Senate body not going to touch on Binay assets ordered frozen
The Senate blue ribbon subcommittee has no plan to include in its investigation the bank accounts of Vice President Jejomar Binay, which were ordered frozen by the Court of Appeals, its chairman said on Wednesday.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III noted that while many of the names covered by the court order were mentioned in the ongoing hearing of the subcommittee, its investigation was limited to the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall 2 parking building and other buildings in the city and corruption allegations against the Vice President.
“Maglilimit na lang kami ru’n. Pagdating po sa mga bank transactions, gaano kalaki ‘yang perang ‘yan, saan galing ‘yan, ipapaubaya na po natin yan sa AMLC or kaya sa Ombudsman (We’re going to limit it there. When it comes to the bank transactions, the amount of money and its sources, we will let the AMLC and the Ombudsman (to do their own probe),” Pimentel said in an interview.
AMLC is the -Money Laundering Council which asked the court to issue a freeze order on Binay’s bank accounts.
Pimentel though explained that the court’s freeze order was the government’s “self-defense” mechanism to protect suspected ill-gotten wealth.
“Wala pang indikasyon ito kung guilty or not guilty. Binabantayan lang po para hindi maubos ‘yung laman ng mga bank accounts na ito (There are no indications whether he is guilty or not guilty. They just want to prevent these bank accounts to go empty),” he explained.
Asked if the court’s action was a vindication on the subcommittee’s ongoing hearings on Binay’s alleged irregularities, the senator said it was very clear that it was the result of their hearings.
“Marami na pong mga bunga, resulta ng dahil po sa mga hearing sa Senado (The hearings in the Senate bore these results),” Pimentel said. IDL
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