CA justice’s daughter senior partner of ‘The Firm’
MANILA, Philippines–“The Firm” has blood ties to one of the Court of Appeals justices accused of receiving P25 million in payoffs to prevent the Ombudsman from enforcing its 60-day suspension order on Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr.
An Inquirer source said CA Sixth Division Justice Francisco Acosta is the father of lawyer Franchette M. Acosta, one of four senior partners of The Firm, or Villaraza & Angangco.
Franchetta is the second of Acosta’s four children. She handles corporate and government legal cases, including government agencies for procurement and build-operate-transfer projects.
The Inquirer left a message in her office but she did not return the call as of press time.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV claimed that Acosta and Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr. were paid P20 million each for the temporary restraining order in favor of Junjun Binay. The payoff was allegedly facilitated by lawyer Arthur “Pancho” Villaraza, chair and founding partner of The Firm.
Trillanes further claimed that Acosta and Reyes were paid an additional P5 million each for the issuance of a writ of permanent injunction that were also done through Villaraza.
Aside from arguing that the accusations of Trillanes against Villaraza were baseless, The Firm claimed that Villaraza and Binay have no business relationship.
“Mayor Junjun Binay is not a client of the firm, and specifically, the firm does not represent the mayor in the cases filed against him,” said managing partner Bienvenido Somera Jr. who speculated that Trillanes might have been “misled and dragged by adversaries” of The Firm.
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