The Court of Appeals (CA) has officially issued an order for examination of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s bank accounts.
In granting the petition of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the CA also ordered inspection of the bank deposits of Binay’s wife, children and a law office connected to him.
According to unimpeachable sources of The Manila Times, Binay’s personal assets are now under scrutiny to determine if the funds are ill-gotten or not.
The sources said a resolution to look into Binay’s assets was penned and signed by Associate Justice Eduardo Peralta, the senior member of the CA’s regular division.
The order has been released and sent to the banks where the Vice President has accounts, according to the sources.
They said the court’s order also mandates the banks to report to the CA the amounts transacted in all of Binay’s bank accounts.
The sources added that the bank accounts of Binay’s wife Elenita and son Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. will also be laid bare.
They said the CA also ordered a probe of the bank accounts of corporations that have links to the Binay clan.
The order was issued based on the testimony of former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado.
Among the bank accounts sought to be examined are those with the Banco de Oro, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Land Bank of the Philippines and several others.
Also included in the probe are the bank accounts of businessman Gerry Limlingan, the alleged dummy and bagman of Binay when he was still the mayor of Makati, as claimed by Mercado.
The bank accounts of the law office linked to Binay—the Subido Pagente Certeza Mendoza & Binay—where Binay’s daughter, Makati City (Metro Manila) Rep. Mar-Len Abigail Binay was a partner, are also included in the probe, the sources said.
The Manila Times was informed earlier that the Office of the Ombudsman pushed the AMLC to investigate Binay’s bank accounts.
Some high-ranking officials at the Office of the Ombudsman are connected with former Defense Secretary Avelino “Nonong” Cruz, the lawyer of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, according to the sources.
Cruz was the lawyer of Roxas when he ran and lost to Binay in the race for Vice President in the May 2010 elections. He is currently the partner of former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo, who broke away from “The Firm” the former Carpio Villaraza Cruz Marcelo law office.
In the long list of AMLC cases in the CA after Republic Act 9160 was signed into law in 2001, this is the first time that the bank accounts of the Vice President of the Philippines are being sought for examination.
This makes Binay the highest-ranking government official being investigated by AMLC for alleged ill-gotten wealth.
The Senate blue ribbon committee earlier ordered an inquiry into the transactions and assets of Binay on the basis of testimonies of Mercado, Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso 6th.
Mercado and the two complainants filed plunder raps against the Vice President and his son before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.