: Grace-Binay ties cut; (trapo) politics wins the day
[Sen. Grace Poe, who appears to have transformed herself into a traditional politician, as seemingly, the friendship ties that earlier bound the Poes and the Binays, have been cut abruptly by Poe, despite portraying herself as a reluctant candidate a la Cory Aquino, who is seen to run for a higher post.]


MAY 30 ---Whatever then Makati Mayor Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, now Vice President and the frontrunner in the presidential race, did for her father, Fernando Poe Jr., during his failed presidential run in 2004 has been forgotten by Sen. Grace Poe, who appears to have transformed herself into a traditional politician, as seemingly, the friendship ties that earlier bound the Poes and the Binays, have been cut abruptly by Poe, despite portraying herself as a reluctant candidate a la Cory Aquino, who is seen to run for a higher post. What could be a clearer message to the camp of the political opposition on the impossibility of Poe forming a tandem with Vice President Binay, apart from her earlier pronouncement thumbing down the idea, was virtually sealed before the week was over.
Poe, it was gathered yesterday, had signed Thursday afternoon the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee report drafted by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel recommending plunder charges against the Vice President, his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and 18 others, shortly after the panel’s last public hearing on the allegations against Binay. “I have read the subcommittee recommendation and found the same supported by documentary evidence as well as expert and personal testimonies that remain unrebutted by competent evidence to the contrary.“.READ MORE...

ALSO: VP saddened by Grace’s signing of report


MAY 30 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay is sad that Sen. Grace Poe had signed the draft Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee report seeking to recommend the filing of plunder charges against him and his son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay Jr.
Four senators have signed the report, according to subcommittee chairman Aquilino Pimentel III. Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman for political affairs, said Poe appeared to have sided with senators persecuting Binay and his family and bullying innocent people. “I hope Senator Poe has read the affidavit submitted by the Vice President but was ignored by the subcommittee,” Quicho said in a statement. Binay has repeatedly refused to appear before the subcommittee as he believes he would only be ridiculed and shamed on national television. The subcommittee has been hearing allegations of overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II and other anomalies that Binay is alleged of committing when he was mayor of Makati. Last Nov. 6, Binay submitted an eight-page affidavit to the subcommittee debunking and answering point per point the allegations. READ MORE....

ALSO: VP not surprised at all in Troika’s plunder raps
[What the three senators should answer is this question: How much was spent from the taxpayer’s money for 10 months in destroying Vice President Binay?”, Salgado said.]


MAY 29 ---THE TROIKA (or triumverate of three) 
Responding to the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee’s chairman, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel’s recommendation for the filing of plunder charges against Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay and his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, Joey Salgado, head of the Office of the Vice President on media affairs, yesterday issued a statement, saying they are not at all surprised by the supposed recommendation. After 10 months and 21 one-sided hearings, the recommendation is actually anti-climactic.
“That was really where it was going, but they (the blue ribbon subcommittee) delayed it for media exposure. Even before they started the hearings, there were already conclusions from the three senators and which they did for 10 months and 21 hearings was a telenovela which script was so badly writen. The intent of this telenovela was to destroy Vice President Binay and his family.
“These hearings were never about justice or the fight against corruption. This is laughable especially since those who are in the panel are linked to the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund, or pork barrel) scam and DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) scam, along with their overpricing of their projects. “Those who accuse the Binays are all election losers in Makati who have admitted that they are corrupt and are on the take. This is all being done because VP Binay will run for the presidency in 2016. “We would like to remind the senators that a plunder complaint was filed last year by Mr. Bondal over the same issue. The Ombudsman, after review of the documents which the senators said they furnished the agency, asked the Mayor and city officials to comment on a finding of graft and malversation, not plunder. READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay camp slams pattern of demolition job against VP


MAY 28 ---Rico Quicho 
As the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee embarks on its 22nd hearing on the alleged corruption issues raised against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family, his camp yesterday said the senators are treading the same path and employing the same tactics they successfully used against then leading 2010 presidential contender, former Sen. Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr. Binay’s political affairs spokesman Rico Quicho, however, stressed the only difference is that they are bound to fail now. “At 10 months and 21 hearings, the Senate is indeed gunning for a Guinness record in having the longest inquiry in the world not in aid of legislation but in aid of political demolition,” he lamented. “Frankly, this is all about the Vice President’s survey numbers,” Quicho said. Before the 2010 elections, Quicho recalled the Senate mounted a similar operation against one of its own, apparently referring to Villar. He, however, noted that the probe, or the demolition job, “came to a screeching halt after the polls,” proving that such Senate spectacles are really only designed as a grandstanding venue for politicians with presidential or vice presidential ambitions of their own. “Same pattern. Same orchestration. Same actors. The Senate as an institution is now one wrecking machine,” Quicho said. Quicho added the senators have even promised to release a partial report on their investigation. “After 21 hearings, the senators have promised to release a partial report. Not a final report but a partial one. But we expect such a report, if and when it is released, to rehash the baseless and false statements made during the hearings by perjured witnesses,” he stressed. “The taxpaying public, when you come to think of it, has really heard nothing from all these Senate hearings but unfounded claims, dubious lies and imagined conspiracies against the Binays,” said Quicho.READ MORE...

ALSO 'Piso para sa Presidente': Fund raising drive for Duterte launched


MAY 30 ---COTABATO CITY: Tough-talking Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte showed his soft side after learning that a fundraising campaign dubbed “Piso para sa Presidente” was launched to convince him to run for president next year. An Ulama presented Duterte a handwoven bag made of palm leaves where collected peso coins are to be kept. The religious leader said it is their humble contribution to the aspiration of the Moro people to have a leader like him. The religious leader’s statement stunned Duterte. “I know how frustrated you are. I can feel your frustration. If I will run and win, I promise that the Moro people will always be close to the government,” the mayor said. “The presidency is not in my plans, but if I become president, the Moro people in Mindanao will have a special place in Malacanang.”  Duterte traveled to Cotabatao City on Wednesday to discuss federalism at the Cotabato Polytechnic State University. The audience included local government officials, professionals, students and youth, religious leaders, and community workers. READ MORE...

ALSO TIMES Commentary:  Your house is burning, Mr. President


by FRANCISCO S. TATAD 
LONG BEFORE it began, and before I ever wrote about it, I spoke to Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, on the basis of what I had learned from the best possible sources, of what Malacañang and the Liberal Party were planning to do to prevent him from running for president in 2016. The ultimate objective was to remove him from office, put him in jail, if need be, to keep him from running. What I had learned at the time was precisely what they have done to Binay, step by step, up to the last detail, till now. The case vs. Binay -- A subcommittee of the Senate blue ribbon committee has just come out with a report recommending the filing of plunder charges against Binay and his son, the mayor of Makati, Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. This has not happened before. How many senators will sign the report, and how the Ombudsman will react to it, if signed by a sufficient number, remain to be seen. But even if Binay escapes the planned destruction by his adversaries, the rule of law and our society’s sense of justice have already been despoiled by our politicians in their naked pursuit of political power. PNoy is the central player ---As in the impeachment and removal of Chief Justice Renato Corona, the forced enactment of the patently offensive Reproductive Health Law, and the current effort to bulldoze the passage of the unconstitutional and treasonous Bangsamoro Basic Law Bill, PNoy is the central player here. He personally presided over the small-group meetings that planned the whole thing. So the questions to ask are both political and personal. How could it ever happen? Binay had been “elected” with PNoy on a split ticket in the first automated election; had become his housing czar and adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Concerns, among others; performed many international missions for him; and remained close to PNoy’s siblings, who were said to favor him over the other presidential pretenders. Despite the humiliations and provocations, Binay had never threatened to leave the Cabinet despite the humiliations and lead the opposition. How then could PNoy organize the campaign to destroy Binay? READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

UNA shows proof: ‘NBI agents’ forced residents to sign papers vs Binay

MANILA, JUNE 1, 2015 (TRIBUNE) Written by Charlie V. Manalo 29 May 2015 - United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim secretary general, lawyer JV Bautista, yesterday showed proof that authorities were harassing residents of properties adjacent to the alleged “Hacienda Binay.”

“There have been visits by people representing themselves as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

“They went to them near the land of the owners and they threatened, cajoled those people to sign documents which would turn out to be affidavits or sinumpaang salaysay (sworn statements) stating therein that the owner of the property as far as they know, is that the property adjacent to theirs, belongs to Vice President Jojo Binay,” said Bautista.

Bautista even showed the affidavit of Rosario, Batangas resident Hilario Agbay Comia, who claimed that he was coaxed into signing a document wherein he said Binay owned the 150-hectare property which Mr. Antonio Tiu had earlier declared to be the property of his corporation Sunchamp.

In his May 27, 2015 affidavit, Comia said people who claimed to be NBI agents on May 7, 2015 approached him.

“They threatened me and my family and said they will put me in jail since this land is not owned in Rosario, Batangas by me.

READ MORE...
They also said that they will include me in all the cases they will be filing if I do not do what they want,” ” he said.

“The NBI agents said that I have to sign the document they prepared so that I will no longer be bothered and will not be involved in the cases they will be filing. The other day, they showed me the document I was made to sign. I noticed that there was the ‘dagdag-bawas’ in what the document said I had linked the name of VP Binay in my talk with the men who claimed to be the NBI. I have not said anything about VP Binay being the true owner of the hacienda,” Comia added.

“I was shocked that the document (affidavit) was already notarized. The truth is that I never stood before a notary public or anyone else to swear in an affidavit that was done by the NBI.

“Due to this, I have consulted a lawyer and he clarified to me that it is not against the law when I say that the land is mine,” he added.

Bautista said that Comia’s affidavit was proof that the reports they had earlier received about harassments of residents living on properties adjacent to Sunchamp’s property.

“This is proof that they have been threatened and harassed by stating that there will be big problems for them if they do not not point to VP Binay as the real owner of the 150 hectares,” he said.

“Mr. Hilario Agbay Comia declared that the earlier statements he was made to sign by the NBI is a false statement. He was merely forced to sign this. It is practically a retraction of an earlier affidavit that was forced upon him by people representing themselves as agents of the NBI,” the UNA official explained.

Bautista also pointed out that their adversaries have gone to the extent of using legitimate offices of the government like the NBI and the Department of Justice (DoJ) in order to attack Vice President Binay.

“You know, the DoJ of today is very different. The head of the DoJ is part of the Liberal Party —the party which the present secretary hopes to join in the 2016 elections, and therefore the party which she will give all kinds of favor to just to be able to cozy up to that party and earn a slot in the senatorial slate,” he said.

“Thats’ why, we are no longer surprised when there are accusations against VP Binay aand his allies, especially as the VP leads in surveys. Even Rodrigo Duterte, who has risen in the surveys, is also being attcked by the DoJ today.

“Perhaps another case of demolition job against a rising and upcoming presidential or vice presidential bet who will not be in the slate of the Liberal Party,” he stressed.


MANILA STANDARD

Poe: Enough evidence for Binay plunder rap By Macon Ramos-Araneta | May. 30, 2015 at 12:01am


In happier times. Vice President Jejomar Binay greets Senator Grace Poe at Manila’s North Cemetery last December, during the 10th anniversary of the death of Poe’s father, the actor Fernando Poe Jr. DANNY PATA

SENATOR Grace Poe said Friday there is enough evidence to support the Blue Ribbon subcommittee’s recommendation to file plunder charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay over the alleged P2.7 billion overpricing of the Makati City Hall parking building.

Poe was among the four signatories to the draft partial report which also suggested the filing of similar charges against the Vice President’s son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay and others, including former and incumbent Makati City officials.

“I have read the subcommittee recommendation and found the same supported by documentary evidence as well as expert and personal testimonies that remain unrebutted by competent evidence to the contrary,” said Poe in a text message to reporters.

Poe said she did not have second thoughts in signing the report because it was clear from the over 20 hearings that those involved were all liable and should be held accountable.

“As in the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) inquiry, I join my colleagues in seeking further investigation by the Ombudsman of the matter and the consequent filing of the appropriate criminal complaint which in this instance appears to be plunder,” further read the text message.

READ MORE...
In a radio interview over dzMM Friday night, Poe said she believed that an infraction was committed. “It’s difficult to believe that it was just a mistake because there was an overprice worth P1 billion,” she said in Filipino. 

“I believe this is a very important issue in our country. We need to give an example to our people, whether you are in a position or not-- that we are all equal before the law. And most of all, whether you are a friend or a member of the family... one’s utmost goal should be geared towards loyalty to the people who voted for you,” said Poe.

She said she still thought of herself as a friend of the Binays, though they might not feel the same.

She said it was hard for her because the Binays had been loyal to her late father, movie star and failed presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr.

Poe declined to say if she thought Binay was an honest leader, saying it was the wrong time to ask her since she had just signed the committee report against him.

“I know there is a need for loyalty, but one should also have the courage if one is in the government,” Poe said.


Poe said she would definitely slug it out with Binay if she decides to seek the presidency.

The Vice President admitted Poe was among the candidates being considered in the UNA (United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) presidential slate.

UNA interm secretary general JV Bautista on Thursday warned Poe she would be running with the “tormentors and cheaters” of her late father if she joins the Liberal Party slate.

But Poe took a swipe at Bautista, saying he should think first before speaking because they have many allies who were the most involved in cheating his late father.

Poe said if she seeks higher office in 2016, she would not team up with Binay.

In a phone interview, however, UNA interim president Toby Tiangco said Binay never said he was getting Poe as his running mate.

“He never said he wanted somebody to be his running mate because he will not say that. There is a search committee tasked to look for a candidate who will run in tandem with him,” Tiangco said.

Tiangco said Binay had set two criteria for his prospective running mate--- one who will work and one who will attend to the poor to alleviate their standard of living.

Tiangco said the UNA objected to the findings of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee, which he said was based on lies.

He also said the Senate probe, supposed to be in aid of legislation, was motivated by the desire of some senators to destroy the Vice President.

On Thursday, Bautista said the draft report would probably have the “weight of a toilet paper.”


TRIBUNE

Grace-Binay ties cut; politics wins the day Written by Angie M. Rosales and Charlie V. Manalo Saturday, 30 May 2015 00:00


Poe said she wanted to show the public that a government official's loyalty should be with the people and not with his friends

Whatever then Makati Mayor Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, now Vice President and the frontrunner in the presidential race, did for her father, Fernando Poe Jr., during his failed presidential run in 2004 has been forgotten by Sen. Grace Poe, who appears to have transformed herself into a traditional politician, as seemingly, the friendship ties that earlier bound the Poes and the Binays, have been cut abruptly by Poe, despite portraying herself as a reluctant candidate a la Cory Aquino, who is seen to run for a higher post.

What could be a clearer message to the camp of the political opposition on the impossibility of Poe forming a tandem with Vice President Binay, apart from her earlier pronouncement thumbing down the idea, was virtually sealed before the week was over.

Poe, it was gathered yesterday, had signed Thursday afternoon the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee report drafted by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel recommending plunder charges against the Vice President, his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and 18 others, shortly after the panel’s last public hearing on the allegations against Binay.

“I have read the subcommittee recommendation and found the same supported by documentary evidence as well as expert and personal testimonies that remain unrebutted by competent evidence to the contrary.

READ MORE...
“As in the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) inquiry, I join my colleagues in seeking further investigation by the Ombudsman of the matter and the consequent filing of the appropriate criminal complaint which in this instance appears to be plunder,” she said in a text message to reporters.

The camp of the Vice President yesterday said the VP is “saddened” over Poe’s signing of the subpanel report as she appears to have taken the stand of the three senators who have been demonizing him, threatening and bullying even the innocent resource persons who do not toe their line.

Rico Quicho, the VP’s spokesman on political concerns also said the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee is wrong in saying the Vice President did not reply to allegations of overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

“Vice President Binay submitted a notarized affidavit to the subcommittee on Nov. 6, 2014 debunking and answering point by point the allegations of his political opponents. But of course, and as expected, the senators ignored it,” Quicho said in response to articles detailing the contents of the subcommittee report.

“It is a validation of our position that the Senate has, from the very start, already prejudged the issue. They have made up their minds even before the hearing started and will not listen, tolerate, or entertain statements and facts contradicting them,” he added.

In his eight-page affidavit, the Vice President said in relation to the primary issue of the Senate inquiry for P.S. Resolution No. 826, “there was no overprice of the Makati City Hall Building II nor any irregularity committed.”

“Constructing the Makati City Hall Building II into five (5) phases or splitting the contracts, with the conduct of bidding for each phases, is NOT prohibited by the Procurement Act (RA 9184),” he said.

“Section 65.1(d), Rule 21 of the IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) of RA 9184 provides that splitting of contracts is prohibited only IF the purposes is to avoid bidding, circumvent rules on alternative procurement, or circumvent limits of approving authorities,” he added.

The Vice President further said that Annex “C” of the RA 9184 IRR allows for a minimum of 28 calendar days and a maximum of 144 days for the conduct of the entire procurement process for projects costing more than P50 million.

“Thus, the claim of the Commission on Audit (CoA) Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan that the process should take six (6) months is NOT correct,” he said.

Binay said that “(b)ased on the records, the procurement or bidding process for each phase of the Makati City Hall Building II project was conducted WITHIN the allowable periods of the law.”

He said that “(a)warding of contracts to a lone bidder after the conduct of biddings is NOT prohibited by the Procurement Act.”

“In Phase 1 of the Makati City Hall Building II project, the winning bidder bested (two) other bidders. For Phases 2 to 5, the lone bidder was the same contractor. Based on the records, there was no reason to disqualify the said contractor,” he said.

The Vice President also said his constitutional rights “were and continue to be violated,” including his constitutional right not to be subjected to a congressional inquiry if the rules of the Senate are not complied with, the right to due process of law, and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“The hearing has veered toward false criminal accusations against me. It must be emphasized, the Senate shall constitute as the Impeachment Court in case the House of Representatives initiates an impeachment proceedings. Therefore, the senators are unmindful of their role as potential Senators-judges. Worst, these senators are acting as prosecutors, judges and even as witnesses,” he said.


Trillanes: I want Binay in jail. MALAYA HEADLINE  Iara Jolo - October 16, 2014

“As declared by Senator Trillanes, among other things, his objective is to put me in jail,” he also said.

Trillanes has said on multiple occasions he will not stop until Binay is jailed for his supposed crimes.

The Vice President has maintained, however, that “[t]he role of the Legislature is to make laws, not to determine anyone’s guilt of a crime or wrongdoing. It cannot adjudicate or prosecute.”

He said that according to the Supreme Court decision on Neri vs. Senate Blue Ribbon Committee (G.R. No. 180643, 4 September 2008), it is not the task of the Legislature to investigate the culpability of government officials.

Binay also said that according to Neri, “the Legislature cannot assume the powers reposed upon the prosecutorial bodies and the courts.

“The determination of who is/are liable for a crime or illegal activity, the investigation of the role played by each official, the determination of who should be haled to court for prosecution and the task of coming up with conclusions and finding of facts regarding anomalies, especially the determination of criminal guilt, are not functions of the Legislature,” Binay said.

The Vice President further asserted that the “(t)here is no congressional power to expose for the sake of exposure.”

“Under our Constitution, it is the Ombudsman who has the duty to investigate any act or omission of any public official, employee, office or agency when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper, or inefficient,’’ he added.

“The Office of the Ombudsman is the body properly equipped by the Constitution and our laws to preliminarily determine whether or not the allegations of anomaly are true and who are liable therefore,” he continued.

The Vice President also argued “legislative inquiries, unlike court proceedings are not subject to the exacting standards of evidence essential to arrive at accurate and factual findings upon which to apply the law.”

“These Senators insist that I should answer all the accusation hurled against me. It bears to stress that these accusations are based on the bare allegations of local political detractors. These bare allegations are not supported by evidence,” he said.


PHILSTAR

VP saddened by Grace’s signing of report By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 30, 2015 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


Grace Poe 4th Senator to sign plunder raps vs VP

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay is sad that Sen. Grace Poe had signed the draft Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee report seeking to recommend the filing of plunder charges against him and his son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay Jr.

Four senators have signed the report, according to subcommittee chairman Aquilino Pimentel III.

Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman for political affairs, said Poe appeared to have sided with senators persecuting Binay and his family and bullying innocent people.

“I hope Senator Poe has read the affidavit submitted by the Vice President but was ignored by the subcommittee,” Quicho said in a statement.

Binay has repeatedly refused to appear before the subcommittee as he believes he would only be ridiculed and shamed on national television.

The subcommittee has been hearing allegations of overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II and other anomalies that Binay is alleged of committing when he was mayor of Makati.

Last Nov. 6, Binay submitted an eight-page affidavit to the subcommittee debunking and answering point per point the allegations.

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Quicho said plunder is a serious charge which must be fully established based on facts and prevailing jurisprudence before requiring an impeachable official like the Vice President to explain his innocence.

“As we said before, accusations against government officials must be based on credible evidence and not from perjured and polluted sources,” he said.

Quicho said the subcommittee report is wrong that Binay did not reply to allegations of overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

“It is a validation of our position that the Senate has, from the very start, already prejudged the issue,” he said. “They have made up their minds even before the hearing started and will not listen, tolerate, or entertain statements and facts contradicting them.”

In his affidavit, Binay denied any overpricing of Makati City Hall Building II nor had any other irregularity been committed.

He was “initially inclined to attend” the hearing but he “could not simply disregard the rule of law, the Constitution, and well-settled jurisprudence,” he added.

The subcommittee has intimidated witnesses testifying in his favor and coached and rehearsed those lying and fabricating testimonies against him, Binay said.

Quicho said Binay remains focused on his tasks as housing czar and presidential adviser for overseas Filipino workers’ concerns.

“The focus of the upcoming elections should shift from personalities and mudslinging to executive experience and one’s readiness for the job,” he said.

The “biased” report of the Senate only makes Binay more determined to pursue his presidential bid next year and “fight for pro-poor policies, especially in the areas of universal healthcare, quality education and better job opportunities for all,” Quicho said.

Wheelchairs

In Bondoc Peninsula, Quezon, Binay turned over wheelchairs to senior citizens and some health equipment yesterday.

Welcoming and assisting Binay during his sorties in San Francisco, Mulanay and Catanauan towns was former lawmaker Danilo Suarez, father of Quezon Gov. David Suarez.

Binay gave five wheelchairs to Senior Citizens Affairs in San Francisco in the town public market and then stood side-side with local leaders and residents over a boodle fight.

After lunch, Binay’s entourage traveled to Mulanay town, where he distributed four wheelchairs and medical equipment.

By noon, Binay went to the Catanauan public market to talk to people.

Binay said if given a chance to become president, he would find a way for the barangay tanod to become a permanent government employee earning a basic salary. – Helen Flores, Michelle Zoleta

MANILA TIMES

Your house is burning, Mr. President May 31, 2015 10:59 pm FRANCISCO S. TATAD


by FRANCISCO S. TATAD

LONG BEFORE it began, and before I ever wrote about it, I spoke to Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, on the basis of what I had learned from the best possible sources, of what Malacañang and the Liberal Party were planning to do to prevent him from running for president in 2016.

The ultimate objective was to remove him from office, put him in jail, if need be, to keep him from running. What I had learned at the time was precisely what they have done to Binay, step by step, up to the last detail, till now.

The case vs. Binay

A subcommittee of the Senate blue ribbon committee has just come out with a report recommending the filing of plunder charges against Binay and his son, the mayor of Makati, Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr.

This has not happened before. How many senators will sign the report, and how the Ombudsman will react to it, if signed by a sufficient number, remain to be seen. But even if Binay escapes the planned destruction by his adversaries, the rule of law and our society’s sense of justice have already been despoiled by our politicians in their naked pursuit of political power.

PNoy is the central player

As in the impeachment and removal of Chief Justice Renato Corona, the forced enactment of the patently offensive Reproductive Health Law, and the current effort to bulldoze the passage of the unconstitutional and treasonous Bangsamoro Basic Law Bill, PNoy is the central player here.

He personally presided over the small-group meetings that planned the whole thing. So the questions to ask are both political and personal.

How could it ever happen? Binay had been “elected” with PNoy on a split ticket in the first automated election; had become his housing czar and adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Concerns, among others; performed many international missions for him; and remained close to PNoy’s siblings, who were said to favor him over the other presidential pretenders. Despite the humiliations and provocations, Binay had never threatened to leave the Cabinet despite the humiliations and lead the opposition. How then could PNoy organize the campaign to destroy Binay?

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Where Binay erred It appears that as far as PNoy was concerned, Binay committed a number of errors.

His first error was that he failed to recognize what was at stake in the ballgame. It was power—state power—dark and mystic power—more intoxicating than the strongest opium. PNoy is not ready to let it go, except if it becomes absolutely necessary, but only to his chosen successor. He would be the only one, rather than a political party or any group of men and women, to anoint the one who would rule after him.

But Binay made the mistake of announcing so early in the day that he would like to become the successor.

Then he compounded his mistake by investing so much in the paid propaganda surveys to make himself the “most trusted official” while PNoy’s trust rating plunged underwater.

Then he decided to run his daughter Nancy for the Senate without any compelling reason for it. This made his political dynasty a source of grave concern to everybody else.

Were he to become the president, he would be the first (and so far only one) to sit in Malacañang, while one daughter sits in the Senate, another sits in the House, and a son sits as mayor of Makati, the country’s premier financial district, with all its vast resources. This PNoy could not permit.

For these reasons, Binay must be stopped. The attack dogs at the Senate had to dig up every possible dirt, launch into a wild fishing expedition by going after every agency under Binay’s chairmanship, until they came face to face with Pag-IBIG president Atty. Darlene Marie Berberabe, a no-nonsense lawyer, who compelled the usually caustic and unparliamentary Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to back off.

Their next act was to bring in the Anti-Money Laundering Council to look into the bank accounts of the Binays and their alleged associates without need of a court order or the existence of a predicate crime, such as money laundering, drug trafficking, other syndicated crimes, etc. to justify AMLAC’s entry into the whole mess.

The Corona operation repeated

This was a repeat of what Aquino and his minions did to Corona during his impeachment trial, even though Corona was not even accused of graft and corruption, but only of failing to file an accurate Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, which the law allows the individual filer to amend or correct.

But where Corona was tried after having been impeached by the House, Binay was “investigated” by a subcommittee of the Blue Ribbon Committee, in violation of the Constitution and the Rules of the Senate.

The Senate is not a fiscal’s office or a police precinct

FLASHBACK: Francisco "Kit" Tatad

FROM WIKIPEDIA: Senator Francisco Tatad.jpg, Senator of the Philippines , In office June 30, 1992 – June 30, 2001 Majority leader of the Senate of the Philippines In office July 12, 2000 – June 30, 2001 President Joseph Estrada Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Preceded by Franklin Drilon Succeeded by Loren Legarda In office October 10, 1996 – January 26, 1998 President Fidel V. Ramos Preceded by Alberto Romulo Succeeded by Franklin Drilon Minister of Public Information In office 1969–1980 President Ferdinand Marcos Preceded by Position established Succeeded by Gregorio Cendaña Mambabatas Pambansa (Assemblyman) from Region V In office June 12, 1978 – June 5, 1984 Personal details Born October 4, 1939 (age 75) Gigmoto, Catanduanes, Philippines Nationality Filipino Political party Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (1995 - 2001) Nationalist People's Coalition (1992 - 1995) Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (1978 - 1987) Other political affiliations Grand Alliance for Democracy (1987; 2010) United Opposition (2005 - 2007) Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (2004) Spouse(s) Fernandita "Fenny" Cantero Relations Shalani Soledad (niece) Residence Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines Alma mater University of Santo Tomas Center for Research and Communication Profession Journalist, Politician Religion Roman Catholicism

From the very beginning, I have denounced these proceedings as unconstitutional and beyond the jurisdiction of the Senate.

For nearly nine years I was chairman of the Senate committee on rules and Majority Leader to five Senate presidents.

My understanding of the right and duty of the members of Congress to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation is based on Section 21, Article VI of the Constitution, which provides:

“The Senate or the House of Representatives or any of its respective committees may conduct inquiries in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure. The rights of persons appearing in or affected by such inquiries shall be respected.”

This establishes a clear distinction between a Senate committee and the fiscal’s or prosecutor’s office or a police precinct. It is not the duty of the Congress to prosecute any accused individual, nor to establish probable cause in any alleged offense, and no inquiry in aid of legislation is tasked to establish the innocence or guilt of any person appearing before it.

The Senate attack dogs have dirty hands

Yet it is not the Constitution or the Rules of Parliamentary Procedure alone that should have prevented the Senate attack dogs from going after the Binays; their simplest understanding of the most basic rule of morality should have held them back.

For these senators had been bribed by PNoy to convict and remove Corona on an unimpeachable offense; they are in no position to investigate, much less judge, anyone. Their hands are dirty, they have lost their right to their office, if ever they had ever deserved it.

Whether or not they quit, as they should, they should be investigated, not just by their peers who may be guilty of the same offense, but in a criminal court of justice.

Personal disclosure

 Lest I be accused of being partisan, as Trillanes once made the mistake of suggesting in one news forum, let me make a personal disclosure. I campaigned with Binay in 2010 as a senatorial candidate.

Despite my reservations about the validity of the elections, at the request of a friend, I agreed to help Binay, pro-bono, for the next two years. I disengaged in December 2012, after I decided to become a serious presidential critic.

I want to talk of regime and system change, not rigged elections I have a warm heart for Binay, but I am not part of his “early bird” presidential campaign. I traveled with him abroad, but was never asked to join any of his local sorties.

The Grand Alliance for Democracy, which I chair, is not part of his UNA coalition. Neither do I accept the propaganda surveys which seem to shape his view of things. And while he sincerely wants to become president,

I am more interested, together with the National Transformation Council, in regime and system change, and in making sure that we first clean up the electoral system before we talk of the next elections.

But even if I happened to be a sworn enemy, which I am not, nothing would stop me from denouncing what Aquino has done and is doing to Binay. It is completely rotten and should not go unpunished.

Will the Ombudsman follow blindly the Senate attack dogs?

Now, assuming the other senators sign the report which Pimentel, Trillanes, Cayetano and Grace Poe Llamanzares have already signed, will the Ombudsman charge the Binays father and son with plunder on the bases of the report? Not likely.

The Ombudsman will still have to conduct its own investigation before taking action, if ever.

So it may be too early for Malacañang and the LP to celebrate. In its effort to destroy Binay, the Senate has destroyed itself. But this is not the only bad news for PNoy.

Your house is burning, Mr. President.

Treason and the peace negotiators

Last week, two serious cases were filed against PNoy and his people on major issues.

The first is a case of inciting to sedition and treason filed by Manila Rep. Jose (Lito) Atienza, Abakada partylist Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, former Ambassador Jose Romero and international law specialist Jeremy Gatdula from the University of Asia and the Pacific School of Law and Governance against 23 respondents, including Justice Marvic Leonen, presidential peace adviser Teresita Quintos Deles, Miriam Coronel Ferrer from the government, and Mohagher Iqbal, chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front negotiating panel and the Transition Commission, and former congressman Datu Michael Mastura.

The case arose from the conduct of the parties in connection with the negotiation of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which are the mother documents of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law Bill (Babala), but whose constitutionality is assailed in the complaint and everywhere else. The case was filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court.

Robbing the coconut farmers of their billions

The second is a petition filed before the Supreme Court by the Confederation of Coconut Farmers Organizations of the Philippines (CCFOP) against PNoy, acting PCGG chairman Richard Amurao, Chairman Cesar Villanueva of the Governance Commission for GOCCs, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima seeking to nullify Executive Orders 179 and 180, series of 2015, which seek to “reconvey and privatize” the coco levy funds worth about P80 billion and assets worth about P200 billion, which should be used for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry.

CCFOP spokesman

Charles Avila said Aquino “cannot arrogate unto himself, without legislative authority, the power to allocate, use and administer the billions of pesos of coconut funds and assets. Nor can he arrogate unto himself he exclusive authority of the judiciary to execute its final and executory decisions, in violation of the separation of powers, essential to a democracy.”

The farmers are confident the High Court would uphold the rights of the coconut industry, said Avila.

When it rains, it pours

More cases are expected to be filed against the FAB and the CAB, as well as on the “murder” of the 44 Special Action Force police commandos who were massacred on Jan. 25, 2015 at Mamasapano, Maguindanao, by the combined forces of the MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, after they were denied military reinforcement by their commander-in-chief.

Whoever said PNoy’s worries are at an end?


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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