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NOY'S CORNER THIS PAST WEEK...
(MINI-READS followed by FULL REPORTS below)

U.N. SAYS PHILIPPINE GOVT ILLEGALLY DETAINS GMA


OCTOBER 8 -Former PH President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (MB File) (Photo by: Mark Balmores) The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has declared that the Philippine government violated international laws for the continued “arbitrary and illegal” of former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The information about the UN body’s stand on Arroyo’s detention was relayed to the camp of the former chief executive by Amal Alamuddin-Clooney, wife of popular American actor George Clooney, who called international attention on the plight of Arroyo by filing a complaint against President Benign Aquino III and the Philippine government. “ The UN opinion finds that the detention of former President Arroyo was arbitrary and illegal under international law because the Sandiganbayan court failed to take into account her individual circumstances when it repeatedly denied bail, failed to consider measures alternative to pre-trial detention and because of the undue delays in proceedings against her,” stated Clooney in an email sent to lawyer Larry Gadon. The UN body also reportedly asked the Philipine government to “ensure fair trials which respect all the guarantees enshrined in international human rights law. In particular, the trials must take place without undue delay…” “Accordingly, the UN recommended the “reconsideration of Mrs Arroyo’s application for bail in accordance with the relevant international human rights standards and to accord Ms Arroyo … an enforceable right to compensation… for the deprivation of liberty which already occurred,” said Clooney, who described herself as a barrister. The Sandiganbayan has thrice rejected Arroyo’s appeal for bail for both humanitarian considerations and legal reason, with the accused claiming that the plunder charge against her is based on weak if not baseless evidence. In fact, most of her co-accused in the conspiracy to commit plunder case have already been released on bail or cleared after the anti-graft court upheld their respective motions for the demurrer to evidence. Government anti-graft lawyers have been successful in blocking Arroyo’s numerous appeals for bail and for the dismissal of the P366 million plunder case although voting on the decision have been close. READ MORE...

ALSO  Palace on 2016 budget critics: You can’t please everybody


OCTOBER 11 -Amid claims of railroading in the passage of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2016 and alleged inclusion of lump sum funds, Malacañang yesterday expressed its gratitude to the members of the lower chamber for passing the P3-trillion national budget even as it stressed that there is a process being followed in Congress that must be respected.
“You know not everyone will agree but since we have a process and that the majority voted to pass it, we need to respect the system of Congress,” deputy presidential spokesman Abigail told a radio interview.Reacting to those who brought resistance to the measure, the Palace official said they can’t please everybody in having the budget approved, adding there are more deliberations in the Senate. “The budget deliberation is not yet finished – there’s still the Senate,” Valte said.Congress has been deliberating the budget for quite some time and there are a number of officials from the executive branch who participated in the congressional budget hearings, she added.
“To those of us in the executive that’s also considered another thesis defense — to face our fellows in Congress to be able to defend your agency’s or your office’s budget,” Valte said, adding they will exert similar effort when the Senate tackles the budget.Budget Secretary Florencio Abad also thanked the House leadership for the smooth approval of the government’s budget, stressing its “prompt action” paved the way for the administration to continue its work in public service.“Your careful consideration and prompt action on the administration’s budget proposal set the momentum for the timely passage of the General Appropriations Act of 2016,” he said.“We in the DBM value our partnership with you and greatly appreciate your support for this administration’s commitment to craft a budget that is not business-as-usual,” he said.After hours of supposed debates that reached almost midnight, Congress passed on third and final reading the national budget, with only a few changes.But Kabataan partylist Rep. Terry Ridon said the budget is designed for the benefit of the ruling Liberal Party (LP).“The P3-trillion national budget that the House passed tonight (October 10) is a budget loaded with lump sums, sneaky provisions crafted for fund juggling a la Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), and billions of funds designed to serve as the ruling party’s campaign war chest,” he noted.READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Junjun dismissal not immediately enforceable’ - Former Comelec Chair Brillantes


FOCTOBER 12 -ormer Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes, former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez and former University of the Philippines law dean Pacifico Agabin, all said Binay’s dismissal cannot actually be “immediately executory” as announced by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales last Friday since it is not yet final and may be subject to judicial review before it could be implemented. Philstar.com/File
The order of the Office of the Ombudsman dismissing Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. from service and perpetually disqualifying him from holding public post cannot be enforced just yet, legal experts said yesterday. Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes, former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez and former University of the Philippines law dean Pacifico Agabin, all said Binay’s dismissal cannot actually be “immediately executory” as announced by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales last Friday since it is not yet final and may be subject to judicial review before it could be implemented. They agreed Binay, who remains suspended from his post, can still pursue his reelection bid and file his certificate of candidacy (COC) this week. Brillantes said Binay could still file a motion for reconsideration with the ombudsman. And if that, too, fails, the suspended mayor can elevate his case to the Court of Appeals to seek a temporary restraining order, and ultimately to the Supreme Court. “If he files COC this week, the Comelec will accept that. They cannot reject that,” Brillantes said. The filing of COC runs from today up to Friday. “If the CA sustains the dismissal, he can still elevate the case to the Supreme Court,” the former poll chief explained. Brillantes stressed that although “immediately executory,” the ombudsman’s order of dismissal cannot be enforced yet because Binay is still serving a six-month suspension over a separate case involving alleged irregularities in the construction of the Makati City Science High School. The preventive suspension was issued last July and would end in January next year. Currently serving as acting mayor is Vice Mayor Romulo Peña. “The dismissal order cannot actually be implemented because there’s no one to dismiss since Junjun remains suspended up to now. Once the suspension is served, that’s the only time you can dismiss,” he pointed out. READ MORE...

ALSO Nene Pimentel: Morales order not ‘executory’


OCTOBER 11 -CITES ABSENCE OF MAKATI MAYOR’S CRIMINAL LIABILITY -A former Senator said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ ruling on the ouster and “perpetual disqualification” of Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin ‘Junjun’ Binay last Friday was not “final and executory” as Morales had claimed. Former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, an old friend of Vice President Jejomar Binay and the father of Sen. Koko Pimentel who is part of the anti-Binay Senate troika in the blue ribbon subcommittee conducting a marathon investigation on the Vice President, affirmed, that though he is now “critical of the Binays,” that the Ombudsman’s ruling is “not final and absolute.” Pimentel said that case will not even triumph if it seeks to “handcuff Junjun Binay” because, as far as his concerned, “so far there is no criminal liability at all yet.”
“It must be admitted that despite the constitutional independence of the Ombudsman, its ruling on Junjun is not final and executory because, after all, their camp can question this before higher courts. And besides, the case hasn’t reached the Sandiganbayan so what’s the point of their preclusion?” Pimentel said. “I mean the Binays, including my good friend (VP Binay) is still liable to the public to explain their part and do not merely dismiss it as a politically motivated issue,” the old Pimentel explained. The Ombudsman’s ruling on Mayor Binay is based on the alleged anomalies of overpricing in the Makati City Hall parking lot building which became the launching pad for unending accusations being churned out in the Senate sub-panel hearing against the Vice President who leads the opposition party. VP Binay had refused to recognize the Senate proceeding citing its political nature and instead said he will answer all the allegations raised against him in a proper venue. Human rights lawyer and UP Law Prof. Harry Roque, on the other hand, said the ruling is “not surprising” as it has been expected as a part of the “political demolition” of VP Binay’s reputation knowing that it will hurt his Presidential bid. Roque says that the trend is “very obvious” and the aim “is to neutralize the opposition”. “Whether they deny it or not, this is thoroughly trying to injure VP Binay through his son. Its more of a political harassment,” Roque told the Tribune in a phone interview. Roque slammed Morales, a former Supreme Court associate justice, for hastily ruling that the “perpetual disqualification” of Mayor Binay is one that is final and absolute. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘LP big boys’ bullyed MMDA Chief Tolentino
[“Look at Joel Villanueva, he’s facing a pork barrel case and he himself admitted that a group of LP stalwarts, identified with Roxas, want him out of the Cabinet and from the ruling party’s Senate slate,” Vicente said. Unlike Tolentino, Villanueva remains in the LP senatorial slate.]


COCTOBER 12 -ase in point is the recent Liberal Party meeting and birthday party for Congressman Benjamin Agarao where a group of scantily-clad "exotic dancers" ...COURTESY OF PHILNEWS.COM
Some “insecure” Liberal Party (LP) members have been accused of bullying Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino which already forced him to drop his senatorial bid. Alberto Vicente, spokesman for the Alliance for Good Governance (AGG), said “LP big boys” have ganged up on Tolentino who is more qualified to seek a Senate seat compared to others being groomed in the LP slate. Vicente said the purging within LP ranks only shows the weak leadership of its standard-bearer, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II. “The purge is a manifestation of Mar’s weak leadership and political immaturity of the ruling party,” Vicente said.The AGG spokesman defended Tolentino against LP’s demolition job.“He was hapless and helpless. He was bullied. Tolentino was an underdog. The big boys were ganging up on him,” Vicente said in a statement. “Tolentino is more qualified compared to other aspirants for the Senate slate of LP. LP does not like smart people because they might discover unscrupulous activities. What they did to him could happen to others, too,” Vicente said. According to Vicente, Tolentino was made the “fall guy” in the controversial obscene dance performance of the group Play Girls during an LP event and birthday party of Laguna Rep. Benjamin Agarao. The video went viral on social networking sites recently and drew criticisms from various sectors.Vicente expressed belief that someone from LP was behind the spread of the video. READ MORE..


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

UN says PHL gov’t illegally detains GMA


Former PH President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (MB File) (Photo by: Mark Balmores)

MANILA, OCTOBER 12, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN)  by Ben Rosario October 8, 2015 - The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has declared that the Philippine government violated international laws for the continued “arbitrary and illegal” of former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The information about the UN body’s stand on Arroyo’s detention was relayed to the camp of the former chief executive by Amal Alamuddin-Clooney, wife of popular American actor George Clooney, who called international attention on the plight of Arroyo by filing a complaint against President Benign Aquino III and the Philippine government.

“ The UN opinion finds that the detention of former President Arroyo was arbitrary and illegal under international law because the Sandiganbayan court failed to take into account her individual circumstances when it repeatedly denied bail, failed to consider measures alternative to pre-trial detention and because of the undue delays in proceedings against her,” stated Clooney in an email sent to lawyer Larry Gadon.


Gloria Arroyo's lawyer Lorenzo Gadon

The UN body also reportedly asked the Philipine government to “ensure fair trials which respect all the guarantees enshrined in international human rights law. In particular, the trials must take place without undue delay…”

“Accordingly, the UN recommended the “reconsideration of Mrs Arroyo’s application for bail in accordance with the relevant international human rights standards and to accord Ms Arroyo … an enforceable right to compensation… for the deprivation of liberty which already occurred,” said Clooney, who described herself as a barrister.

The Sandiganbayan has thrice rejected Arroyo’s appeal for bail for both humanitarian considerations and legal reason, with the accused claiming that the plunder charge against her is based on weak if not baseless evidence.

In fact, most of her co-accused in the conspiracy to commit plunder case have already been released on bail or cleared after the anti-graft court upheld their respective motions for the demurrer to evidence.

Government anti-graft lawyers have been successful in blocking Arroyo’s numerous appeals for bail and for the dismissal of the P366 million plunder case although voting on the decision have been close.

READ MORE...

Gadon said they had expected that a copy of the UN decision had already reached the Philippine government.

Gadon, who was authorized by Arroyo to coordinate with Clooney, said the former president’s attorneys led by Jose Flaminiano.

In her personal message to Gadon, Clooney stated how “delighted” she was with the UN body’s opinion.

“ As you will see from the opinion, we won the case. The UN endorsed all of our arguments and concluded that President Arroyo’s detention violates international law,” Clooney said.

“In its Opinion, the Working Group – a prominent UN body composed of five independent human rights experts – endorsed the arguments advanced by Mrs Arroyo’s counsel in full and held that, in its reply submitted last June, the Government had failed to refute any of her allegations,” the Clooney email stated.

“Further, the Working Group recognised that the charges against Mrs Arroyo are politically motivated, since she is detained ‘as a result of the exercise of her right to take part in government and the conduct of public affairs’ and ‘because of her political… opinion’,” said Clooney, who is equally popular for advancing the cause of human rights victims before the UN and other international human rights bodies.

The human rigthts lawyer said: “The Working Group highlighted in particular the Government’s “defiance of court rulings removing travel bans against Ms. Arroyo” as an example of the government targeting her and interfering with judicial decisions in her case.”

Also reportedly cited in the decision was the incident when Justice Secretary Leila de Lima stopped Arroyo from board her flight in 2011 despite the absence of charges filed in court.

The UN body noted that De Lima’s arbitrary move had violated a Supreme Court ruling that upheld Arroyo’s right to seek medical treatment abroad.

Many lawyers, including critics of Arroyo, chided De Lima for her actions even as they pointed out later that Arroyo was released on bail for the charge of violation of election laws which was the justice secretary’s basis for prevent Arroyo to seek medical help abroad.

Clooney, who described herself as a barrister, said the UN panel “ruled that her detention is arbitrary under each and all of the three categories of arbitrariness recognised by the UN Working Group”.

The opinion reportedly upheld Clooney’s contention that “Mrs Arroyo was denied bail on grounds that are not compatible with international law: she did not benefit from the presumption in favour of bail; she was denied bail exclusively on the basis of the alleged strength of the evidence against her; measures alternative to pre-trial detention were not considered and there were undue delays in considering her bail position and in the proceedings against her as a whole.”

Also upheld was Clooney’s insistence that “Mrs Arroyo has been subjected to detention as a result of the exercise of her right to take part in government and the conduct of public affairs and because of her political opinion.”


TRIBUNE

Palace on 2016 budget critics: You can’t please everybody Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 11 October 2015 00:00



Amid claims of railroading in the passage of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2016 and alleged inclusion of lump sum funds, Malacañang yesterday expressed its gratitude to the members of the lower chamber for passing the P3-trillion national budget even as it stressed that there is a process being followed in Congress that must be respected.

“You know not everyone will agree but since we have a process and that the majority voted to pass it, we need to respect the system of Congress,” deputy presidential spokesman Abigail told a radio interview.

Reacting to those who brought resistance to the measure, the Palace official said they can’t please everybody in having the budget approved, adding there are more deliberations in the Senate.

“The budget deliberation is not yet finished – there’s still the Senate,” Valte said.
Congress has been deliberating the budget for quite some time and there are a number of officials from the executive branch who participated in the congressional budget hearings, she added.

“To those of us in the executive that’s also considered another thesis defense — to face our fellows in Congress to be able to defend your agency’s or your office’s budget,” Valte said, adding they will exert similar effort when the Senate tackles the budget.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad also thanked the House leadership for the smooth approval of the government’s budget, stressing its “prompt action” paved the way for the administration to continue its work in public service.

“Your careful consideration and prompt action on the administration’s budget proposal set the momentum for the timely passage of the General Appropriations Act of 2016,” he said.

“We in the DBM value our partnership with you and greatly appreciate your support for this administration’s commitment to craft a budget that is not business-as-usual,” he said.

After hours of supposed debates that reached almost midnight, Congress passed on third and final reading the national budget, with only a few changes.
But Kabataan partylist Rep. Terry Ridon said the budget is designed for the benefit of the ruling Liberal Party (LP).

“The P3-trillion national budget that the House passed tonight (October 10) is a budget loaded with lump sums, sneaky provisions crafted for fund juggling a la Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), and billions of funds designed to serve as the ruling party’s campaign war chest,” he noted.

READ MORE...

Compared year on year, programmed appropriations increased by 19 percent, from P1.7 trillion in the 2015 budget to P2.07 trillion, while unprogrammed appropriations decreased by 47.2 percent to P67.5 billion.

Automatic appropriations increased by 7.4 percent, from the current P866.2 billion to P930.7 billion, while Special Purpose Funds (SPF) increased by 75.2 percent, from P245.7 billion to P430.4 billion.

Almost 37 percent or P1.1 trillion of the national budget is appropriated for social services, while 17.25 percent or P517.9 billion is for general public services, 27.6 percent or P829.6 billion is for economic services, 13.9 percent or P419.3 billion is for debt servicing, and 4.3 percent or P129.1 billion is for defense.

NOY's Legacy Budget



“The 2016 Appropriations Act is called the ‘legacy budget’ of the Aquino administration. However, we can characterize House Bill 6132 as a budget clearly designed for corruption; a budget allotted for the implementation of anti-people programs and projects; and a budget that will only benefit big business and allies, all at the expense of Filipino taxpayers,” Ridon stressed.

In a media forum yesterday in Quezon City, Abakada partylist Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, one of those who voted to oppose the appropriations proposal, lamented how the Aquino administration “railroaded” the passage of the national budget, saying it has seemingly “castrated the legislature of its power of the purse.”

Dela Cruz said this is seen through the provisions for “project modification” scattered in the budget of several agencies, including the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Health (DoH) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC).

The said provision allows heads of agencies to change the specifications of projects even after the enactment of the budget bill, thus granting them “absolute discretion” to their budgets and essentially turning billions of funds for various projects into “pork funds.”

“What is very striking here is that the mere provisions cited by the Supreme Court ruling on the DAP and PDAF are still apparent in this year’s budget. The terms are different, but still it is the DAP and the pork barrel wrapped in a different term,” De la Cruz told The Tribune in an interview.

The inclusion of almost P650 billion in lump sum appropriations, of which SPFs comprise P430.4 billion, while P217.8 billion are lump sums stashed in 38 national government agencies and executive offices.

De la Cruz also slammed the retained P30-billion risk management program, which, accordingly, is “essentially a budget for financial and regulatory risk guarantee to protect private profits against unforeseen events.”

With a vote of 230-20 before adjourning for a three-week break, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who presided the session prior to the voting, declared: “With this nominal voting and subject to such amendments as may be approved by the small committee earlier created, House Bill 6132 is approved on third and final reading.”
By Joshua L. Labonera, Ted Tuvera and Charlie V. Manalo


PHILSTAR

‘Junjun dismissal not immediately enforceable’ By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 12, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes, former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez and former University of the Philippines law dean Pacifico Agabin, all said Binay’s dismissal cannot actually be “immediately executory” as announced by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales last Friday since it is not yet final and may be subject to judicial review before it could be implemented. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - The order of the Office of the Ombudsman dismissing Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. from service and perpetually disqualifying him from holding public post cannot be enforced just yet, legal experts said yesterday.

Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes, former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez and former University of the Philippines law dean Pacifico Agabin, all said Binay’s dismissal cannot actually be “immediately executory” as announced by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales last Friday since it is not yet final and may be subject to judicial review before it could be implemented.

They agreed Binay, who remains suspended from his post, can still pursue his reelection bid and file his certificate of candidacy (COC) this week.

Brillantes said Binay could still file a motion for reconsideration with the ombudsman. And if that, too, fails, the suspended mayor can elevate his case to the Court of Appeals to seek a temporary restraining order, and ultimately to the Supreme Court.

“If he files COC this week, the Comelec will accept that. They cannot reject that,” Brillantes said. The filing of COC runs from today up to Friday.

“If the CA sustains the dismissal, he can still elevate the case to the Supreme Court,” the former poll chief explained.

Brillantes stressed that although “immediately executory,” the ombudsman’s order of dismissal cannot be enforced yet because Binay is still serving a six-month suspension over a separate case involving alleged irregularities in the construction of the Makati City Science High School.

The preventive suspension was issued last July and would end in January next year. Currently serving as acting mayor is Vice Mayor Romulo Peña.

“The dismissal order cannot actually be implemented because there’s no one to dismiss since Junjun remains suspended up to now. Once the suspension is served, that’s the only time you can dismiss,” he pointed out.

READ MORE...

Brilantes said another option that Binay has is to apply for a substitute who will run as Makati mayor next year. His sister, Makati Rep. Abigail Binay, has said she would take the place of her brother if he gets perpetually disqualified from public office.

“Substitution of candidates is allowed under the law, like Abigail... so that the Binays can still have a candidate in the 2016 mayoral elections,” Brillantes explained.


BRILLANTES

Valdez, president of the Philippine Association of Law Schools, agreed with Brillantes and said the Ombudsman order does not prevent Binay from joining the 2016 mayoral race.

“(Junjun Binay) can file his COC and argue that the decision is not yet final,” Valdez said.

Valdez went as far as to question the ombudsman’s authority in imposing the penalty of perpetual disqualification.

“The penalty of perpetual disqualification is penal in nature, which only the court of Sandiganbayan can impose,” he said.

Valdez urged Binay to question the ombudsman’s authority before the Supreme Court and seek an injunction so he can reassume his post once his six-month preventive suspension is served.

“Definitely, the Ombudsman order created legal obstacles that have to be resolved,” he said.

The former law dean said in case Binay ends up winning in the May 2016 elections, he can once again invoke the “Aguinaldo doctrine” or the condonation doctrine, which states that an elected official can be cleared from past administrative liability so long as he gets reelected.

Agabin agreed that Binay cannot be prevented from running for the 2016 mayoralty post unless otherwise ordered by the court.

“Yes he can file COC if he appeals the Ombudsman order,” he said.

Binay seeks God’s guidance In another development, Vice President Jejomar Binay heard Mass at the Sto. Niño de Tondo Church in Manila yesterday to seek God’s guidance on his presidential bid next year amid what he said was continued political persecution against him and his family.

On the eve of filing his COC, Binay attended the afternoon Mass at the 400-year-old Catholic Church together with wife Elenita, children Sen. Nancy Binay, Anne Binay-Alcantara, dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and grandchildren.

“I thanked God for guiding me, my family, friends and Junjun. I asked him to guide us in everything we do, I asked for God’s compassion and forgiveness for all our sins,” the Vice President told reporters when asked about his prayer.

“Isn’t it mentioned by Father during the Mass that it’s okay (whatever comes or happens to you). I realized that it’s okay if I am being persecuted, destroyed or whatever. What is not okay is that these people around us remain in poverty,” he said, pointing to a group of poor Tondo residents who waited for him outside the church.

The Vice President is set to file his COC at the Comelec head office in Intramuros, Manila at 8 a.m. today.

Sources from the Binay camp said the Vice President is likely to be joined by his running mate Sen. Gregorio Honasan. – With Helen Flores


TRIBUNE

Nene Pimentel: Morales order not ‘executory’ Written by Tribune Wires Sunday, 11 October 2015 00:00 By Ted Tuvera

CITES ABSENCE OF MAKATI MAYOR’S CRIMINAL LIABILITY

A former Senator said Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ ruling on the ouster and “perpetual disqualification” of Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin ‘Junjun’ Binay last Friday was not “final and executory” as Morales had claimed.

Former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, an old friend of Vice President Jejomar Binay and the father of Sen. Koko Pimentel who is part of the anti-Binay Senate troika in the blue ribbon subcommittee conducting a marathon investigation on the Vice President, affirmed, that though he is now “critical of the Binays,” that the Ombudsman’s ruling is “not final and absolute.”

Pimentel said that case will not even triumph if it seeks to “handcuff Junjun Binay” because, as far as his concerned, “so far there is no criminal liability at all yet.”

“It must be admitted that despite the constitutional independence of the Ombudsman, its ruling on Junjun is not final and executory because, after all, their camp can question this before higher courts. And besides, the case hasn’t reached the Sandiganbayan so what’s the point of their preclusion?” Pimentel said.

“I mean the Binays, including my good friend (VP Binay) is still liable to the public to explain their part and do not merely dismiss it as a politically motivated issue,” the old Pimentel explained.

The Ombudsman’s ruling on Mayor Binay is based on the alleged anomalies of overpricing in the Makati City Hall parking lot building which became the launching pad for unending accusations being churned out in the Senate sub-panel hearing against the Vice President who leads the opposition party.

VP Binay had refused to recognize the Senate proceeding citing its political nature and instead said he will answer all the allegations raised against him in a proper venue.

Human rights lawyer and UP Law Prof. Harry Roque, on the other hand, said the ruling is “not surprising” as it has been expected as a part of the “political demolition” of VP Binay’s reputation knowing that it will hurt his Presidential bid.
Roque says that the trend is “very obvious” and the aim “is to neutralize the opposition”.

“Whether they deny it or not, this is thoroughly trying to injure VP Binay through his son. Its more of a political harassment,” Roque told the Tribune in a phone interview.

Roque slammed Morales, a former Supreme Court associate justice, for hastily ruling that the “perpetual disqualification” of Mayor Binay is one that is final and absolute.

READ MORE...

“May I remind Ombudsman Morales that, save her post in an independent office, Mayor Binay can still ask for a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Court of Appeals,” Roque said.

Dirty tricks galore

"ARREST IS NEXT", SAYS VP BINAY


ON MAY 20, 2015, ARREST ORDER OUT. Senate President Franklin Drilon (left) has signed the arrest order against 14 people linked to Vice President Jejomar Binay, based on the recommendation of the Senate blue ribbon committee chaired by Senator Teofisto Guingona III. – Senate President Franklin Drilon on Tuesday, May 19, signed the detention and arrest order against 14 people linked to Vice President Jejomar Binay, including his financial adviser Gerardo Limlingan and businessman Antonio Tiu. Drilon said he signed the order, upon the recommendation of the Senate blue ribbon committee. File photo by Senate PRIB/Albert Calvelo


Meanwhile, as VP Binay is expected to be the first presidential bet to officially submit his Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) on Monday morning before the Commission on Elections, previous reports of supposed plots to arrest him is becoming more apparent as the 2010 electoral protest of defeated Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential bet Mar Roxas is seemingly revived.

Once the said case before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) will be resurrected and turns out to favorable to Roxas, it will be the only means for VP Binay’s detractors to have him arrested, aside from impeachment unless they stubbornly will.

“It is a possibility that is not far from truly happening, especially that it’s the best and last option for VP Binay’s detractors,” human rights lawyer Roque said.
VP Binay defeated Roxas to his surprise in that election and the latter seeks to contest their rivalry anew in next year’s Malacañang race.

On the other hand,VP Binay’s eldest daughter Sen. Nancy Binay, in a phone interview with the Daily Tribune, confirms that there are serious threats that are seemingly meant to intimidate the Vice President.

“VP Binay is not afraid of their threats. In fact, after a year of bullying and obvious political harassments he has been used to it and has, perhaps, been stronger knowing that the truth is on his side,” Sen. Binay said.

Sen. Binay even quips that her dad’s political rivals are apparently scared of VP Binay despite their consistent efforts to pin him down through demolition by perception.

The camp of VP Binay said the so-called allies that the Palace claimed were charged by the Ombudsman were mere sacrificial lambs.

“They are aware that selective justice will ?b?e an election issue so the so-called charges against these individuals are attempts to disguise its bias and partisanship,” Rico Quicho, Binay’s spokesman for political affairs said.

“Hardcore allies like (Budget) Secretary (Florencio) Butch Abad, media hype notwithstanding, hardly got a slap on the wrist for masterminding the P72-billion raid on the people’s money that is the DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program),” he said.

The Ombudsman is being ran by remote control and the LP holds the remote control, he said.

“In stark contrast, the Ombudsman moved heaven and earth to hastily investigate and remove Mayor Junjun Binay without giving him the benefit of properly answering the charges against him and despite the dearth of evidence presented,” Quicho added.

“Malacanang officials must understand that Mayor Binay has just received the COA findings. He has yet to reply when Ombudsman Morales issued the resolution through a press conference, which is definitely not a valid mode of service for Orders and Decisions of her office,” he said.

The Vice President added the harassment target of the Ombusman order against his son is indirectly meant for him.

Speaking at the gathering of PDP Laban officers and members at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel in Sta. Cruz, Manila, the elder Binay referred to the legal action of the Ombudsman finding Junjun Binay responsible for official misdeed in Makati, and prohibiting his running in public office for the rest of his life.

The Ombudsman official action is appealable by motion for reconsideration at the same body, or appeal to the Court of Appeals and thru certiorari with the Supreme Court.


MALACANANG DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON VALTE

Malacanang claimed it did not have any hand in the Ombudsman’s order.

Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte in a regular radio interview categorically denied the Palace having a hand in the controversial decision of Morales coming a few days before the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the 2016 polls.

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She also distanced the Palace from the issue saying that the state prosecutor has no bias, hitting on the camp of the Binay family by saying that they should instead focus on answering the allegations than them pinning the blame on the administration.

“We do not have a hand in the processes of the Ombudsman, they are the ones best equipped to respond to the statements of the Binay clan,” she said.

“The selective justice claim is an old tune, because we can see that the Ombudsman clearly sides with no one. It charges those in the administration and from other positions. I think it is better that they face it than focusing on us,” she added.

Carpio-Morales, who was appointed by Aquino into her post shortly after he assumed the presidency was also the former Supreme Court Associate Justice who presided over the oath taking of Aquino after the latter’s refusal to be sworn into office by Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Morales had been earlier accused of singling out opponents of the administration, but she refuted this daring her critics to impeach her if they find anything selective about her fulfillment of duty as Ombudsman.

A suspension order against the Makati City Mayor was issued by the Ombudsman twice, with the initial being disputed by the order of the Court of Appeals for injunction. This was contested by Morales but later on had to respect the court’s ruling.

The second suspension order, issued just weeks after the initial ruling, was executed and heeded by Binay following a fiasco at Makati City hall among his supporters and the police.

Meanwhile, the former Makati Mayor insisted that he will still file a certificate of candidacy next week to run again as top executive of the country’s business district. The Palace, for its part, left it to the Commission on Elections to decide on the matter.

“Well, we will leave it to the Comelec on how they view it… let’s see the effect of the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman. What is important here is the perpetual disqualification along with the dismissal, that would be a hindrance, but we will leave it because the Office of the President has nothing to do with that,” Valte said.


Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, President Benigno Aquino III, DBM Sec. Butch Abad

Last Friday, Morales ordered Binay dismissed due to the irregularities on the alleged overpriced Makati parking building, noting that he is being ousted for grave misconduct and dishonesty, as there were “irregularities in the services and contract for the construction in several phases of the parking building.”

Along with prohibition from serving in any government position, Binay’s benefits from serving the public will also be forfeited like his pension.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Juan Andres Bautista, meanwhile, said it will be the decision of the local Comelec office to accept or not the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) that will be filed by suspended Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, if he decides to run for the same position in the May 2016 polls.

“We’ll let the Makati Comelec to judge and decide on what to do as I’ve said how can one react if he/she has not seen the order,” he said.

“At this point I don’t what to engage in speculation. As I said hindi ko alam kung saan pinadala ang order. Ako mismo hindi ko alam kung saan pinadala,” he said.
Bautista noted that the filing of the COCs was part of the ministerial responsibility of the poll body.

“The filing of the COC is a ministerial responsibility on the part of Comelec. Even if we accept one’s COC hindi ‘yan nagbibigay sa ‘yo ng karapatan or vested rights para tumakbo. So ibig sabihin pwede pa nga na magkaroon ng kaso laban sayo for disqualification or pwede ka madisqualify,” he explained.

The filing of the CoC for those who will run in the national and local polls will begin on Monday, Oct. 12 and will run until Friday, Oct. 16 during office hours or from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Atty. Claro Certeza, Binay’s legal counsel, said that they were set to file motion for reconsideration (MR) but they had not yet received the Ombudsman directive.

Morales confirmed that Binay may still appeal the ruling, saying his (Binay’s) perpetual disqualification from service was “immediately executory.”

For his part, Joey Salgado, spokesperson of Vice President Jejomar BInay said the order of the Ombudsman was obvious and coincident with the filing of CoCs on Monday.
Pat C. Santos, Joshua L. Labonera


TRIBUNE

‘LP big boys’ accused of bullying MMDA boss
Written by Mario J. Mallari Monday, 12 October 2015 00:00


Case in point is the recent Liberal Party meeting and birthday party for Congressman Benjamin Agarao where a group of scantily-clad "exotic dancers" ...COURTESY OF PHILNEWS.COM


Some “insecure” Liberal Party (LP) members have been accused of bullying Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino which already forced him to drop his senatorial bid.

Alberto Vicente, spokesman for the Alliance for Good Governance (AGG), said “LP big boys” have ganged up on Tolentino who is more qualified to seek a Senate seat compared to others being groomed in the LP slate.

Vicente said the purging within LP ranks only shows the weak leadership of its standard-bearer, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
“The purge is a manifestation of Mar’s weak leadership and political immaturity of the ruling party,” Vicente said.

The AGG spokesman defended Tolentino against LP’s demolition job.

“He was hapless and helpless. He was bullied. Tolentino was an underdog. The big boys were ganging up on him,” Vicente said in a statement.

“Tolentino is more qualified compared to other aspirants for the Senate slate of LP. LP does not like smart people because they might discover unscrupulous activities. What they did to him could happen to others, too,” Vicente said.

According to Vicente, Tolentino was made the “fall guy” in the controversial obscene dance performance of the group Play Girls during an LP event and birthday party of Laguna Rep. Benjamin Agarao. The video went viral on social networking sites recently and drew criticisms from various sectors.

Vicente expressed belief that someone from LP was behind the spread of the video.

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Tolentino has apologized for the incident, saying his only mistake was that he was not able to stop the performance.

The MMDA chairman has also called on LP to drop him from its list of senatorial candidates.

Vicente reiterated its stance that some LP stalwarts are behind the “demolition job” against Tolentino.

The AGG spokesman even raised the possibility that the Roxas bloc within LP was behind the smear campaigns within the party. He cited the “attack” against Tesda Director General Joel Villanueva.

“Look at Joel Villanueva, he’s facing a pork barrel case and he himself admitted that a group of LP stalwarts, identified with Roxas, want him out of the Cabinet and from the ruling party’s Senate slate,” Vicente said.

Unlike Tolentino, Villanueva remains in the LP senatorial slate.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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