CA freezes Binay’s bank accounts

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A division of the Court of Appeals (CA) has frozen 242 bank accounts and insurance policies belonging to Vice President Jejomar Binay.

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A freeze order was issued by the First Division, which is composed of Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr. and Associate Justices Edwin Sorongon and Ricardo Rosario.

The order shall last for six months.

A source of The Manila Times on Tuesday said a resolution, which was dated May 11, granted a petition of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to allow the council to scrutinize the bank accounts of Binay and members of his family, as well as corporations linked to the Vice President.

The AMLC and the Office of the Ombudsman wanted to ensure that personal assets of Binay that were allegedly ill-gotten would not be dissipated and so a freeze order must be issued by the appellate court

The CA issued the resolution on the basis of finding probable cause with the petition filed by AMLC .

It also ordered banks to immediately make a reporting of amounts remaining in the bank accounts of the Binays within 24 hours after the banks concerned receive a copy of the order.

The AMLC filed the petition upon request of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, who had ordered preventive suspension of Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. for six months.

Implementation of the suspension has since been held in abeyance after the CA granted the mayor’s petition for a temporary restraining order.

The petition for application for the freeze order was filed by the AMLC last week and was represented by the Office of the Solicitor General under officer-in-charge Karl Miranda, since Solicitor-General Florin Hilbay was then in The Hague, Netherlands.

The Manila Times learned that it was also Morales who made a request for examination of the bank accounts of the Binay family last February.

Aside from the Binay patriarch, the source said the bank accounts that also subject of scrutiny are those of his wife, Dr. Elenita Binay, and son Mayor Binay.

The CA also ordered a probe of the bank accounts of the corporations linked to the Binay clan and alleged to be sources of the ill-gotten wealth as claimed by former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado.

The Manila Times source said several bank accounts were covered by the freeze order, including those in Banco de Oro, Bank of the Philippine Islands and Landbank of the Philippines, among several others.

Also covered by the freeze order were bank accounts of trader Gerry Limlingan, the alleged dummy and bagman of Binay when he was still the mayor of Makati, as also claimed by Mercado.

In the long line of AMLC cases in the Court of Appeals after Republic Act 9160 was passed into law in 2001, this is the first time that bank accounts of a Vice President of the Philippines were ordered to be frozen.

This makes Binay as the highest-ranking government official being investigated by AMLC over allegedly ill-gotten wealth.

The Senate blue ribbon committee has ordered an inquiry into transactions and assets of Binay on the basis of the testimonies of Mercado, Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso VI.

Mercado, Bondal and Enciso filed plunder raps against the Vice President and Mayor Binay before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.

LP hands
The Binay camp said it cannot confirm reports of a supposed freeze order on the bank accounts of the Vice President and members of his family since court proceedings are deemed highly confidential.

But Joey Salgado, Office of the Vice President head for media affairs, said they received reliable information that as early as last month, key leaders of the Liberal Party obtained copies of an AMLC report on the Vice President ‘s bank accounts.

“We have been asked to comment on a report that a freeze order has allegedly been issued on bank accounts supposedly identified with Vice President Binay and members of his family based on the recommendation of the AMLC.

“We cannot confirm this report. We do not know if such an order has been issued by the Court of Appeals. Court proceedings of this nature are deemed highly confidential and any party who discloses [them]is subject to contempt,” Salgado said.

“[But] we have received reports that as early as last month, key personalities of the LP already got copies of the AMLC report, which is supposed to be confidential. The LP has its fingerprints all over the AMLC probe. This is apparently part of their game plan,” he added.

Salgado pointed out that such report is deemed classified to protect the name and reputation of concerned parties.

“There is good reason for the confidentiality clause: the party which is the subject of the inquiry has not yet given his or her response. The intention is to protect innocent parties from the damage to their name and reputation,” he said.

Salgado added that it will not surprise them if such order and the AMLC report have already been leaked to the media by the Vice President’s political opponents.

“This is after all a perception game that they are playing. Their intention is to taint the good name of Vice President Binay,” he said, adding that they will not also be surprised if he AMLC is involved in the conspiracy to malign the Vice President and his family.

Since Binay has declared his intention to run for President in 2016, according to Salgado, the LP has been on a mission to damage his reputation.

“The Liberal Party has been obsessed with attacking the Vice President. The LP has been aggressively harnessing government resources and agencies against the Vice President and his family ever since he declared his intention to run for President in 2016. The AMLC is apparently one of these agencies,” he said.

Salgado cited the LP’s abuse of the Anti-Money Laundering Act for political gains.
“What is unfortunate is that the intent of the Act has been subverted by politics. The Act was signed into law to prevent the use of the Philippines as a haven for laundering money from drugs, terrorism and other unlawful acts. Today, it is a tool to harass and taint the reputation of political enemies of the LP,” he said.
WITH REINA TOLENTINO

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15 Comments

  1. I am happy that God granted my prayers through our Filipino saints, Saints Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod, who I pray to everyday, and who, interceded for me with God, to once and for all, relieve the Philippine government with corrupt officials who, enrich themselves in office, robbing from fellow Filipinos their chances to enjoy life in their country; these selfish government servants ought to languish in jails or prisons in exchange for the good lives they enjoyed while in government service. Nakakahiya ang Pinas, we used to be the first among other Asian countries before, but now we are one in the last.

  2. AMLC has become political tool of those in power diminishing its credibility. It started with Corona impeachment. Instead of running after smugglers, kidnappers, drug syndicates which are the real target of AMLC Law it is now being used for political purposes. And supposedly we are now in an era of daang matuwid. What a let down.
    From now on Liberal Party candidates will be out of my list come May 2016. They are so disgusting.

  3. This is a clear exercise of political persecution shrewdly shrouded with legality. LP is trying to culture a demoralization of the people on the popularity of the opposition and its leader is a pointless exercise in futility. VP Binay will win anyway. LP Aquino-Roxas regime will surely fail the hard way. People can be assured that all corrupt officials will be sent to jail immediately after the proclamation of VP Binay. :)

  4. Johnny Ramos on

    The only reason of the legal moves on the Binay is because his survey ratings is always on top. Kasalanan mortal ito sa pananaw ni Pnoy. Ayaw talagang umangat ni Mar Roxas so they have to financially paralyze the Binays. I heard even his friend Bobby Ongpin bank account are still frozen in spite of him winning his case in the Sandigan court. I bet even the business partners of Ongpin are having a nightmare since they could be the next target.

  5. Gwendolyn Trazo on

    Geez.. first time in Philippine history. It does bring a negative idea of the Philippine Government but then it is a manifestation that our Judicial System is doing its best and what is right for our country and its people.

  6. Vicente Penetrante on

    Not only Binay’s bank accounts, but also all of the LPs and probable candidates’ bank accounts, must be frozen and looked into as pre-election and post-election audit.
    “Busy stealing, government officials no longer do basic services,” according to Jarius Bondoc. And he had listed most of the basic services. He added, it is “the breakdown of the Philippines.”

  7. If this story is correct the first questions i would be asking is why so many bank accounts & insurance policies. I would like to see a little more detail on that. If you have a bank account in this country & you just leave money sitting in it they make a charge on your account, so lets say binay has 200 bank accounts my god thats a full time job in itself making sure you use every accout every money. Does anyone else find it strange to have so many bank accounts.

  8. Kale Alaskador on

    It seems the war has escalated! This is good news. When Binay hits back, other politicians will be involved. These politicians will drag other politicians. Hopefully, this will be event we have all been praying for, the self-destruction of those dirty, thieving leaders of the Philippines!

  9. This just the beginnings of what the Binay’s claimed to be its just “politics “. Let’s see if they can spin this off since there will be real money figures involved. Since 2008 to the present the amount involved already reach a staggering six billion pesos. No wonder all of the siblings are in politics.

  10. The BINAYS are doomed to spend the rest of their lives facing a series of criminal and graft cases. What happened to impeached CJ Corona and the three senators will most likely happen to this corrupt family who rose from rags to riches at the expense of the people of makati. GOD is GOOD !

    • No they are not and we will assure you that come May 9, 2016, Aquino, Roxas and all their partners in crime will all be sent to jail. :)

  11. Thats first step to cripple binays funding , no money no presidency , how can they freeze his bank accounts when they have not file any charges ? They went for the jugular . Thieves and pigs thats all.

  12. The way reporters write news or editors don’t quaity-assure the news, this story – Binay bank accounts???? — may just be nonsense. One has to check how other newspapers report. Of course, the other new group may be the one wrong. It really is MORE FUN in the Philippines!!! Kuwent0-kuwento.

  13. MABUHAY, another CORRUPT POLITICIAN will soon be out. The country will
    always be the sick man of asia if we continue to have politicians in government who are KAWATANS.