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JUNJUN BINAY DEFIANT OVER OMBUDSMAN'S 2nd SUSPENSION ORDER


JUNE 29 --Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay. RICHARD A. REYES FILE PHOTO
Makati Mayor Junjun Binay on Monday refused to accept the second preventive suspension order imposed upon him by the Office of the Ombudsman. In a statement, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said her office issued the preventive suspension order on Junjun Binay, son of Vice President Jejomar Binay, on Monday over the allegedly overpriced Makati Science High School Building but the Makati chief executive refused to receive it when it was served at his office at the Makati City Hall. The Joint Order was then served at Binay’s residence, the Ombudsman said.
“Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the preventive suspension of Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr and 14 other respondents in seven administrative cases, all for grave misconduct, dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, in  connection with the alleged irregularities that attended the Makati Science Highs School building construction worth P1.349 billion,” the Ombudsman’s statement read. The Ombudsman also said the respondents, including Vice President Jejomar Binay as former Makati mayor, face criminal charges of falsification and violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Also facing criminal charges are former Department Head II Rodel Nayve, former Department Head II Marjorie De Veyra, and some officials of Infiniti Architectural Works and Hilmarc’s Construction Corp. READ MORE...

ALSO What Went Before: ‘Overpriced’ Makati Science High School


JUNE 30 ---Photo shows a rendition of the Makati Science High School. PHILSTAR FILE NOV. 7, 2014 In December last year, a plunder and graft complaint was filed against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, for the alleged overpriced construction of the 10-story Makati Science High School building at Barangay (village) Cembo. The 11-page complaint of a group called anticorruption advocates led by Renato Bondal, a former barangay captain and Binay ally, urged the Office of the Ombudsman to charge the Binays criminally for allegedly conspiring to defraud the government of Makati City of P862 million in the construction of the school building. The project cost was originally P470 million, but it ballooned to P1.3 billion, the complaint said. Construction started when the Vice President was still mayor of Makati and continued through the administration of his son. Also named respondents were former and incumbent Councilors Ferdinand Eusebio, Arnold Magpantay, Romeo Medina, Tosca Puno-Ramos, Alethea Casal-Uy, Virgilio Hilario, Monsour del Rosario III, Vince Sese, Nelson Pasia, Salvador Pangilinan, Elias Tolentino, Ruth Tolentino, Henry Jacome, Leo Magpantay, Nemesio Yabut Jr., Armand Padilla, Israel Cruzado, Ma. Theresa de Lara, Angelito Gatchalian and Ricardo Javier; members of the Makati City School Board in 2009; and Commission on Audit resident auditor Ma. Cecilia Caga-anan, the then members of the bids and awards committee, and the officers of Hilmarc’s Construction Corp., led by engineer Efren M. Canlas.Bondal was also among the complainants in the first plunder case his group filed in the Office of the Ombudsman in August 2014 in connection with the alleged overpriced Makati parking building, which was also investigated by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee. READ MORE...

ALSO VP supports son: Binays defy Ombudsman


JUNE 30 ---DEFYING OMBUDSMAN ORDER ANEW Vice President Jejomar Binay addresses supporters gathered at Makati City Hall as his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, defies a suspension order from the Office of the Ombudsman for his role in the allegedly overpriced Makati Science High School building. The mayor also refused to heed the suspension order of the Ombudsman early this year for his role in the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II. RAFFY LERMA It is just another attack, but Vice President Jejomar Binay is unfazed and says it’s not going to prevent him from running for President next year. The Vice President’s son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, received Monday a second suspension order from the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with its investigation of corruption allegations in the construction of the P1.3-billion Makati City Science High School building. The mayor’s staff refused to accept the order. The younger Binay said that the directive was an illustration of “selective justice” that his father decried when he resigned from President Aquino’s Cabinet a week ago, saying he was through being the “punching bag” of administration allies seeking higher office in next year’s elections. READ MORE...

ALSO: VP Binay writes letters, buys ad space to answer charges -Inquirer reports


JUNE 30 --Vice President Jejomar Binay has taken to writing letters and buying space in a newspaper to defend himself against the many accusations of corruption hurled against him. One of the recipients of his eight-page letter dated June 5 was a bishop, who requested not to be identified. In the letter that the bishop received last week, Binay belied all the issues thrown at him and his family—from the accusations made by former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado in the Senate and the report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council on his bank accounts. As in his previous statements, Binay denied accusations such as owning an agricultural estate in Batangas province and a log cabin in Tagaytay City; receiving kickbacks for several projects in Makati City; earning millions as the president of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines; and owning a unit at a luxury condominium.Web of deceits’ He said the allegations were designed to prevent him from derailing “the ruling party’s ambition to dominate the 2016 elections and continue [its] regime of incompetence, aimless leadership, large-scale corruption, selective justice and indifference to the poor.” READ MORE...

ALSO: Why Erap may not back Binay in 2016


JULY 2 ---Estradas undecided on support for Binay, waiting for Grace Poe's 2016 plans ABS-CBN SCREENGRAB  Vice President Jejomar Binay is bent on seeking the highest position in the country, despite the barrage of corruption allegations against him and his family. But he might end up going it alone in 2016, without the support of a key figure of the political opposition: former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, Estrada’s son with San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, said the family had yet to decide whether to support Binay. The reason—the possible presidential run of Sen. Grace Poe. “We have not made a decision. We still have to consult former President and Mayor Erap. The family still has to talk about it,” Ejercito told ABS-CBN News. Ejercito said he himself was torn between backing Binay and Poe. “I would admit that should Sen. Grace Poe decide really to run, and [with] Vice President Binay, who is already almost 100 percent sure of running, we will be put in a quandary,” he said. “That will be a dilemma.” Poe is the adopted daughter of Estrada’s close friend, the late movie star Fernando Poe Jr. Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, interim president of Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), acknowledged the importance of getting Estrada on board. READ MORE...

ALSO Nancy Binay: Suspension order a political tactic


JUNE 30 ---In this October 2014 photo, Sen. Nancy Binay speaks in a Makati City event. Binay claimed on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 that the suspension order and allegations thrown against her family are personal attacks. Senate PRIB/File
Sen. Nancy Binay said Tuesday she believes the suspension order against her brother, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr., is an attack directed to her family.
Sen. Binay claimed that the suspension order issued Monday by the Office of the Ombudsman is something that President Benigno Aquino III knew of. "Imposibleng hindi ito alam ni presidente," Binay said in an interview with dzRH. Sen. Binay said that since her siblings and father are not allies of the administration, they have experienced the same "unfair" treatment last year. "Ganitong ganito panggigipit din ang ginagawa sa amin," Sen. Binay claimed. “Ibat-ibang paraan para ipitin ka at takutin ka." The senators stressed that her family will not back down and will continue serving the public despite allegations thrown at them. READ MORE...

ALSO Roxas tells Mayor Binay: ‘You don’t own Makati’


JULY 2 ---Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and suspended Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS  Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II on Tuesday asked Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay to respect the suspension order issued against him by the Ombudsman. “Hindi po ninyo pag-aari ang Makati, Mayor Binay. Walang naghahari-hari dito kung hindi ang batas. Batas po ang ipinapatupad at ‘yan din naman lang po ang ginagawa ng DILG at PNP (Department of Interior and Local Government and Philippine National Police),” he told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo after a meeting on disaster preparedness.
(You don’t own Makati, Mayor Binay. No one rules it except for laws. The rule of law prevails there and the DILG and the PNP are just carrying it out.)
Violence broke out at Makati City Hall after DILG officials served the suspension order. They were prevented from entering the city hall so they just posted the order at the building’s entrance.READ MORE...

ALSO: Letter from VP Binay (and a reply)


Carmen Pedrosa I received a nice letter from Vice President Jojo Binay. I am printing it in its entirety. Here it is: “Dear Ms. Pedrosa, Like you, I am unhappy with the imbalance that exists in our country, with the very few super rich outweighing the majority of the population who are poor. In this regard, I would like to reassure you that in the ‘conflict’ between the rich and the poor that you envision, I am on the side of the latter. But, as I have proven in Makati, there need not be a confrontation between the two sides. It is possible to work with the rich to benefit the poor. The Makati story is about the revenues of the country’s financial center being wisely used to provide unmatched services and benefits to the residents of the city. Where else can you find a city that provides free education (including shoes, uniforms and books and state-of-the-art facilities) to elementary and high school children; subsidized college courses at the University of Makati, including a dualized system that matches the curriculum with personnel requirements of Makati businesses; a socialized health care system that United Nations-Habitat considers the best in the country; and a host of other benefits that other local governments have now begun to emulate? Can you imagine how the 90% poor and the 9% middle class that you have described could benefit if the revenues of our country were to be used, not on senseless pork barrel and DAP largesse? We did it in Makati. To a large extent, it can be done nationwide. READ MORE, PLUS THE REPLY.....


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Junjun Binay defiant over Ombudsman’s second suspension order


Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay. RICHARD A. REYES FILE PHOTO

MANILA, JULY 6, 2015
(INQUIRER) Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ June 29th, 2015 - Makati Mayor Junjun Binay on Monday refused to accept the second preventive suspension order imposed upon him by the Office of the Ombudsman.

In a statement, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said her office issued the preventive suspension order on Junjun Binay, son of Vice President Jejomar Binay, on Monday over the allegedly overpriced Makati Science High School Building but the Makati chief executive refused to receive it when it was served at his office at the Makati City Hall.

The Joint Order was then served at Binay’s residence, the Ombudsman said.

“Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the preventive suspension of Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr and 14 other respondents in seven administrative cases, all for grave misconduct, dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, in connection with the alleged irregularities that attended the Makati Science Highs School building construction worth P1.349 billion,” the Ombudsman’s statement read.

The Ombudsman also said the respondents, including Vice President Jejomar Binay as former Makati mayor, face criminal charges of falsification and violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Also facing criminal charges are former Department Head II Rodel Nayve, former Department Head II Marjorie De Veyra, and some officials of Infiniti Architectural Works and Hilmarc’s Construction Corp.

READ MORE...

“Despite efforts to personally serve the 12-page Joint Order, Mayor Binay and his office staff refused to receive a copy of the Joint Order and prevented the process servers to leave the Joint Order in his office. The process servers thereupon served a copy of the order in his residence,” the Ombudsman said.

This after the Ombudsman probers who conducted the fact-finding investigation recommended graft charges against Vice President Binay, Mayor Binay and other Makati city officials over the alleged rigging of the bidding for the construction of the 10-story Makati Science High School building.

As part of its powers, the Ombudsman may place an accused official under preventive suspension on the administrative charges pending the preliminary investigation to prevent the official from using his or her position to thwart the probe.

According to the special panel of investigators cited in the statement, Mayor Binay and 14 others “mutually aided one another” in the rigging of the procurement and award of the P17.3 million contract for the architectural design and engineering services to favored pre-selected bidder Infiniti Architectural Works from 2007 to 2008.

The respondents were also accused of rigging the contract of another favored bidder, Hilmarc’s Construction Corp., for six phases of construction from 2007 to 2014 involving the amounts of P99.631 million, P174.508 million, P149.504 million, P394.140 million, P349.559 million, and P165.264 million, respectively.

“Since their respective positions give them access to public records and influence to possible witnesses, and considering the apparent repeated and similar schematic pattern applied in these transactions, respondents’ continued stay in office may prejudice the cases filed against them,” a portion of the Joint Order cited in the statement read.

Also ordered preventively suspended with Mayor Binay are the following city officials: Assistant Department Head II Pio Kenneth Dasal, Department Head II Lorenza Amores, City Accountant III Leonila Querijero, Acting City Accountant Cecilio Lim III, Department Head II Nelia Barlis, Engineering Assistant Norman Flores, Chief Administrative Officer Giovanni Condes, Administrative Officer V Ralph Liberato, Assistant Department Head II Ulysses Orienza, Bids and Awards Secretariat Head Manolito Uyaco, Department Head II Eleno Mendoza Jr. and Department Head II Mario Badillo.

The Ombudsman said it has directed Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to immediately implement the suspension order.

The antigraft body added that based on Republic Act 6770 or the Ombudsman Act, it can suspend a public official pending an investigation if the evidence of guilt is strong, and the charges against the official involved dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in performance of duty.

The Ombudsman had already preventively suspended Mayor Binay on the separate charges over the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II on March 11 but this was later stalled by the Court of Appeals.

The issue on whether or not the Ombudsman can suspend a reelected official is now pending before the Supreme Court. Mayor Binay’s lawyers had cited the Supreme Court ruling, which institutionalized the Aguinaldo doctrine, which states that a reelected official may be spared from charges involving his past term.

Only Mayor Binay and other Makati city officials (except Vice President Binay) were preventively suspended for the Makati parking building case on the administrative charges of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

The respondents were also accused of malversation, falsification, graft and violation of the procurement law over the alleged overpriced Makati parking building.


INQUIRER

What Went Before: ‘Overpriced’ Makati Science High School SHARES: 18 VIEW COMMENTS @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:05 AM June 30th, 2015


Photo shows a rendition of the Makati Science High School. PHILSTAR FILE NOV. 7, 2014

In December last year, a plunder and graft complaint was filed against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, for the alleged overpriced construction of the 10-story Makati Science High School building at Barangay (village) Cembo.

The 11-page complaint of a group called anticorruption advocates led by Renato Bondal, a former barangay captain and Binay ally, urged the Office of the Ombudsman to charge the Binays criminally for allegedly conspiring to defraud the government of Makati City of P862 million in the construction of the school building.

The project cost was originally P470 million, but it ballooned to P1.3 billion, the complaint said. Construction started when the Vice President was still mayor of Makati and continued through the administration of his son.


Also named respondents were former and incumbent Councilors Ferdinand Eusebio, Arnold Magpantay, Romeo Medina, Tosca Puno-Ramos, Alethea Casal-Uy, Virgilio Hilario, Monsour del Rosario III, Vince Sese, Nelson Pasia, Salvador Pangilinan, Elias Tolentino, Ruth Tolentino, Henry Jacome, Leo Magpantay, Nemesio Yabut Jr., Armand Padilla, Israel Cruzado, Ma. Theresa de Lara, Angelito Gatchalian and Ricardo Javier; members of the Makati City School Board in 2009; and Commission on Audit resident auditor Ma. Cecilia Caga-anan, the then members of the bids and awards committee, and the officers of Hilmarc’s Construction Corp., led by engineer Efren M. Canlas.

Bondal was also among the complainants in the first plunder case his group filed in the Office of the Ombudsman in August 2014 in connection with the alleged overpriced Makati parking building, which was also investigated by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee.

READ MORE...

With 54 classrooms, the building was worth P72,500 per square meters when the amount should have been only P25,620 per sqm, based on 2013 pricing, Bondal said.

Mario Hechanova, who headed the Makati general services department when Binay was the mayor, said the science high school building was among no less than 10 projects bid out on Dec. 28, 2007. He said the bidders were always the same and the biddings were rigged.

The same set of three contractors—Hilmarc’s Construction Corp., ITP Construction Inc. and JBros Construction Corp.—supposedly battled it out for the project, which was eventually awarded to Hilmarc’s.

Inaugurated in February last year, the building still lacked four dormitories that should have been included, said Bondal, who claimed that the building’s eighth to 10th floors were off-limits to the public.

The building has 35 regular rooms, 18 labs and special classrooms, and one reading center. It also has a basement, roof deck, an auditorium on two floors, and open spaces that allows one to look down from any of the floors at the lobby.

Administrative offices and biology labs are located on the ground floor, while the second floor houses the computer and speech labs and the audio-visual room. The general science, chemistry and physics labs are on the third floor.

The regular classrooms are on the fourth to seventh floors. Also on the fourth floor are the electronics and robotics labs. The eighth floor houses the dormitory, which has 20 rooms that can accommodate 240 students, toilets and shower rooms.

The building has a spacious staircase, and two elevators that can carry 17 persons each. Behind the elevators are the student lockers.

The Vice President has denied all accusations against him, including allegations that he received kickbacks from infrastructure projects when he was mayor and used dummies to hide his wealth.–Compiled by Inquirer Research


INQUIRER

VP supports son: Binays defy Ombudsman
VEEP SON REFUSES TO ACCEPT NEW SUSPENSION ORDER
SHARES: 83 VIEW COMMENTS By: Maricar B. Brizuela and Christine O. Avendaño, Marlon Ramos @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:34 AM June 30th, 2015


DEFYING OMBUDSMAN ORDER ANEW Vice President Jejomar Binay addresses supporters gathered at Makati City Hall as his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, defies a suspension order from the Office of the Ombudsman for his role in the allegedly overpriced Makati Science High School building. The mayor also refused to heed the suspension order of the Ombudsman early this year for his role in the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II. RAFFY LERMA

It is just another attack, but Vice President Jejomar Binay is unfazed and says it’s not going to prevent him from running for President next year.

The Vice President’s son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, received Monday a second suspension order from the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with its investigation of corruption allegations in the construction of the P1.3-billion Makati City Science High School building.

The mayor’s staff refused to accept the order. The younger Binay said that the directive was an illustration of “selective justice” that his father decried when he resigned from President Aquino’s Cabinet a week ago, saying he was through being the “punching bag” of administration allies seeking higher office in next year’s elections.

READ MORE...

The Vice President addressed about 1,000 supporters that had begun to mass on the City Hall grounds in a show of people power to stop the enforcement of the Ombudman’s order on Monday.

“This is just another way for them to attack me and my family,” he said, adding that “no matter what happens” he was pursuing his quest for the presidency in next year’s elections.

The mass gathering on the quadrangle was a repeat of the demonstrations that stymied the enforcement of a similar suspension directive on March 11 in connection with the Ombudsman’s investigation of the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.

The Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order on Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’ move in March on a plea by Binay that whatever administrative offense he had committed had been condoned by his subsequent reelection. The case has been elevated to the Supreme Court by Morales and is pending resolution.

“The Ombudsman’s actions cannot be more obvious. When there are complaints against administration allies, it sleeps on the job. But when a Binay is involved, investigations are rushed even when the charges have no basis at all,” Mayor Binay told reporters.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said the suspension was a lawful order of the Ombudsman and urged the mayor to comply.

The potential standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party in next year’s elections said that his department, assisted by the Philippine National Police if necessary, was “duty bound” to enforce the order “in the most expeditious and peaceable way.”

Conspiracy

The Vice President’s camp accused Malacañang of harassment and said it would not be “cowed.”

“This precipitate and unduly harsh action demonstrates the undue haste and priority given to investigations against the Vice President and his family, while pussyfooting on the anomalies perpetrated by the Liberal Party and administration allies,” Binay’s political spokesman Rico Quicho said in a statement.

“We expect more retaliatory and oppressive maneuvers against the Vice President and his family,” Quicho said, adding that this was part of the conspiracy of the administration to stop Binay from being elected as president.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. dismissed allegations by the Binay camp that the President pressured the Ombudsman into suspending Mayor Binay.

“I don’t see President P-Noy trying to influence anybody. He couldn’t influence (Chief Justice Maria Lourdes) Sereno. He couldn’t influence (Ombudsman) Conchita Carpio Morales,” said Belmonte in an interview with reporters. “Once they are in position, they tend to be their own bosses.”

A special panel of investigators on June 8 recommended the suspension of the mayor while investigations are continuing in the school overprice case, citing as evidence a claim by former Makati City general services head Mario Hechanova that bidding for the building was rigged.

Hechanova’s allegation was based on what he said he had been told by the late city engineer Nelson Morales.

Binay’s lawyer has dismissed the evidence as hearsay.

Monday’s suspension order did not mention the duration, but a spokesperson said it was also for six months. Because Binay’s staff refused to accept the order, a copy was sent to the mayor’s residence.

In press statement, the Ombudsman said the suspension order against Mayor Binay and his fellow City Hall executives stemmed from the seven separate administrative cases for grave misconduct, dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service filed by the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office.

It said there was a “showing that respondents mutually aided one another in rigging and prearranging, in favor of pre-selected contractors, the procurement and award, including the approval and release of payments.”

Evidence strong

“Since their respective positions give them access to public records and influence the possible witnesses, and considering the apparent repeated and similar schematic pattern applied in these transactions, respondents’ continued stay in office may prejudice the cases filed against them,” the Ombudsman said.

It said Republic Act No. 6770, or the Ombudsman Act of 1989, authorized the agency to “preventively suspend” public officials if “the evidence of guilt is strong” and if the charges against them involved dishonesty, oppression, grave misconduct and neglect in the performance of duty.

The suspension is also necessary if the penalty for the charges includes removal from office and if their “continued stay in office may prejudice the case” brought against them.

Of the total project cost, the Ombudsman said P17.3 million went to Infiniti Architectural Works for the design and engineering services for the construction of the school building.

The rest was given in six tranches to Hilmarc’s Construction Corp. from 2007 to 2014, it said.

Aside from Binay, suspended from office were Assistant Department Head II Pio Kenneth Dasal, Department Head II Lorenza Amores, City Accountant III Leonila Querijero, acting City Accountant Cecilio Lim III, Department Head II Nelia Barlis and Engineering Assistant Norman Flores.

Also included in the suspension order were Chief Administrative Officer Giovanni Condes, Administrative Officer V Ralph Liberato, Assistant Department Head II Ulysses Orienza, Bids and Awards Secretariat Head Manolito Uyaco, Department Head II Eleno Mendoza Jr. and Department Head II Mario Badillo.

The Vice President and the respondents were also facing separate criminal charges along with the officials of the two private contractors. But the Vice President has immunity from lawsuits and cannot be removed except by impeachment while sitting in office.–
With a report from Gil C. Cabacungan


INQUIRER

Binay writes letters, buys ad space to answer charges SHARES: New VIEW COMMENTS By: Jocelyn R. Uy and Christine O. Avendaño @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 03:31 AM June 30th, 2015


BINAY

Vice President Jejomar Binay has taken to writing letters and buying space in a newspaper to defend himself against the many accusations of corruption hurled against him.

One of the recipients of his eight-page letter dated June 5 was a bishop, who requested not to be identified.

In the letter that the bishop received last week, Binay belied all the issues thrown at him and his family—from the accusations made by former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado in the Senate and the report of the Anti-Money Laundering Council on his bank accounts.

As in his previous statements, Binay denied accusations such as owning an agricultural estate in Batangas province and a log cabin in Tagaytay City; receiving kickbacks for several projects in Makati City; earning millions as the president of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines; and owning a unit at a luxury condominium.


Photo of the one-page ad that appeared in a newspaper (not the Inquirer) on Monday, June 29, 2015.

‘Web of deceits’

He said the allegations were designed to prevent him from derailing “the ruling party’s ambition to dominate the 2016 elections and continue [its] regime of incompetence, aimless leadership, large-scale corruption, selective justice and indifference to the poor.”

READ MORE...

Binay said the corruption charges hurled against him formed a “pattern of lies and web of deceits” orchestrated by his political detractors, who saw him as their “obstacle” in the coming balloting.

“By now it is clear that they only intend to influence perception. This is not about justice or the fight against corruption,” Binay said in his letter.

“What is happening in the Senate is demolition by perception, exploiting the attitude of most people to believe outright negative statements, especially against a government official,” he added.

Plunder, graft raps

A partial report of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee investigating the alleged overprice of the Makati City Hall Building II has recommended plunder and graft charges against Binay, his son (Makati Mayor Junjun Binay), Gerry Limlingan (Binay’s finance officer) and Eduviges “Ebeng” Baloloy (Binay’s longtime secretary).

Binay said he was the target of his rivals due to his good performance in survey ratings. “As you are probably aware, my political detractors have resumed their malicious and baseless attacks against me in the media as part of their continuing efforts to bring down my survey ratings…”

In a one-page ad that appeared in a newspaper (not the Inquirer) on Monday and in a statement also issued Monday, Binay questioned the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee report prepared by Sen. Aquilino “Koko’’ Pimentel III.

In the ad, the Vice President said the subcommittee report amounted to “lies, hearsay, guesswork, conjectures and violation of law, rules and rights.” In the statement, Binay described the report as “faulty” and “uncorroborated.”

The Vice President said the subcommittee should have looked into the “truthfulness” of the statements of its resource persons, particularly Mercado who, according to Binay, said “nothing but lies and baseless accusations” at the long-running hearings.

Among the allegations that Mercado raised at the hearings but were found to be untrue, according to Binay, included the statement that he received a 13-percent kickback from infrastructure projects of Makati when he was its mayor. The Vice President said Mercado’s claim was based on what the late city engineer Nelson Morales had allegedly told the former vice mayor.

Binay also said Mercado’s allegation that his piggery in Batangas was air-conditioned was not true as shown in the ocular inspection by subcommittee members.

The ocular inspection also failed to see Mercado’s allegation that the property had luxurious mansions and a 40-car garage, the Vice President said.

“Mr. Mercado also claims that I own the property in Rosario, Batangas. However, the bare claim of Mercado was debunked by the testimony of businessman Antonio Tiu,” Binay said.

Binay also pointed out that Mercado’s allegation that he owned a log cabin in Tagaytay Highlands and received kickbacks from Hilmarc’s Construction Corp., contractor of the Makati City Hall Building II, was denied by their owners.

Binay said the subcommittee violated the Constitution when its hearings were not in aid of legislation “but to determine his criminal liability.”

Skipping hearings

Reacting to Binay’s ad against his subcommittee report, Pimentel said Binay should have just attended the Senate hearings.

“Instead of appearing before the subcommittee, he had to spend a lot of money,” Pimentel told reporters in a phone patch interview. “Let’s ask him why he has to spend.”

The senator said Binay might have decided to come out with an ad because he was feeling the effects of the findings of the subcommittee report.


ABS-CBN

Why Erap may not back Binay in 2016 By Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News Posted at 06/29/2015 10:02 PM | Updated as of 06/30/2015 12:18 AM

Vice President Jejomar Binay is bent on seeking the highest position in the country, despite the barrage of corruption allegations against him and his family.

But he might end up going it alone in 2016, without the support of a key figure of the political opposition: former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, Estrada’s son with San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, said the family had yet to decide whether to support Binay. The reason—the possible presidential run of Sen. Grace Poe.

“We have not made a decision. We still have to consult former President and Mayor Erap. The family still has to talk about it,” Ejercito told ABS-CBN News.

Ejercito said he himself was torn between backing Binay and Poe.

“I would admit that should Sen. Grace Poe decide really to run, and [with] Vice President Binay, who is already almost 100 percent sure of running, we will be put in a quandary,” he said.

“That will be a dilemma.”

Poe is the adopted daughter of Estrada’s close friend, the late movie star Fernando Poe Jr.

Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, interim president of Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), acknowledged the importance of getting Estrada on board.

READ MORE...

“No matter what happens, Vice President Binay will run in 2016, but it would be better if former President Estrada would support him,” he said, noting that both leaders had been on the same side of the political fence in the last five elections.

UNA will be officially launched as a political party on Wednesday, but Tiangco still could not say whether Estrada would show up.

“I would really appeal to President Erap to join us,” he said.

“There was one thing he said—he would remain and support the candidate of the opposition. So I’m holding on to that because there is only one candidate of the opposition and it is Vice President Binay.”

UNA was born in 2013 as a coalition between Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) party and Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party.

Tiangco is a member of PMP, but said he sought Estrada’s permission to work full-time for Binay’s presidential run.

The 2013 UNA coalition was led by its so-called "Three Kings" composed of Estrada, Binay, and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile. Enrile is now detained for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.

Tiangco distinguished between UNA as a coalition in the 2013 elections, and UNA as a political party for 2016.

“As a party, we are united, but if you want a broader coalition, of course the presence of former President Estrada is very important,” he said.

“(UNA) has not disintegrated, but we want it to be as solid as before. So we want PMP to be our coalition partner again.”

Ejercito said Binay was still the opposition’s best candidate at this time. But he urged UNA to start building gathering supporters down to the municipal level with the elections less than a year away.

“It will be up to the party on how they would be able to run the campaign, present a good platform and probably make a good defense (against)the accusations (against) Binay,” he said.

Ejercito added: “More importantly, how they would be able to organize and be able to recruit officials to support the Vice President.”


PHILSTAR

Nancy Binay: Suspension order a political tactic By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated June 30, 2015 - 10:40am 5 300 googleplus0 0


In this October 2014 photo, Sen. Nancy Binay speaks in a Makati City event. Binay claimed on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 that the suspension order and allegations thrown against her family are personal attacks. Senate PRIB/File

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Nancy Binay said Tuesday she believes the suspension order against her brother, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr., is an attack directed to her family.

Sen. Binay claimed that the suspension order issued Monday by the Office of the Ombudsman is something that President Benigno Aquino III knew of.

"Imposibleng hindi ito alam ni presidente," Binay said in an interview with dzRH.

Sen. Binay said that since her siblings and father are not allies of the administration, they have experienced the same "unfair" treatment last year.

"Ganitong ganito panggigipit din ang ginagawa sa amin," Sen. Binay claimed. “Ibat-ibang paraan para ipitin ka at takutin ka."

The senators stressed that her family will not back down and will continue serving the public despite allegations thrown at them.

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"Hindi kami bibitaw sa laban natin sa kahirapan. Prayoridad natin na makatulong sa ating mga kababayan," Sen. Binay said.

Meanwhile, the senator also reacted on the alleged heated confrontation with Senior Superintendent Elmer Jamias, who serves as the ground commander from Southern Police District.

Sen. Binay denied that her father Vice President Jejomar Binay pointed his finger at the police officer.

"Hindi ho siya katulad nung dating bise presidente na mahilig magmura," Sen. Binay said, stopping short of naming a previous vice president.

She claimed Jamias' camp is reversing the story. A sibling of her mother was shoved to the human barricade by policemen.

Sen. Binay said the family will press charges against the cops who allegedly handled their supporters roughly.


INQUIRER

Roxas tells Mayor Binay: ‘You don’t own Makati’ SHARES: 1921 VIEW COMMENTS By: Frances Mangosing @FMangosingINQ INQUIRER.net 02:30 PM June 30th, 2015


Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and suspended Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS

Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II on Tuesday asked Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay to respect the suspension order issued against him by the Ombudsman.

“Hindi po ninyo pag-aari ang Makati, Mayor Binay. Walang naghahari-hari dito kung hindi ang batas. Batas po ang ipinapatupad at ‘yan din naman lang po ang ginagawa ng DILG at PNP (Department of Interior and Local Government and Philippine National Police),” he told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo after a meeting on disaster preparedness.

(You don’t own Makati, Mayor Binay. No one rules it except for laws. The rule of law prevails there and the DILG and the PNP are just carrying it out.)

Violence broke out at Makati City Hall after DILG officials served the suspension order. They were prevented from entering the city hall so they just posted the order at the building’s entrance.

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Supporters of Binay also threw bottled waters and chairs to police authorities.

The Ombudsman issued a second suspension order to Binay over the allegedly overpriced Makati City Science High School.

“Nananawagan po ako kay Mayor Binay na bumaba na po. Hindi po ito isang telenovela. Hindi po ito drama tungkol sa inyong pamilya, sa inyong paghahari-hari sa Makati. Ito po ay tungkol sa batas. Ang batas po ay nagsasabi na sinuspende kayo ng Ombudsman,” Roxas said.
(I am calling on Mayor Binay to step down. This is not a telenovela. This is not a drama about your family and your reign in Makati. This is about the law. And the law says you have been suspended by the Ombudsman.)

Roxas said that Vice President Jejomar Binay, father of JunJun, could help by telling his son to follow the order. He added that the Makati mayor is no different from other officials included in the suspension order.

“Batas ang po ang pinaiiral dito…Hindi po espesyal ito…..Si Mayor Binay special lang siya sa tatay niya. Hindi siya special sa batas. Ipapatupad po namin ang batas,” Roxas said.

(The law prevails. There are no sacred cows here. Mayor Binay is special only to his father. He is not the law. We are going to implement the law.)

The Interior Secretary also said they will file charges against the people involved in the violence which erupted in the city hall.

“Ang bawat isa sa inyo na networks ay may mga camera at formal na hihingin ito ng PNP para makita ‘yung videotapes. Makita kung sino nangwelyo, nanuntok at kung sino ang humawak sa kamay at nagtulak sa babaeng pulis…Lahat naman po ito ay nasa video,” he said.
(The PNP will ask media networks a copy videotapes. We will see who collared whom, who punched whom, and who pushed a female police officer. All of these were caught on video.)
IDL


PHILSTAR OPI9NION

Letter from VP Binay FROM A DISTANCE By Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 5, 2015 - 12:00am 2 529 googleplus0 2


Carmen Pedrosa

I received a nice letter from Vice President Jojo Binay. I am printing it in its entirety. Here it is:

“Dear Ms. Pedrosa,

Like you, I am unhappy with the imbalance that exists in our country, with the very few super rich outweighing the majority of the population who are poor.

In this regard, I would like to reassure you that in the ‘conflict’ between the rich and the poor that you envision, I am on the side of the latter. But, as I have proven in Makati, there need not be a confrontation between the two sides. It is possible to work with the rich to benefit the poor.

The Makati story is about the revenues of the country’s financial center being wisely used to provide unmatched services and benefits to the residents of the city. Where else can you find a city that provides free education (including shoes, uniforms and books and state-of-the-art facilities) to elementary and high school children; subsidized college courses at the University of Makati, including a dualized system that matches the curriculum with personnel requirements of Makati businesses; a socialized health care system that United Nations-Habitat considers the best in the country; and a host of other benefits that other local governments have now begun to emulate?

Can you imagine how the 90% poor and the 9% middle class that you have described could benefit if the revenues of our country were to be used, not on senseless pork barrel and DAP largesse? We did it in Makati. To a large extent, it can be done nationwide.

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Concerning the AMLC allegations about my ‘assets and hidden wealth,’ as a knowledgeable journalist, you must surely be aware that this is part of the demolition campaign being mounted against me is because of my declared intention to run for president. I can only turn to the Supreme Court for a fair and just interpretation of the law.

I am firm in my contention that the AMLC report is biased, unfair and even the arithmetic is faulty. I just wish that responsible journalists like you, who have a history of fighting for what is right, will resist the temptation to condemn before fully knowing the facts.

Thank you for your attention.

Very truly yours,

JEJOMAR C. BINAY”

* * *

Here is my reply:

“Dear Mr. Vice President,

I am pleased to hear of the efforts you have made as mayor of Makati to improve the lives of the poor and the need to change the imbalance between rich and poor. I totally agree this need not be a confrontation between the two and that it is possible to work with the rich to benefit the poor.

How you intend to do this as president is not clear from the program you described when launching UNA the other day. The program falls short of details. As it stands, it is a litany of motherhood statements that most politicians are prone to make.

Makati is only a microcosm of the whole country. The problems of the nation are wider in scope and much more complex. What works for Makati may not necessarily work for the nation.

Chief among our national problems is the rotten political system. Many of the other problems can be traced to the system. It is because of this that Bayanko and its partners in the marginalized sector favor constitutional change to a parliamentary federal form of government.

For too long, the oligarchs and family dynasties in this country have dominated the political system to the exclusion of the marginalized sector. Your own family, sad to say, forms part of the established order that resists change. Nancy has been quoted as saying she favors political dynasties. Why? Are they the only ones out of 100 million Filipinos who can govern the nation?

It is not surprising therefore that your program remains silent on this issue. It is not by handing out birthday cakes to the marginalized that we can lift the majority of our people out of poverty and close the widening gap between rich and poor.

The allegations of plunder by your political enemies may be part of a demolition campaign. But your good friend Grace Poe saw it fit to sign the Senate committee report recommending that you be charged with plunder. You were given a chance to appear before the Senate to face your accusers and cross-examine them. You were given a chance to provide evidence to refute the accusations like in any court of law. But instead you refused to appear, hiding behind the cloak of the vice-presidency, denying all the allegations because you say so.

Now anybody watching this drama would have said, ‘If he is innocent, why won’t he appear? Is he hiding something?’

Mr. Vice President, I am afraid you brought these troubles upon yourself.

Your daughter was quoted by the press denying you had billions of pesos. She said your family only had P600 million in their bank accounts and that these were the fruits of your hard work. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao has less than P4 million in his bank account, the fruits of his hard work.

I can understand that Makati pays its mayor better wages than Davao. I can also understand that being creative and innovative can augment a mayor’s income.

Why not show proof how you augmented your income? Why not open your bank accounts to public scrutiny? You owe this to the people whom you expect to vote for you as president.

As a responsible journalist with a history of fighting for what is right as you correctly pointed out, I go by facts, I go by documents. I carefully analyze them, as I did when doing research on my books about Imelda Marcos.

I don’t go simply by what the accused says in his defense. The accused has to provide proof to demonstrate his innocence. Now when the accused has irrefutably demonstrated his innocence, I would be the first to support and praise him.

I have nothing personal against the people I criticize in my columns and in the social media. I criticize those leaders whom I believe deserve to be criticized. If I did not, I would be failing in my duties as a journalist.

Finally, with the PCOS machines, I was wondering why you are still running for president. Isn’t it obvious who the next president will be?

Yours sincerely,

CARMEN N. PEDROSA”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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