The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has failed to secure an asset protection order for a bank account of Vice President Jejomar Binay, his spokesman Rico Quicho announced on Monday.
“The court did not grant AMLC’s petition and was instead ordered to comment on the motion of the Vice President. This only shows that the case being presented by AMLC has no legal basis to stand on,” Quicho said.
Quicho added that the Vice President has volunteered to the court that he will not touch the funds in his account until the court has resolved all legal issues.
“Since the 20-day provisional asset protection order was deemed lifted, [Binay] volunteered to the court that he will not touch the funds in his account in order for the court to properly resolve the legal issues,” Quicho said.
“This is a voluntary act to show that Vice President has nothing to hide and is confident in his position that the AMLC petition is not only illegal, but also a clear act of political harassment,” he added.
Quicho pointed out that after claiming earlier that the Vice President had billions deposited in 242 accounts, the AMLC had asked the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) to freeze only one account with a deposit of P1.7 million, an admission that it had no solid evidence against Binay.
The Vice President’s camp stressed that the AMLC’s latest petition was a “blatant violation” of Republic Act [RA] 1379 or the Act Declaring Forfeiture in Favor of the State Any Property Found To Have Been Unlawfully Acquired By Any Public Officer or Employee and Providing for the Proceedings Therefore.
Section 2 of RA 1379 provides that “(t)hat no such petition shall be filed within one year before any general election or within three months before any special election.”
Quicho said this prohibition was explicitly provided for by the law to deter political harassment.
He noted that the AMLC has allowed itself to be part of a demolition team formed to discredit the Vice President and prevent him from continuing his fight for poor Filipinos who are ignored by the Aquino administration.
The AMLC filed a petition for civil forfeiture on November 12 against the Vice President, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. and 62 other individuals and corporations.
It filed the petition after the original six-month freeze order on the Binays’ assets filed on May 11 lapsed.
Based on the AMLC petition, the Manila RTC issued a 20-day “Provisional Asset Protection Order” on November 13 on several accounts, including the only one account in the name of the Vice President.