A recent news report (not from The Manila Times) that United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer Jejomar Binay’s law firm allegedly sent money abroad via Philrem Service Corp. was meant to reduce the Vice President’s chances of winning the presidential race, the opposition said on Saturday.
Philrem, a remittance firm, is facing investigation from various government agencies for its alleged involvement in the laundering of $81 million stolen from the Bank of Bangladesh.
UNA said the report “contained several defamatory and false statements” against Binay.
In a verified claim submitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the party’s Secretary General Jose Virgilio Bautista said that the article intended to tarnish Binay’s name.
“The article was clearly intended to tarnish the reputation and besmirch the name of Jejomar C. Binay in order to discredit him to the public, and thereby diminish, if not destroy, his chances of winning in the May 2016 Elections,” he said.
Bautista added that the news article “put UNA in a bad light.”
He cited Section 16 of Comelec Resolution No. 10049 which provides that registered parties and candidates shall have the right to reply to charges published or aired against them.
Under the resolution, the reply should be published with the same prominence or in the same page or section as the subject article.
UNA said that an earlier story stating that Binay allegedly got billions seemed to be based on an AMLC [Anti-Money Laundering Council] petition seeking an asset protection order which was filed before the Manila Regional Trial Court in November 2015.
The party added that AMLC has already admitted that Binay has only one bank account containing P1.7 million, and not 242 as it previously claimed.
AMLC, it said, has also asked the Manila court to drop from its petition JCB Foundation and Agrifortuna, Inc., which supposedly linked Binay to Gerardo Limlingan.