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LEGAL EXPERTS DENOUNCE 'LYNCHING' DURING BINAY PROBE; SENATE CONDUCT HARMS CHAMBER  

OCT 29 --PHOTO: Sessions resume. Senators Grace Poe and Aquilino Pimentel
III confer with Senate President Franklin Drilon during the resumption of the Senate sessions on Monday. Ey Acasio. TWO legal experts on Monday slammed the way the Senate is conducting its investigation into the alleged properties of Vice President Jejomar Binay, saying the three senators leading the probe are doing the chamber more harm than good. Antonio Contreras, a professor of law at the Dela Salle University and Dean Amado Valdez of University of the East College of Law denounced the “lynching” of resource persons during the previous hearings, saying it could boomerang on Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino Pimentel III. The warning seemed to dovetail with the results of the third Philippine Trust Index survey released by the public relations company EON, which showed that the Senate was the least trusted government institution with only 7 percent of the general public and 4 percent of “the informed public” expressing trust in it.

In 2012, the Senate had a trust rating of 15 percent from the general public and 13 percent from the informed public, which was defined as adult Filipinos 25 to 65 years old who have completed at least three years of tertiary education and have access at least twice a week to print, online, and broadcast media. The Office of the President also saw a decline in its trust rating from the general public, which fell sharply to 16 percent from 28 percent in 2012. Among the informed public, its trust rating fell to 15 percent from 24 percent. In separate interviews, Contreras and Valdez shared the common observation that the investigation conducted by the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee already had a foregone conclusion—that Binay is guilty. “There should be open-mindedness. Instead conclusions have been made,” said Contreras, a political analyst and professor of law. In a radio interview, Contreras said that Pimentel, Trillanes and Cayetano have clearly shown bias against guests who are presumed to be identified with Binay, including businessman Antonio Tiu, who was accused of acting as Binay’s dummy. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Cayetano: Binay will be worse than Arroyo  

OCT 28 ---Sen. Alan Cayetano on Tuesday slammed Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family for acting like untouchable government officials. In an interview with ANC's Headstart, Cayetano criticized Binay for believing that he has immunity from investigation and lawsuit because he is the vice president. Cayetano also expressed fear that Binay will jail all those investigating him if he becomes president in 2016. "At the evidence right now, he'll be worse than GMA. Ngayon pa lang, hindi pa siya presidente... ni ayaw magpaimbestiga," Cayetano told program host Karen Davila.

Cayetano said the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-committee investigating Binay would recommend charges against him if he fails to present evidence and refute the corruption allegations. He believes that Binay can be investigated by the Department of Justice and be charged. "He can be sued, tried and convicted even without an impeachment," Cayetano said. Cayetano, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado have accused Binay of pocketing public funds as kickbacks from various projects in Makati including an allegedly overpriced parking building. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Tiu claims getting 'threats' to declare Batangas property not his

OCT 29 --PHOTO: Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (right) conducts an ocular inspection of the 150-hectare estate allegedly owned by Vice President Jejomar Binay in Batangas. With him is businessman Antonio Tiu, who claims to own the property. STAR/Ernie Penaredondo
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) — Businessman Antonio "Tony' Tiu, accused of being Vice President Jejomar Binay's dummy, said he is being pressured to admit that he is not the owner of the controversial 150-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas. Tiu accused senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III of being biased in assuming that Binay is the real owner of the estate. He admitted that upon acquiring the property, he realized some structures were unregistered and undocumented, but decried that it became an issue at the Senate hearing last Thursday.

"Part na 'yan ng threat sa'kin na kapag hindi ako sumang-ayon, lahat ng government agencies hahabol sa'kin, sa mga kagustuhan ng mga senador na sabihin itong property ay hindi akin," Tiu said in an interview with ABS-CBN's Bandila on Tuesday night. While Tiu, chief executive officer of Greenergy Holdings Inc., did not make any reference to a particular senator, he insisted that when his company realized some of the buildings lacked official permits, he and his staff started working on registering them. "Yung mga may permit na, nailipat na sa Sunchamp, yung mga wala pa, pinapatuwid natin, pinapa-correct. Kasi yung mga pagkakamali ng iba, hindi natin puwede saluhin na ganun lang din. Kailangan natin ituwid," he said. In 2013, Tiu folded Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp. into Greenergy. Sunchamp is the registered owner of the Rosario agro-tourism park, which it bought for P446 million to be paid "by installment." The businessman also blasted the senators for banking on hearsay in their accusations linking him with the vice president. "Ang problema kasi ang pinapakita ko is ebidensya, ang gamit nila ay haka-haka, kung may ebidensiya naman na ipapakita ang labanan naman dito, sino ang nagasasabi ng totoo?" Tiu said. * READ MORE...

ALSO Trillanes' alleged Binay dummy Tiu says. he is ready to be charged, face consequences; will present Memo of Agreement Batangas property rights 

OCT 29 ---Embattled businessman Antonio Tiu said he is prepared to go to jail if proven that he is being used by Vice President Jejomar Binay as a front to hide his alleged ill-gotten wealth. In an interview with ABS-CBN's late night news program Bandila on Tuesday, Tiu insisted that he is the real owner of a sprawling agricultural estate in Rosario, Batangas being linked to the Binays. Tiu said he is ready to be charged and face the consequences. "May batas naman po ang Pilipinas kung ako po ay napatunyan na nagkasala e dapat kong harapin ang kaparusahan," he said. Tiu said he will present tomorrow a memorandum of agreement proving that he has rights over the controversial property before the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee investigating the Binays.

He also denied that he is Binay's friend, claiming again that he only met the Vice President three times. He answered in the negative when asked if he supports the beleaguered official. The businessman also downplayed his employees' links to the Binays. "Ang importante naman dito sa case na 'to, kailangan lang naman nating patunayan is kung sino ba talaga ang may-ari. E kung ako ang may-ari, e di wala ng isyu," Tiu said. Last week, Tiu testified for the first time at the Senate probe but he failed to convince senators that he is the legitimate owner of the Batangas property. In an interview with ANC on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Alan Cayetano said Tiu could be charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and tax violations if he is proven to have lied before the upper chamber. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay camp to take probe to SC  

NOV 3 ---Lawyers are looking into ways to stop the Senate from continuing its probe into the corruption allegations against Vice President Jejomar Binay, including securing an injunction from the Supreme Court, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim secretary general JV Bautista said yesterday. He said they may seek intervention from the high court to stop the investigation of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee over the alleged irregularities surrounding the Makati City Hall Building II. “We are studying the possibility of elevating the matter to the SC,” Bautista told radio dzBB. He said they expect Senators Aquilino Pimentel III, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Antonio Trillanes IV to continue to attack Binay in the Senate probe, adding the Binays will not receive fair treatment from the three senators. “The Vice President doesn’t want to face the subcommittee hearing, which we dubbed as ‘circus-like’ probe, because of what the three senators are doing. We expect that they will allow those people who will say something bad against the Vice President while those who will defend him will be barred from talking,” Bautista said in Filipino.

“Now, the possibility of the Vice President attending the subcommittee probe is getting slim,” he added. The Senate Blue Ribbon committee, chaired by Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, has invited Binay to attend its probe upon his request that he would only attend an investigation conducted by the mother committee. Bautista said he and UNA interim president Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco tried to clarify the invitation for the Vice President during the subcommittee hearing last Oct. 30 but were thrown out of the Senate hall. “We would like to ask the senators why they continue the subcommittee probe when the mother committee has already invited us,” Bautista said. “The logical thing would have been for the subcommittee to defer its proceedings in deference to the mother committee,” he added. Bautista said Guingona had requested Pimentel to give way to the mother committee hearing last Oct. 30. Pimentel, however, ignored the request. He remarked that the three senators are “uncontrollable” by the chair of the mother committee. “Last Oct. 30, they were like (Adolf) Hitler. When they saw us they turned off the microphone and they did not listen to us, we were thrown out by the Senate sergeant-at-arms. In the first place, Toby Tiangco should not be treated like that,” Bautista said. “Based on our observation on the way things are done, the Vice President is not too keen in attending the (hearing of) the mother committee. Because apparently, Senator Guingona cannot constrain these out of control senators,” he said. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Binay: ‘The Lord will take care of my detractors’  

OCT 29 ---Vice President Jejomar Binay said he is turning to a higher power to “take care” of his political detractors. Binay, in an interview in Camarines Sur Tuesday, expressed his frustration over the unabated attacks against him and his family. “Alam niyo po mga kababayan, akala ko magbabago na ang itsura ng ating pulitika, pero hindi po. Ang paninira sa kapwa, sa kanilang pamilya ay tuloy-tuloy, mga pagsisinungaling. Diyos na po ang bahala sa kanila,” he said. (You know, I thought that the face of politics in the country would finally change. But no. Slandering your rivals and their families and spreading lies are still the norm. The Lord will just take care of my (detractors).) The Vice President is at the center of the allegedly overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall 2 parking building, which has been the subject of an ongoing investigation at the Senate. He has also been accused during the hearings of allegedly receiving kickbacks and amassing unexplained wealth when he was the mayor of Makati City.

Binay strongly denied all allegations leveled against him. Despite the allegations, the Vice President remained hell-bent on running for president in 2016. “Alam niyo po hindi ako hipokrito. Simulang-simula pa lang, sinabi ko na po, ako ay magkakandidato,” he said, responding to a question. (You know I am not a hypocrite. From the beginning, I already said I was running for higher office.) He even thanked the people there in rain-drenched Camarines Sur who came to see and greet him despite the charges against him. “Akala ko wala nang sasalubong sa akin dahil sa paninira, pangungutya, pang-aapi, pati kulay ko sinasabing ako ay nognog, pero ngayon, sa pamamagitan ng media, ipapaabot ko lang po ang aking pasasalamat sa lahat ng sumalubong sa amin, mainit na pagsalubong sa amin, kahit anong lakas po ng ulan,” Binay said. (I thought no one would welcome me because of the defamation that I have received. Even my color was criticized. They would call me ‘nognog’ (dark-skinned). Through the media, I would like to extend my gratitude to those who gave me a warm welcome amid the rains.) THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Cayetano to pursue Binay probe; VP won’t back out from debate 

OCT 29 --Admitting that his participation in the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee investigation of the Makati City Hall Building II could be costing him the much-needed base support, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday said he will continue to pursue the probe of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay. Cayetano, whose latest rating in the presidential preferential survey dropped from 5 to 1 percent, stressed this yesterday as he said he has not yet given up his dreams of running for president in 2016. “Pangarap ko pa din (It’s still my dream) but with the present numbers, as I said, who will run if mababa ka sa survey (if you are low in the surveys?)” Cayetano said in a televised interview. ‘NO BACKING OUT’  As this developed, Binay’s spokesman for political concerns, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, said the Vice President is not taking back his debate challenge to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

“The VP is eager for the scholarly discussion with Sen. Trillanes,” Remulla said. “No backing out. We just have to set the date and a few details.”  Trillanes and Cayetano have earlier expressed doubt whether Binay will push through with the debate. Cayetano also reiterated Binay is not immune from any suit. “Tingin niya may immunity siya so kung ganyan na siya VP pa lang, what more kapag naging president (He thinks he has immunity. He’s already acting like that when he is just a VP, what more when he becomes President)?”  The senator said Binay can be sued and tried and convicted even without an impeachment case being filed against him. Despite Cayetano’s tirades against the Vice President, Remulla only had good words to offer for the senator. “Sen. Cayetano has a distinguished record of public service. From municipal councilor to congressman to senator. His life shouldn’t be defined by an aborted attempt for the presidency but rather by the many victories before that,” Remulla said of his fellow Nacionalista Party (NP) member. POOR RATINGS * READ MORE...
 


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Legal experts denounce ‘lynching’ during Binay probe; Senate conduct harms chamber By Rey E. Requejo, Othel V. Campos | Oct. 28, 2014 at 12:01am


Sessions resume. Senators Grace Poe and Aquilino Pimentel III confer with Senate President Franklin Drilon during the resumption of the Senate sessions on Monday. Ey Acasio

MANILA, NOVEMBER 3, 2014 (MANILA STANDARD) TWO legal experts on Monday slammed the way the Senate is conducting its investigation into the alleged properties of Vice President Jejomar Binay, saying the three senators leading the probe are doing the chamber more harm than good.

Antonio Contreras, a professor of law at the Dela Salle University and Dean Amado Valdez of University of the East College of Law denounced the “lynching” of resource persons during the previous hearings, saying it could boomerang on Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino Pimentel III.

The warning seemed to dovetail with the results of the third Philippine Trust Index survey released by the public relations company EON, which showed that the Senate was the least trusted government institution with only 7 percent of the general public and 4 percent of “the informed public” expressing trust in it.

In 2012, the Senate had a trust rating of 15 percent from the general public and 13 percent from the informed public, which was defined as adult Filipinos 25 to 65 years old who have completed at least three years of tertiary education and have access at least twice a week to print, online, and broadcast media.

The Office of the President also saw a decline in its trust rating from the general public, which fell sharply to 16 percent from 28 percent in 2012. Among the informed public, its trust rating fell to 15 percent from 24 percent.

In separate interviews, Contreras and Valdez shared the common observation that the investigation conducted by the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee already had a foregone conclusion—that Binay is guilty.

“There should be open-mindedness. Instead conclusions have been made,” said Contreras, a political analyst and professor of law.

In a radio interview, Contreras said that Pimentel, Trillanes and Cayetano have clearly shown bias against guests who are presumed to be identified with Binay, including businessman Antonio Tiu, who was accused of acting as Binay’s dummy.

* Contreras observed that when former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado and other “witnesses” spoke, there were no interruptions and they were allowed to finish their statements.

“But when Tiu was talking, they [senators] butt in,” he added.

Contreras warned that the Filipino viewers are not stupid and many already disapprove of the lawmakers “antics,” which could damage the Senate.

Valdez said the subcommittee was looking at the wrong angle in attempting to connect Tiu with Binay. He pointed out that the explanation given by Tiu was more believable under common practice and the law.

“What Tiu as a businessman is doing is consolidating property, and purposely not getting a deed of sale outright because he will be going against provisions of the agrarian reform program. But from a practical point of view, this is what businessmen are doing to compete against big international players who hold hundred of hectares of land parcels in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, etcetera,” Valdez said.

In the Philippines, one cannot own more than five hectares at a time “so you compile land to compete against international business,” he said.

“You purposely veer away from being the nominal owner so as to not run afoul of the Philippines’ agrarian reform law. But you have all the right to use, transform, destroy, etc. the property being the lawful owner,” he said.

Even the photos exhibited by Mercado, he said, has no value in court as the case would be solely based on the argument that he used to be an employee or colleague of the Binays.

“There are many versions of occupying a property, not necessarily owning it. The court will most certainly delve deep into this, and not take at face value any testimony of a single witness, which is what the Senate subcommittee is doing,” Valdez said.

He described the proceedings as “unfortunate.”

Contreras agreed and said Tiu had yet to secure a land title because of an existing mortgage.

“When you’re paying off a mortgage, you don’t have your TCT [transfer certificate of title] at hand. But when asked, yes, I live and use this property... I paid a down payment. Am currently paying amortizations. Yes, I own the land,” he said.

He also cautioned the investigating lawmakers against making life much harder for Binay because the vice president may eventually win the sympathy of voters and be perceived as the underdog.

Contreras likened Binay’s plight to that of ousted President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who was subject to a lot of accusations and name calling before he won the presidency in 1998.

“But the bigger issue is that the process of investigation, of inquiry, is being compromised by the demeanor of the senators in the subcommittee. And all this badgering, bullying, will backfire on them, and on the institution of the senate, in general,” the law professor said.

“My advice to the opposition, or the Liberal Party, if you want to bring down Binay, change your approach.... Naasar na ang mga tao, (the people are getting angry),” he added.

The latest Philippine Trust Index survey showed that the Catholic Church remained the most trusted institution in the country with 75 percent of the general public and 66 percent of the informed public saying they trust it “very much.”

The survey was conducted from May to June and involved 1,626 respondents from various socioeconomic and educational backgrounds in urban and rural areas all over the country.

For four of 10 Filipinos, the primary driver of trust in the government is its perceived freedom from corruption. However, fewer than two of 10 believe that the government is not corrupt.

Filipinos also believe that the government should be able to provide better jobs, attend to the needs of the poor, implement laws equally, and be transparent and communicate to its stakeholders to be able to earn the trust of the people.

The academe was the second most trusted institution after the Church, with 53 percent of the general public and 45 percent of the informed public trusting it very much.

Media are the third most trusted, with 33 percent and 22 percent trust ratings from the general and informed public, respectively.

Overall, the trust in the media remained the same for two years. TV networks were the most trusted, followed by radio and newspapers.

While traditional media still dominates, online sources are slowly earning the trust of Filipinos, the survey said.

Cayetano: Binay will be worse than Arroyo (philstar.com) | Updated October 28, 2014 - 10:42am 13 2392 googleplus0 0


CAYETANO

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Alan Cayetano on Tuesday slammed Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family for acting like untouchable government officials.

In an interview with ANC's Headstart, Cayetano criticized Binay for believing that he has immunity from investigation and lawsuit because he is the vice president.

Cayetano also expressed fear that Binay will jail all those investigating him if he becomes president in 2016.

"At the evidence right now, he'll be worse than GMA. Ngayon pa lang, hindi pa siya presidente... ni ayaw magpaimbestiga," Cayetano told program host Karen Davila.

Cayetano said the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-committee investigating Binay would recommend charges against him if he fails to present evidence and refute the corruption allegations.

He believes that Binay can be investigated by the Department of Justice and be charged.

"He can be sued, tried and convicted even without an impeachment," Cayetano said.

Cayetano, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado have accused Binay of pocketing public funds as kickbacks from various projects in Makati including an allegedly overpriced parking building.

* Binay is also allegedly the real owner of a 350-hectare agricultural estate in Rosario, Batangas, which has become the subject of the Senate probe.

Although he has yet to face the Senate, Binay has denied all allegations and criticized the Blue Ribbon Sub-committee probe for being "politically motivated."

Last week, Binay said those investigating him at the Senate are threatened by his presidential bid because they may be held liable for their own offenses if he wins in 2016.

"Those investigating me are simply there because as they admitted they do not want me to even launch a presidential campaign, obviously fearing that should the people support me they would be made accountable for their misdeeds and abuse of power," Binay said.

Binay has also criticized the Aquino administration's "selective justice" and the Department of Justice (DOJ) for initiating an investigation on him.

"The DOJ clearly has no jurisdiction to conduct an investigation over any impeachable official. That power belongs exclusively to the Ombudsman," Binay said in a previous statement.

He said Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, who belongs to the executive department, cannot investigate her superiors, the president and the vice president.

Tiu claims getting 'threats' to declare Batangas property not his By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated October 29, 2014 - 11:22am 7 742 googleplus1 0


Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (right) conducts an ocular inspection of the 150-hectare estate allegedly owned by Vice President Jejomar Binay in Batangas. With him is businessman Antonio Tiu, who claims to own the property. STAR/Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) — Businessman Antonio "Tony' Tiu, accused of being Vice President Jejomar Binay's dummy, said he is being pressured to admit that he is not the owner of the controversial 150-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas.

Tiu accused senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Alan Peter Cayetano and Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III of being biased in assuming that Binay is the real owner of the estate.

He admitted that upon acquiring the property, he realized some structures were unregistered and undocumented, but decried that it became an issue at the Senate hearing last Thursday.

"Part na 'yan ng threat sa'kin na kapag hindi ako sumang-ayon, lahat ng government agencies hahabol sa'kin, sa mga kagustuhan ng mga senador na sabihin itong property ay hindi akin," Tiu said in an interview with ABS-CBN's Bandila on Tuesday night.

RELATED: Tony Tiu sues Trillanes for 'defamation'

While Tiu, chief executive officer of Greenergy Holdings Inc., did not make any reference to a particular senator, he insisted that when his company realized some of the buildings lacked official permits, he and his staff started working on registering them.

"Yung mga may permit na, nailipat na sa Sunchamp, yung mga wala pa, pinapatuwid natin, pinapa-correct. Kasi yung mga pagkakamali ng iba, hindi natin puwede saluhin na ganun lang din. Kailangan natin ituwid," he said.

In 2013, Tiu folded Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp. into Greenergy. Sunchamp is the registered owner of the Rosario agro-tourism park, which it bought for P446 million to be paid "by installment."

The businessman also blasted the senators for banking on hearsay in their accusations linking him with the vice president.

"Ang problema kasi ang pinapakita ko is ebidensya, ang gamit nila ay haka-haka, kung may ebidensiya naman na ipapakita ang labanan naman dito, sino ang nagasasabi ng totoo?" Tiu said.

* Tiu added that in the next Senate hearing this coming Thursday, he will bring documents that would prove that he owns the vast property.

"E nung last hearing di ba nag one-minute break pa para tawagan ko ang mga abogado na dalhin ang mga dokumento? So hindi ko alam kung bakit hindi nakarating sa mga senador," Tiu said. "So this coming hearing, sisiguraduhin ko na bitbit ko."

Senators claimed that Tiu could not provide documents showing that the property is under his name.

The businessman said that among the documents that he will present in the next hearing are the memorandum of agreement between Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp. and Laureano Gregorio Jr. and the tax declaration that his company has assumed control of the 150-hectare property in Rosario town.

"Mayroon tayong memorandum of agreement, meron tayong mga tax [declarations], 'yun ang nagpapatunay na tayo yung may right over the property," he said.

"Actually, ngayon, tayo naman ang may right na nagpapatakbo ng property. Pero hinihintay natin na ma-accomplish na 'yung kailangan n'yang ma-accomplish to deliver the title bago natin i-release yung other tranches of payments," Tiu said.

"Within a period of two years, dapat a-transfer niya yung titulo sa pangalan ng Sunchamp," Tiu said.

Tiu early denied that the property is a hacienda and insisted that it is a venue for agri-tourism.

Trillanes' alleged Binay dummy, Tiu says he's ready to be jailed By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated October 29, 2014 - 11:12am 2 230 googleplus0 0


Businessman Antonio Tiu takes his oath before testifying in the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee Hearing on the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2. Senate PRIB/Albert Calvelo, October 22, 2014

MANILA, Philippines - Embattled businessman Antonio Tiu said he is prepared to go to jail if proven that he is being used by Vice President Jejomar Binay as a front to hide his alleged ill-gotten wealth.

In an interview with ABS-CBN's late night news program Bandila on Tuesday, Tiu insisted that he is the real owner of a sprawling agricultural estate in Rosario, Batangas being linked to the Binays.

Tiu said he is ready to be charged and face the consequences.

"May batas naman po ang Pilipinas kung ako po ay napatunyan na nagkasala e dapat kong harapin ang kaparusahan," he said.

Tiu said he will present tomorrow a memorandum of agreement proving that he has rights over the controversial property before the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee investigating the Binays.

He also denied that he is Binay's friend, claiming again that he only met the Vice President three times. He answered in the negative when asked if he supports the beleaguered official.

The businessman also downplayed his employees' links to the Binays.

"Ang importante naman dito sa case na 'to, kailangan lang naman nating patunayan is kung sino ba talaga ang may-ari. E kung ako ang may-ari, e di wala ng isyu," Tiu said.

Last week, Tiu testified for the first time at the Senate probe but he failed to convince senators that he is the legitimate owner of the Batangas property.

In an interview with ANC on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Alan Cayetano said Tiu could be charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and tax violations if he is proven to have lied before the upper chamber.

Binay camp to take probe to SC By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 3, 2014 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 1

MANILA, Philippines - Lawyers are looking into ways to stop the Senate from continuing its probe into the corruption allegations against Vice President Jejomar Binay, including securing an injunction from the Supreme Court, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim secretary general JV Bautista said yesterday.

He said they may seek intervention from the high court to stop the investigation of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee over the alleged irregularities surrounding the Makati City Hall Building II.

“We are studying the possibility of elevating the matter to the SC,” Bautista told radio dzBB.

He said they expect Senators Aquilino Pimentel III, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Antonio Trillanes IV to continue to attack Binay in the Senate probe, adding the Binays will not receive fair treatment from the three senators.

“The Vice President doesn’t want to face the subcommittee hearing, which we dubbed as ‘circus-like’ probe, because of what the three senators are doing. We expect that they will allow those people who will say something bad against the Vice President while those who will defend him will be barred from talking,” Bautista said in Filipino.

“Now, the possibility of the Vice President attending the subcommittee probe is getting slim,” he added.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The Senate Blue Ribbon committee, chaired by Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, has invited Binay to attend its probe upon his request that he would only attend an investigation conducted by the mother committee.

Bautista said he and UNA interim president Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco tried to clarify the invitation for the Vice President during the subcommittee hearing last Oct. 30 but were thrown out of the Senate hall.

“We would like to ask the senators why they continue the subcommittee probe when the mother committee has already invited us,” Bautista said.

“The logical thing would have been for the subcommittee to defer its proceedings in deference to the mother committee,” he added.

Bautista said Guingona had requested Pimentel to give way to the mother committee hearing last Oct. 30. Pimentel, however, ignored the request.

He remarked that the three senators are “uncontrollable” by the chair of the mother committee.

“Last Oct. 30, they were like (Adolf) Hitler. When they saw us they turned off the microphone and they did not listen to us, we were thrown out by the Senate sergeant-at-arms. In the first place, Toby Tiangco should not be treated like that,” Bautista said.

“Based on our observation on the way things are done, the Vice President is not too keen in attending the (hearing of) the mother committee. Because apparently, Senator Guingona cannot constrain these out of control senators,” he said.

* What Binay wants to avoid is for these scenarios to happen also in the mother committee, he said.

Binay’s spokesperson Joey Salgado said the Vice President is still willing to attend the Blue Ribbon probe as long as he is assured of fair and objective proceedings.

He said Binay has yet to decide whether to attend the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing on Nov. 6.

“He is inclined to attend but let’s wait for his final decision,” Salgado said in a text message to The STAR.

Pimentel, for his part, said his colleague Sen. Nancy Binay could stand up to defend her father and their family during the hearing.

Pimentel said the invitation remains open for the younger Binay to explain their side on the issues of corruption.

Senator Binay decided to inhibit from the proceedings, while members of the Senate minority such as acting minority leader Vicente Sotto III and JV Ejercito chose not to attend the hearings.

Pimentel said there is no reason for the Senate subcommittee to stop its probe despite the ongoing probe by the Ombudsman and other government agencies into the allegations against Binay and his family.

“The Senate Blue Ribbon committee rules are clear: The pendency of the case shall not be a reason not to continue with any investigation,” Pimentel said. – With Christina Mendez

FROM THE INQUIRER

Binay: ‘The Lord will take care of my detractors’ Maila Ager
@inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 10:44 AM | Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay said he is turning to a higher power to “take care” of his political detractors.

Binay, in an interview in Camarines Sur Tuesday, expressed his frustration over the unabated attacks against him and his family.

“Alam niyo po mga kababayan, akala ko magbabago na ang itsura ng ating pulitika, pero hindi po. Ang paninira sa kapwa, sa kanilang pamilya ay tuloy-tuloy, mga pagsisinungaling. Diyos na po ang bahala sa kanila,” he said.

(You know, I thought that the face of politics in the country would finally change. But no. Slandering your rivals and their families and spreading lies are still the norm. The Lord will just take care of my (detractors).)

The Vice President is at the center of the allegedly overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall 2 parking building, which has been the subject of an ongoing investigation at the Senate. He has also been accused during the hearings of allegedly receiving kickbacks and amassing unexplained wealth when he was the mayor of Makati City.

Binay strongly denied all allegations leveled against him.

Despite the allegations, the Vice President remained hell-bent on running for president in 2016.

“Alam niyo po hindi ako hipokrito. Simulang-simula pa lang, sinabi ko na po, ako ay magkakandidato,” he said, responding to a question.

(You know I am not a hypocrite. From the beginning, I already said I was running for higher office.)

He even thanked the people there in rain-drenched Camarines Sur who came to see and greet him despite the charges against him.

“Akala ko wala nang sasalubong sa akin dahil sa paninira, pangungutya, pang-aapi, pati kulay ko sinasabing ako ay nognog, pero ngayon, sa pamamagitan ng media, ipapaabot ko lang po ang aking pasasalamat sa lahat ng sumalubong sa amin, mainit na pagsalubong sa amin, kahit anong lakas po ng ulan,” Binay said.

(I thought no one would welcome me because of the defamation that I have received. Even my color was criticized. They would call me ‘nognog’ (dark-skinned). Through the media, I would like to extend my gratitude to those who gave me a warm welcome amid the rains.)

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Cayetano to pursue Binay probe; VP won’t back out from debate by JC Bello Ruiz and Hannah Torregoza October 29, 2014 Share this:

Admitting that his participation in the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee investigation of the Makati City Hall Building II could be costing him the much-needed base support, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday said he will continue to pursue the probe of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay.

Cayetano, whose latest rating in the presidential preferential survey dropped from 5 to 1 percent, stressed this yesterday as he said he has not yet given up his dreams of running for president in 2016.

“Pangarap ko pa din (It’s still my dream) but with the present numbers, as I said, who will run if mababa ka sa survey (if you are low in the surveys?)” Cayetano said in a televised interview.

‘NO BACKING OUT’

As this developed, Binay’s spokesman for political concerns, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, said the Vice President is not taking back his debate challenge to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

“The VP is eager for the scholarly discussion with Sen. Trillanes,” Remulla said. “No backing out. We just have to set the date and a few details.”

Trillanes and Cayetano have earlier expressed doubt whether Binay will push through with the debate.

Cayetano also reiterated Binay is not immune from any suit. “Tingin niya may immunity siya so kung ganyan na siya VP pa lang, what more kapag naging president (He thinks he has immunity. He’s already acting like that when he is just a VP, what more when he becomes President)?”

The senator said Binay can be sued and tried and convicted even without an impeachment case being filed against him.

Despite Cayetano’s tirades against the Vice President, Remulla only had good words to offer for the senator.

“Sen. Cayetano has a distinguished record of public service. From municipal councilor to congressman to senator. His life shouldn’t be defined by an aborted attempt for the presidency but rather by the many victories before that,” Remulla said of his fellow Nacionalista Party (NP) member.

POOR RATINGS

* Despite his appearance in television advertisements and high-profile stance on the investigation on corruption allegations against Binay, Cayetano’s presidential bid has failed to take off as reflected by his poor ratings in early presidential preference surveys.

“Pangarap ko pa din (It’s still my dream) but with the present numbers, as I said, who will run if mababa ka sa survey (you are low in the surveys?)” Cayetano said in a televised interview.

“I want to run because I want to change the country, but why would I duck changing the country now with this investigation just for a chance to become president?” Cayetano said.

“Now if people would see tama yung ginagawa ko, tama yung mga accusations ko against Binay and tumaas yung numbers ko, then I will take a step of faith. I’m not saying I’m not fixated pa rin,” the senator said.

“I can sleep well not being president. But I cannot sleep na may corruption and I should be investigating and I gave up,” he said.

“If the Lord says I want you to be a senator, okay. I want you to be Ombudsman, okay. I want you to be private citizen, okay,” he added.

But for now, Cayetano said he is praying that he and his wife, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, will have a baby.

ROXAS WELCOMES ESTRADAS

As this developed, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas got two unexpected defenders right from the inner circle of the opposition who believe he is incapable of discrediting the Vice President.

Yesterday, Roxas expressed gratitude to former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and his son Senator JV Ejercito for clearing his name on the alleged plot to ruin Binay’s shot at presidency in 2016.

“I thank Mayor Erap and Senator JV. They’re right, I really have nothing to do with that,” said Roxas in a press briefing at Camp Crame, referring to the so-called Oplan Stop Nognog 2016.

The alleged plot involving Roxas, it was recalled, was first floated by UNA Secretary General JV Bautista by claiming that they have stumbled upon the plan that focuses on the corruption allegations being hurled against Binay.

Recently, no less than the Vice President tagged Roxas as among the masterminds in the plot to discredit him.

But even before Binay linked Roxas to the alleged plot, Estrada, in a television interview, said he personally knows Roxas and that he is not capable of doing it.

Roxas, however, was quick to clarify that Estrada’s statement should never be taken as a start of political alliance.

“We never talked about it… I just sent him a text message thanking him for what he said,” said Roxas.

BLUE RIBBON INVITATION

Meanwhile, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will decide within the week when it will issue a formal invitation to the Vice President to explain his side on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building II and other instances of widespread corruption during his stint as Makati city mayor.

Sen. Teofisto L. Guingona III, committee chairman, announced this yesterday. He had earlier accepted the challenge of Binay’s camp that the Vice President would only attend the public hearing if he (Guingona) would issue the invitation and for him to preside over the inquiry.

“My only reason for stepping in is to avoid a clash of institutions – the Office of the Vice President and the Senate – and for the public inquiry go smoothly,” Guingona told Senate reporters. (With reports from Aaron B. Recuenco and Mario B. Casayuran)


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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