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

SURFACING POLITICAL WARS: PALACE, LP VS BINAY; ENRILE VS LP, DRILON

MAKATI TRIAL COURT JUDGE ORDERS TRILLANES' ARREST FOR LIBEL
[Trillanes, who is abroad attending a conference, sent a text message to the Inquirer saying he was unfazed by the libel suit. “I will not allow thieves to head the country,” he said, adding his lawyer was studying “appropriate action” on the case”]


FEBRUARY 1 -Senator Antonio Trillanes. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE
SEN. ANTONIO Trillanes IV Monday brushed off libel charges against him filed by the family of Vice President Jejomar Binay, saying he would not be intimidated by “thieves.” The Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) has issued a warrant of arrest against Trillanes who allegedly had maligned Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr., the Vice President’s son, in connection with the purported overpriced construction of the city’s parking building.Judge Dina P. Teves of the Makati RTC Branch 142 issued the arrest order after finding probable cause in the complaint filed by prosecutors of the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to clerk of the court, Maricel Cairo. Cairo said copies of the order were sent to the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation on Friday to be served on Trillanes.Trillanes, who is abroad attending a conference, sent a text message to the Inquirer saying he was unfazed by the libel suit. “I will not allow thieves to head the country,” he said, adding his lawyer was studying “appropriate action” on the case. Reynaldo Robles, the senator’s lawyer, said his client was “ready to face any consequence, including facing malicious cases and possible imprisonment, just to let the people know the truth regarding the massive corruption in Makati.” In a statement, Claro Certeza, Binay’s lawyer, said Trillanes’ indictment was “a clear vindication of what Vice President Jejomar Binay has been saying all along—that the accusations made against him and members of his family are lies and politically motivated.” READ MORE...RELATED, Makati RTC junks Trillanes’ plea to quash libel suit...

ALSO: ALL-OUT WAR VS BINAY? Ombudsman orders graft, malversation raps vs VP “Jojo” Binay, Junjun Binay


FEBRUARY 6 -MORALES
The day of the filing of certificates of candidacies last October, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, who is believed to be supportive of the Palace and the Liberal Party’s standard bearer, former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, announced that graft and malversation charges will be filed against dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, despite admitting publicly that as Binay is an impeachable officer, the Vice President cannot be charged criminally in court until after the elections, when he would have lost his immunity, although she added that should he win the elections in 2016, the charges will have to wait until he finishes his six-year presidential term. That announcement from the Ombudsman was clearly to destroy the electoral chances of VP Binay. Yesterday, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of charges against the dismissed Makati mayor and 22 other city officials and employees in connection with the alleged anomalous Makati Parking Building construction. Ombudsman Morales ordered the immediate filing of multiple charges for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019), Malversation and Falsification of Public Documents against the erring city officials before the Sandiganbayan. The filing of charges was ordered after the anti-graft agency denied the motion for reconsideration of the respondents. The separate joint orders approved on February 3, 2016, were Morales affirmed the finding of probable cause against VP Binay and Mayor Binay, Jr. on four counts of violation of Section 3 (e) of R.A. No. 3019, six counts of Falsification of Public Documents, and one count each for Malversation for their involvement in the various phases of the construction of the P2.2 billion Makati carpark project from 2007 to 2013. READ MORE...RELATED, Ombudsman orders filing of criminal raps vs Binays...

ALSO: Senate Blue Ribbon wants plunder charges vs Binays


FEBRUARY 2 -The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee recommended to file plunder charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, dismissed Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr., for the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall II. File photo
MANILA, Philippines - The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommitee on Monday submitted its partial committee report with a recommendation to file criminal charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, dismissed Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr.'' Blue Ribbon subcommittee chair Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said that the report was submitted to the plenary.
The report recommended the filing of plunder charges against the Binays in connection to the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II. "The subcommittee believes that there was a grand conspiracy to milk the construction of the Makati City Hall II parking building for every peso that it could yield, through massive unmitigated overpricing," the report said. The Senate panel concluded the report by stating that the Makati City Hall II parking building is "very clearly overpriced." More than 25 hearings over 17 months for the corruption allegations against the vice president. The hearings also included investigations on alleged anomalous construction of the University of Makati Nursing building, Makati Science High School building and Makati Friendship Suites. The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee recently ended its probe against Binay after Sen. Antonio Trillanes, who authored resolutions to conduct an investigation, agreed to conclude it. RELATED: Blue Ribbon ends probe on Binay cases THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Binay camp - Blue Ribbon report farcical


FEBRUARY 2 -The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee recommended the filing of plunder charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay in connection to the overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file
 The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday claimed that the investigation of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee on the corruption allegations against the vice president was "farcical."
The Senate panel recently submitted a partial committee report which recommends the filing of plunder charges against Binay and his son, dismissed Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr. in connection to the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II. "Panis na ang report na ito," Binay's spokesperson Joey Salgado said in a statement.He claimed that Senate investigations against Binay were made in aid of demolition and not legislation. "It just goes to show how farcical the whole proceeding has been," Salgado said. Binay's spokesperson further claimed that the testimonies of the witnesses against Binay were false and that the report relied on incorrect methods and erroneous conclusions. "In a court of law, the subcommittee’s partial report will be thrown out in its entirety, for relying on perjuries and hearsay from tainted witnesses," Salgado said. He added that the testimony of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson was not included in the report. Singson earlier testified that a building’s price cannot actually be determined by merely using the floor area as the volume of materials in the actual bill of quantities must also be estimated. Salgado explained that the committee report only relied on the construction floor area to arrive at the project cost, which the Supreme Court ruled as unreliable in determining overpricing. The Blue Ribbon concluded its probe on the allegations against Binay after 25 hearings over 17 months. THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Binay: More poor Filipinos under Aquino administration


FEBRUARY 4 -The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay has claimed that more Filipinos called themselves poor since President Benigno Aquino III assumed the presidency in 2010. In a statement on Thursday, Binay’s spokesperson Joey Salgado cited the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on self-rated poverty. He said the fourth quarter 2015 SWS survey showed 50 percent or an estimated 11.2 million families considering themselves poor, an increase from 48 percent or nine million families in third quarter 2010 or within the first three months of Aquino administration. 
“They cannot dispute the fact that more Filipinos consider themselves poor today than in 2010,” Salgado said. Salgado said the SWS survey results disputed the inclusive growth being bannered by the current administration. He said the Binay administration would focus on uplifting the lives of the poor. “Where are we at right now? Despite the economic growth the administration keeps crowing about, 10 million Filipinos are still unemployed. More and more Filipinos are forced to leave the country to find work overseas because there no job opportunities here. The cost of healthcare has risen and it is getting harder for people to get treatment in hospitals,” Salgado said. “Do we want more of the same? Of course not. The Vice President will not allow poverty—spawned by six years of incompetence, insensitivity, and indecisiveness—to continue,” Salgado added. RC FULL REPORT. RELATED, 11.2 M families rate themselves poor in 2015 – SWS...

ALSO: Enrile announces he will campaign for Binay, UNA


FEBRUARY 5 -Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile on Thursday said he would campaign for the candidates of his party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), led by Vice President Jejomar Binay.Enrile said he would also help Binay’s running mate, Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, although he could not promise him support from Cagayan because of the tendency of the people of the province to choose a fellow Ilocano.Enrile also endorsed the candidacy of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and showed up at a Marcos rally where he proclaimed his run for the vice presidency.
“I am with UNA and I will campaign for the candidates of UNA,” Enrile said in a Senate forum.“I am for Binay. I will bet on Binay. Why would I bet on someone who will lose?” he said later.He also said he told Honasan that he would try his best to help him in his region, but could not guarantee the support of residents there.“But I have to tell you, realistically, Ilocanos have that culture that if an Ilocano is running for higher office, they gravitate to him regardless,” he said.Enrile also belittled corruption allegations against Binay, which were investigated by a Senate blue ribbon subcommittee. FULL REPORT. RELATED, Enrile to raise Mamasapano issue vs Roxas if Noy admin uses corruption vs Binay...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Makati Trial court Judge orders Trillanes arrest


Senator Antonio Trillanes. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE (Watch on video below)

MANILA, FEBRUARY 8, 2016 (INQUIRER)  By: Christine O. Avendaño, Maricar B. Brizuela @inquirerdotnet February 1st, 2016 - SEN. ANTONIO Trillanes IV Monday brushed off libel charges against him filed by the family of Vice President Jejomar Binay, saying he would not be intimidated by “thieves.”

The Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) has issued a warrant of arrest against Trillanes who allegedly had maligned Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr., the Vice President’s son, in connection with the purported overpriced construction of the city’s parking building.

Judge Dina P. Teves of the Makati RTC Branch 142 issued the arrest order after finding probable cause in the complaint filed by prosecutors of the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to clerk of the court, Maricel Cairo.

Cairo said copies of the order were sent to the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation on Friday to be served on Trillanes.

Trillanes, who is abroad attending a conference, sent a text message to the Inquirer saying he was unfazed by the libel suit.

“I will not allow thieves to head the country,” he said, adding his lawyer was studying “appropriate action” on the case.

Reynaldo Robles, the senator’s lawyer, said his client was “ready to face any consequence, including facing malicious cases and possible imprisonment, just to let the people know the truth regarding the massive corruption in Makati.”

In a statement, Claro Certeza, Binay’s lawyer, said Trillanes’ indictment was “a clear vindication of what Vice President Jejomar Binay has been saying all along—that the accusations made against him and members of his family are lies and politically motivated.”

READ MORE...


JUNJUN : T
rillanes claims, ‘false and baseless’

In April last year, the younger Binay filed the libel complaint against Trillanes for “publicly and maliciously” accusing him of bribery, graft, corruption and plunder during media interviews and in articles published in newspapers on the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

After the Court of Appeals granted a writ of preliminary injunction on Binay’s suspension ordered by the Office of the Ombudsman, Trillanes claimed that Binay bribed two justices of the Court of Appeals Sixth Division with P50 million in exchange for the favorable ruling.

A second suspension order issued by the Ombudsman, this time on alleged irregularities in the construction of the Makati Science High School building forced Binay to step down.

The mayor slammed Trillanes’ statements about his family being part of a “syndicate that has committed various crimes and irregularities.”

‘False and baseless’

“These are false, baseless and without factual basis as admitted by Trillanes himself,” he added, noting that during media interviews the senator appeared “evasive” when asked about his source.

“The damaging and ruinous claims spewed out by respondent Trillanes are mere concoctions and fabrications with no other purpose than to malign, discredit, ruin my reputation and besmirch my good name as well as that of my family,” Binay said.

The Office of the Makati City Prosecutor inhibited itself from hearing the libel complaint and passed it to the DOJ after Trillanes requested the transfer of the case.

“But even with the transfer of the case to the DOJ, whom Senator Trillanes stated would give him an unbiased determination of his case, the finding was that his bribery charges have no basis and hence, the finding of probable cause to charge and arrest him for the crime of libel,” Certeza added.

He also claimed that Trillanes was resorting to “trial by publicity” to destroy the reputation of the Vice President, who is seeking the presidency in the May elections.

“They have not produced any evidence that is legally acceptable to substantiate their charges,” Certeza added.
He claimed that once the warrant was served on Trillanes, he could post a P10,000 bail.

 
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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Makati RTC junks Trillanes’ plea to quash libel suit
Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 06 February 2016 00:00


TRILLANES

There is no getting out of the libel suit filed by dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun Binay against Sen. Antonio Trillanes, as his petition for the court to quash the criminal libel case against him was denied by the court.

Makati RTC Branch 142 also rejected Trillanes’ petition to recall the warrant of arrest issued against the senator, a live TV report said yesterday.

As the Senate has adjourned, Trillanes will be arrested immediately, unless he goes to court to voluntarily surrender and post bail.

Judge Dina Pestaño Teves said Trillanes has a pending petition for review at the Department of Justice (DoJ).

However, the case goes on, if, after a given time for the department’s review, and the time frame has lapsed, the court will continue to hear the libel case against Trillanes.

The judge said Trillanes cannot be arrested as long as he posts bail as soon as he arrives in the country from the US.

The senator was out of the country attending an interfaith meeting in the US when reports of his order of arrest was issued.

Trillanes’ counsel gave the assurance that the senator will surrender and will post the P10,000 bail for the libel case.

The libel suit was filed by Junjun Binay due to a comment made by Trilllanes on Binay Jr., allegedly having bribed at least two Court of Appeals justices with P25 million each.

He admitted though that he has no evidence to prove his accusation of bribery, saying that his “reliable sources, whom he has refused to identify.

Legislators cannot be arrested when Congress is in session. They also enjoy immunity from suit as long as what is charged or uttered is said in the halls of Senate.

However, in the case of Trillanes’ accusations of the two CA justices being the recipient of the alleged P50 million bribe by Binay, this was said during interviews with media, and stated outside the Senate, which is why he is now held liable for libel.


JUNJUN BINAY VS TRILLANES -PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO

Trillanes, in accusing Binay Jr., said the CA justices were bribed for them to give the then suspended mayor a temporary restraining order (TRO).

However, a petition before the Supreme Court upheld the TRO of the CA justices, which resulted in the two justices accused by Trillanes as having been bribed by Binay, cleared.

Despite the TRO, the Ombudsman again ordered another six month suspension against Binay, and at that time, the CA failed to act on the Binay petition opposing the Ombudsman’s order within five days, and Binay decided to step down, to ease tensions.

It didn’t take long for Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to file charges against the former Makati City Mayor, and even promptly disqualified him permanently from running for any government office, something which is beyond Morales’ authority and power, since it is the court that determines whether the accused is permanently disqualified from holding an elective or appointive office in government.

The Supreme Court, ruling on a petition filed by Junjun Binay, who questioned the Ombudsman’s decision, and declared the Aguinaldo Doctrine, more commonly known as the condonation doctrine, can be applied in Binays case, but can no longer be applied in cases of others seeking the doctrine, after Binay.

The arrest warrant was issued on Feb. 1 by the court after it found probable cause on the case filed against the senator.

Just yesterday, Morales announced that Junjun Binay is being charged with graft and malversation as well as fabrication of documents, all of which stem from his time as mayor, which means that the charges can be dismissed by the court once elevated to the Sandiganbayan, given the fact that the Supreme Court had already ruled that the Aguinaldo doctrien still applies to Junjun Binay.


TRIBUNE

All-out war vs VP? Ombudsman orders graft, malversation raps vs VP Binay and Junjun Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 06 February 2016 00:00


MORALES

The day of the filing of certificates of candidacies last October, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, who is believed to be supportive of the Palace and the Liberal Party’s standard bearer, former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, announced that graft and malversation charges will be filed against dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, despite admitting publicly that as Binay is an impeachable officer, the Vice President cannot be charged criminally in court until after the elections, when he would have lost his immunity, although she added that should he win the elections in 2016, the charges will have to wait until he finishes his six-year presidential term.

That announcement from the Ombudsman was clearly to destroy the electoral chances of VP Binay.

Yesterday, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of charges against the dismissed Makati mayor and 22 other city officials and employees in connection with the alleged anomalous Makati Parking Building construction.

Ombudsman Morales ordered the immediate filing of multiple charges for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019), Malversation and Falsification of Public Documents against the erring city officials before the Sandiganbayan.

The filing of charges was ordered after the anti-graft agency denied the motion for reconsideration of the respondents.

The separate joint orders approved on February 3, 2016, were Morales affirmed the finding of probable cause against VP Binay and Mayor Binay, Jr. on four counts of violation of Section 3 (e) of R.A. No. 3019, six counts of Falsification of Public Documents, and one count each for Malversation for their involvement in the various phases of the construction of the P2.2 billion Makati carpark project from 2007 to 2013.

READ MORE...

Also ordered indicted are Marjorie De Veyra, Pio Kenneth Dasal, Lorenza Amores, Virginia Hernandez, Line Dela Peña, Mario Badillo, Leonila Querijero, Raydes Pestaño, Nelia Barlis, Cecilio Lim III, Arnel Cadangan, Emerito Magat, Connie Consulta, Ulysses Orienza, Giovanni Condes, Manolito Uyaco, Norman Flores, Gerardo San Gabriel, Eleno Mendoza, Jr., and Rodel Nayve.

Also included in the indictment are Orlando Mateo from Mana Architecture and Interior Design, Co. (Mana) and Efren Canlas of Hilmarc’s Construction Company (Hilmarc’s).


OCTOBER 13, 2015 PHOTO: PHILSTAR HEADLINE NEWS:
Ombudsman indicts Binay, son, but...The Office of the Ombudsman has found probable cause to charge Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay with multiple counts of graft and malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents before the Sandiganbayan for their alleged role in the overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II from 2007 to 2013. The Binay camp cried foul over the latest ombudsman move, questioning saying it was meant to stop the vice President’s presidential bid.By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 13, 2015 - 12:00am

The Ombudsman said the information against Binay Sr. will be filed after the expiration of his term as VP consistent with the principle that an impeachable officer, while in office, cannot be the subject of a criminal indictment in court, for an offense which carries the penalty of removal from office.

In its Joint Orders, the Ombudsman made it clear that the Ombudsman’s “authority to investigate Binay, Sr. is in accordance with the Constitution, law and jurisprudence.”

The Joint Orders stated that heads of offices are required “to exercise necessary diligence in making sure that proper formalities in a transaction are observed.”

The construction of the P2.2 billion Makati carpark project was completed in five phases plus one design phase, which periods spanned through the terms as of VP Binay, Sr. to Junjun Binay as mayors.

It said there was no public bidding conducted by Binay, Sr., et. al. prior to engaging the services of MANA as project designer.

The evidence showed the procurement process was manipulated to ensure the award of the contract to Mana; and that four payments totaling to P11.97 million were processed and approved despite the incomplete submission of deliverables such as design plans, working drawings, and technical specifications.

The Ombudsman explained that “the purported negotiation and evaluation of bid proposals in November 2007 was conducted with extraordinary speed” as “for one hour only, the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) completed the entire negotiation proceedings where bid proposals of seven architectural firms that allegedly participated in this multi-million project were opened and evaluated.”

Even the Commission on Audit Fraud Audit Office’s Initial Evaluation Report noted that “the negotiated procurement adopted by the BAC was improper,” she said.

Investigation found that city officials colluded with Hilmarc’s, to manipulate the outcome of the five “public biddings” for the purpose of ensuring that Hilmarc’s would be awarded the contracts.

The construction projects were awarded to Hilmarc’s despite the lack of the required publication of the invitations to bid, with Hilmarc’s as the lone bidder in four phases of the project.

Construction of the car park building began even in the absence of approved design standards, contract plans, agency cost estimates, detailed engineering and programs of work.

No pre-procurement conference was undertaken and bid documents were made available only for one day in violation of procurement rules and regulations.

Aside from the criminal indictment, the Office of the Ombudsman also affirmed the dismissal from the service of Mayor Jun-Jun Binay and his perpetual disqualification from public service.

It will be recalled that in October 2015, the Ombudsman found Binay, Jr. guilty of Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty. According to Ombudsman Morales, the strong evidence presented during administrative adjudication remained unrebutted.



However, the Supreme Court some months back, had ruled that Binay Jr. was protected by the Aguinaldo Doctrine, or the Condonation doctrine, which absolves government executives from being charged and penalized for acts done while in office, as long as the local executive had been reelected by his constituents.

The Supreme Court applied the doctrine on Binay but other so charged after Binay can no longer make use of the doctrine.
The Ombudsman refused to obey the ruling of the High Court.

While saying they knew the decision of the Ombudsman dismissing their motion for reconsideration, the camp of the VP yesterday insinuated the timing of the release of the Ombudsman’s decision could also be a signal the start of an all-out offensive against Binay to derail his chances in the May 9 polls.

So what else is new?

“So what else is new? We have always expected these resolutions from a biased and partial Ombudsman,” said Joey Salgado, head of the media affairs of the Office of the Vice President.



Salgado made the statement after Morales bared her office had upheld its earlier decision to indict VP Binay, his son, Junjun, and 22 others over the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

The Ombudsman said it had found probabale cause to indict Binay, his son and their co-respondents for graft, malversation of public funds, and falsification of public documents in connection with the bidding and construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

However, the Ombudsman clarified they will not yet file criminal charges against Binay while he is the sitting vice president as this is not permitted by law.

“The harassment against Vice President Binay is just too much. And he himself admitted that while he is hurting over the criticisms being hurled against him, he is doubly hurt when he witnesses for himself the widespread hunger and poverty.

And this is what inspires him more to continue the brand of public service he started in Makati to give comfort to our suffering countrymen,” said Salgado.

Salgado stressed the Ombudsman resolutions are plainly political tools against the Vice President as he noted the timing of the release of its decisions.

“Last year, the Ombudsman released its resolution against the Vice President on the day he filed his Certificate of Candidacy,” said Salgado.

“Now it released another resolution on the Motion for Reconsideration just a few days before the start of the campaign period and after Vice President Binay regained his lead in the presidential surveys,” he added.

Salgado said he is puzzled why the Ombudsman had to release its decision just days before the start of the campaign period.

“She knows she cannot indict the Vice President and yet she releases her decision,” said Salgado.

“The agenda is for them to continue the lies they had been spreading against Vice President which they had started at the Senate and which took more than a year and 25 hearings,” said Salgado.

“Simply put, the move of the Ombudsman fits into the orchestrated effort of Mar Roxas, the LP and its allies including Roxas’ mouthpieces masquerading as Palace spokesmen, to attack the Vice President,” said Salgado.

“We have never expected fairness and impartiality from the Ombudsman. We look forward to disproving all their allegations in an impartial court,” he added.

Senate arrest warrants dead

In another development, contrary to Senate blue ribbon subcommittee chairman Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel’s assertion that arrest orders on 17 individuals he had linked to VP Binay will remain in effect despite the end of the year-long inquiry on Binay, Senate President Franklin Drilon said the arrest warrants will “die a natural death” at the end of 16th Congress.

The arrest orders as a result are effectively terminated as Congress adjourns for the election period since the remaining time of Congress when it returns in May will be used to convene itself as the National Board of Canvassers for the presidential and vice presidential votes.



“At the end of this 16th Congress, the arrest orders become moot if not executed and served,” Drilon said.

“These will die a natural death. You know, with the expiration of the 16th Congress, then the arrest warrant becomes functus officio. No longer valid,” Drilon added.

Issued by the Senate with arrest warrants for not attending the Senate inquiry on allegations of corrupt practices on Binay and members of his family were Binay’s financial adviser Gerry Limlingan and his longtime secretary Ebeng Baloloy.

Both were accused of keeping joint bank accounts with the Vice President that were ordered frozen by the Court of Appeals on suspicion these were involved in illegal activities.

Also with pending Senate arrest orders were Binay allies Tomas Lopez, Antonio Tiu, Vissia Marie Aldon, Danilo Villas, Aida Alcantara, Mario Badillo, Hirene Lopez, Irene Chong, Imee Chong, Kim Tun Chong, Iris Chong, Erlinda Chong, Kimsfer Chong, Anne Lorraine Buencamino-Tiu and James Tiu.

Earlier, Drilon also said the Pimentel committee report is not a Senate report, as it has not been deliberated in the plenary, and like the Grace Poe committee report in the Mamasapano massacre and the MRT committee report. All these are to be archived.

“Senator Koko Pimentel presented his report in plenary. If we had time, we would have debated on it, but we had to take up so many other items in the last three days,” Drilon said.

“It is not yet approved, he sponsored already the committee report but the report by the subcommittee chaired by Senator Koko has been presented to the Senate. They were sponsored, and therefore we can process it,” he said.

Drilon, however, admitted that “it is not a Senate report. It is a committee report.”
By Charlie V. Manalo and Alvin Murcia

---------------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Ombudsman orders filing of criminal raps vs Binays By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated February 5, 2016 - 1:28pm 1 930 googleplus2 0


Vice President Jejomar Binay and dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun Binay are facing criminal charges in connection to the Makati Carpark project. File photo | Mark Mendoza

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) — The Office of the Ombudsman on Friday affirmed its order to file criminal charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son dismissed Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr. over alleged anomalies in a construction project.


Morales

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, through three joint orders approved on Wednesday, ordered the immediate filing of multiple charges of graft, malversation and falsification against the Binays.

As an impeachable officer, the charges against the vice president will be filed after the expiration of his term.

The P2.2-billion Makati City Hall parking building project was completed in five phases and one design phase. It spanned through the terms of Binay Sr. and Binay Jr. as mayors.

The Ombudsman noted that there was no public bidding conducted prior to the Binays engaging the services of MANA as project designer.

The investigation showed that the procurement process was manipulated to ensure that the contract would be awarded to MANA.

READ MORE...

Payments worth P11.9 million were made to the project designer despite incomplete submission of deliverables such as design plans, working drawings and technical specifications.

According to the Office of the Ombudsman, joint orders stated that the authority of Morales to investigate Binay Sr. was allowed by the Constitution.

Morales also affirmed the younger Binay's dismissal from service and perpetual disqualification from service.

In October 2015, the Ombudsman ordered the dismissal of Binay Jr. who was found guilty of grave misconduct and serious dishonesty.

Earlier this week, the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee submitted its partial committee report with a recommendation to file criminal charges against the Binays.


PHILSTAR

Blue Ribbon wants plunder charges vs Binays By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated February 2, 2016 - 10:37am 7 841 googleplus0 0


The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee recommended to file plunder charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, dismissed Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr., for the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall II. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommitee on Monday submitted its partial committee report with a recommendation to file criminal charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, dismissed Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr.''

Blue Ribbon subcommittee chair Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said that the report was submitted to the plenary.

The report recommended the filing of plunder charges against the Binays in connection to the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

"The subcommittee believes that there was a grand conspiracy to milk the construction of the Makati City Hall II parking building for every peso that it could yield, through massive unmitigated overpricing," the report said.

The Senate panel concluded the report by stating that the Makati City Hall II parking building is "very clearly overpriced."

More than 25 hearings over 17 months for the corruption allegations against the vice president.

The hearings also included investigations on alleged anomalous construction of the University of Makati Nursing building, Makati Science High School building and Makati Friendship Suites.

The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee recently ended its probe against Binay after Sen. Antonio Trillanes, who authored resolutions to conduct an investigation, agreed to conclude it.

RELATED: Blue Ribbon ends probe on Binay cases


PHILSTAR

Binay camp: Blue Ribbon report farcical By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated February 2, 2016 - 2:05pm 1 70 googleplus0 0


The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee recommended the filing of plunder charges against Vice President Jejomar Binay in connection to the overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando, file

MANILA, Philippines - The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday claimed that the investigation of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee on the corruption allegations against the vice president was "farcical."

The Senate panel recently submitted a partial committee report which recommends the filing of plunder charges against Binay and his son, dismissed Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr. in connection to the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

"Panis na ang report na ito," Binay's spokesperson Joey Salgado said in a statement.

He claimed that Senate investigations against Binay were made in aid of demolition and not legislation.

"It just goes to show how farcical the whole proceeding has been," Salgado said.

Binay's spokesperson further claimed that the testimonies of the witnesses against Binay were false and that the report relied on incorrect methods and erroneous conclusions.

"In a court of law, the subcommittee’s partial report will be thrown out in its entirety, for relying on perjuries and hearsay from tainted witnesses," Salgado said.

He added that the testimony of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson was not included in the report.

Singson earlier testified that a building’s price cannot actually be determined by merely using the floor area as the volume of materials in the actual bill of quantities must also be estimated.

Salgado explained that the committee report only relied on the construction floor area to arrive at the project cost, which the Supreme Court ruled as unreliable in determining overpricing.

The Blue Ribbon concluded its probe on the allegations against Binay after 25 hearings over 17 months.


INQUIRER

Binay: More poor Filipinos under Aquino administration By: Marc Jayson Cayabyab
@MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 07:12 PM February 4th, 2016

The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay has claimed that more Filipinos called themselves poor since President Benigno Aquino III assumed the presidency in 2010.

In a statement on Thursday, Binay’s spokesperson Joey Salgado cited the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on self-rated poverty.

He said the fourth quarter 2015 SWS survey showed 50 percent or an estimated 11.2 million families considering themselves poor, an increase from 48 percent or nine million families in third quarter 2010 or within the first three months of Aquino administration.

“They cannot dispute the fact that more Filipinos consider themselves poor today than in 2010,” Salgado said.

Salgado said the SWS survey results disputed the inclusive growth being bannered by the current administration.
He said the Binay administration would focus on uplifting the lives of the poor.

“Where are we at right now? Despite the economic growth the administration keeps crowing about, 10 million Filipinos are still unemployed. More and more Filipinos are forced to leave the country to find work overseas because there no job opportunities here. The cost of healthcare has risen and it is getting harder for people to get treatment in hospitals,” Salgado said.

“Do we want more of the same? Of course not. The Vice President will not allow poverty—spawned by six years of incompetence, insensitivity, and indecisiveness—to continue,” Salgado added.
RC

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

11.2 M families rate themselves poor in 2015 – SWS By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 7, 2016 - 12:00am 2 27 googleplus0 0


Children enjoy a free meal during a feeding program held by a religious group at a slum area in Tondo, Manila on Monday. MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

MANILA, Philippines – Around 11.2 million Filipino families remained poor in the last quarter of 2015, the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) shows, but that number is the lowest since 2011.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the survey results are “in no doubt” proof that the country is heading toward a fully developed status.

He added that the numbers “encourage us in the administration to further maximize the country’s resources toward greater inclusivity.”

The survey, taken from Dec. 5 to 8, revealed that 50 percent of 1,200 respondents – equivalent to 11.2 million families, according to SWS – still rated themselves poor, similar to the 50 percent or 11 million in September.

The poll group said the steady self-rated poverty rate nationwide in the fourth quarter was due to a sharp decline in Mindanao, offset by increases in balance Luzon, Metro Manila and the Visayas.

Self-rated poverty fell by 19 points in Mindanao to 51 percent in December.

However, it went up eight points in balance Luzon to 46 percent, five points to 37 percent in Metro Manila, and five points to 71 percent in the Visayas.

The SWS noted, however, that last year’s 50 percent average self-rated poverty rate is four points below the 54 percent average of 2014, and was the lowest annual average since 2011’s 49 percent.

Results of the latest SWS poll were published in the newspaper BusinessWorld yesterday.

Food-poverty


MARINEL PROJECT, FMSC’s “Food at Work” --VOLUNTEERS FEED THE POOR IN MARINDUQUE SOURCE: http://fmscblog.com/from-the-field/marinel/

The same survey also found 33 percent, about 7.4 million families, who rated themselves as “food-poor,” two points below the 35 percent or 7.8 million registered in September.

The two-point decline in food-poverty rate in December was due to a drop in Mindanao that was offset by an increase in the Visayas and steady rates in both Metro Manila and balance Luzon.

Self-rated food poverty fell by 13 points in Mindanao to 41 percent in December but rose in the Visayas by 10 points to 50 percent.

It hardly changed in Metro Manila at 21 percent and in balance Luzon at 26 percent.

Meanwhile, the SWS said the median self-rated poverty threshold – the lowest monthly home expense budget needed by the poorer half of poor households not to consider themselves as such – hit a record-high P20,000 in Metro Manila in December.

“The December 2015 median self-rated poverty threshold in Metro Manila is at the highest level ever reached in this area,” SWS noted.

The survey has sampling error margins of plus or minus three percentage points for national percentages and plus or minus six percentage points each for Metro Manila, balance Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

Lacierda said the survey showed that the government’s efforts to uplift the lives of the poor are working.

“In the coming months, our agencies will remain hard at work promoting countrywide development and implementing programs that will truly benefit the people,” Lacierda promised.

He revealed that 7.5 million Filipinos have been “lifted above the poverty line” through the government’s flagship conditional cash transfer program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Studies show that 1.5 million households, or about 7.5 million Filipinos, benefited from the program.

For his part, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. acknowledged the decrease in the number of Filipino families who considered themselves poor and “food-poor” at 50 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

“We note that the rating for self-rated hunger is the lowest since 2011 while the rating for self-rated food poverty is two percentage points lower than the 35 percent recorded in September last year (2015),” he said.

“The SWS survey validates the efficacy of the government’s purposive and targeted social protection and poverty alleviation programs, anchored on the expanded Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) which have benefitted close to 4.4 households nationwide,” he said.

With barely five months remaining in office, Coloma said they are “committed to sustaining the momentum of social protection and social welfare programs through the delivery of basic education, skills training and universal healthcare that seeks to bring about the inclusion of all marginalized citizens in the mainstream of social opportunity.”


INQUIRER

Enrile announces he will campaign for Binay, UNA SHARES: 2180 VIEW COMMENTS By: Leila B. Salaverria @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:58 AM February 5th, 2016

Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile on Thursday said he would campaign for the candidates of his party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), led by Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Enrile said he would also help Binay’s running mate, Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, although he could not promise him support from Cagayan because of the tendency of the people of the province to choose a fellow Ilocano.

Enrile also endorsed the candidacy of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and showed up at a Marcos rally where he proclaimed his run for the vice presidency.

“I am with UNA and I will campaign for the candidates of UNA,” Enrile said in a Senate forum.

“I am for Binay. I will bet on Binay. Why would I bet on someone who will lose?” he said later.

He also said he told Honasan that he would try his best to help him in his region, but could not guarantee the support of residents there.

“But I have to tell you, realistically, Ilocanos have that culture that if an Ilocano is running for higher office, they gravitate to him regardless,” he said.

Enrile also belittled corruption allegations against Binay, which were investigated by a Senate blue ribbon subcommittee.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Enrile to raise Mamasapano issue vs Roxas if admin uses corruption vs Binay By: Maila Ager @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 06:01 PM February 4th, 2016


ENRILE, ROXAS

If the administration will use corruption as an election issue, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile will raise the Mamasapano tragedy not only against President Benigno Aquino III but also his bet, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.
“I will use Mamasapano as katapat.

They use corruption, maliwanag ’yung Mamasapano e,” Enrile said during a weekly forum in the Senate on Thursday when sought to comment on Senate President Franklin Drilon’s statement that corruption would be an election issue and the administration was ready to defend Aquino’s record.

READ: Admin ready to defend Aquino’s record vs corruption, Drilon says


DRILON

Enrile is supporting the presidential bid of Vice President Jejomar Binay while Drilon is pushing for Roxas.

“Kung gusto nila sila corruption, ako Mamasapano ang topic ko … magsabay kami at titingnan natin kung sino ang papalakpakan,” Enrile said.

“‘Yung Mamasapano ngayon ang iniisip ng tao. Batayan nila ano ba ito kung ganito ang president natin namamatay ang kasundaluhan nila,” he said.

Enrile earlier accused the President of being “actively” and “directly” involved in the botched Mamasapano operation on Jan. 25, 2015 that left 44 Special Action Force men and several others dead.

Told that his issue was against the President and not Roxas, Enrile pointed out that the administration’s standard-bearer was the head of the Department of Interior and Local Government at the time the raid in Maguindanao took place.

“He (Roxas) should have held the hand of his President and say: ‘Hey Mr. President, my men are dying in the field … kaya tinanong ko ‘yun, did they do anything? Did they send any message?” Enrile said.

Enrile believes the corruption issue that the administration might use against Binay will not bring down the latter.

He then noted how Binay’s rating continued to surge despite the corruption allegations being hurled at him.

“Ako kay Binay. Pupusta ako kay Binay. Bakit ako pupusta sa matatalo?” he said.

Enrile also pointed out how the late President Ferdinand Marcos got elected despite perceptions of being corrupt, among other sins that the latter had allegedly committed. RC

On January 25, 2015, 44 members of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF) were killed in the hunt for Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir, aka “Marwan,” in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province.

Their mission may have succeeded, but one year later families of the slain SAF44 and affected civilians today continue to seek justice from a government which allegedly broke chain of command and poorly handled the mission. Visit the INQUIRER tribute site at inquirer.net/mamasapano .


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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