‘Binay has only 5 bank accounts’
The lawyer of Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family slammed Wednesday the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for allegedly misleading the Court of Appeals (CA) in its report on the bank account details of Binay and his wife, Elenita.
Lawyer Claro Certeza also took exception to what he said was the media’s attempt to make it appear that Binay has 242 bank accounts that were ordered frozen. He said the Vice President has only five bank accounts here.
At press time on Wednesday, the Binay camp still had no copy of the CA freeze order issued on Monday, according to Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, interim president of Binay’s party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Tiangco said UNA had been confident that the bank accounts of Binay would reflect the amount he had declared in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and his filings in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and that was why they were surprised by the court’s move.
“It is also apparent from the purported copy of the freeze order that the AMLC deliberately misled the Court of Appeals by omitting the fact that the Vice President received campaign contributions in the amount of P231 million and incurred expenses in the amount of P218 million though his designated bank accounts, which were all duly reported in his statement of campaign contributions and expenses filed in the Commission on Elections,” Certeza said in a statement.
He also accused AMLC of not being truthful when it “deliberately concealed” that Binay and his wife were earning additional income from their respective businesses apart from the Vice President’s salary.
Certeza said this was all reported to the BIR in the income tax returns of Binay covering three decades.
He was referring to the flower business of Elenita and the piggery farm that the Vice President once operated.
Certeza also said that the CA freeze order proceedings were “strictly confidential” and said those who violated this were liable for contempt and criminal prosecution.
‘Trial by publicity’
Rico Quicho, Binay’s political spokesman, said former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado had leaked the CA freeze order to the media as part of a “trial by publicity” and to deprive the Vice President of his right to due process.
“It is also an indirect way to pressure and preempt the independence of the courts, which would eventually decide on the controversy,” Quicho said.
“This is plain and simple character assassination by means of peddling lies through media releases that come from a polluted source. In the end, the rule of law will prevail over these unjust and irresponsible attacks against the Vice President,” Quicho said.
Binay would address and refute these “baseless accusations” before a competent tribunal.
Sen. Nancy Binay lamented that the AMLC was being used to harass her father.
Such a “leakage,” she added, does not bode well for the banking industry and should also be investigated.
The senator bewailed what she said was the impression created by the court order that her father was guilty of wrongdoing.
Doesn’t mean guilty
“In the first place, we should follow the confidentiality clause when there is an investigation. Just because the accounts are frozen does not mean you are guilty. But they’re making it appear in the story that the freeze order is equivalent to guilt,” she said.
She also said her family did not have the amount of money mentioned in the reports on the freeze order, and added that her sister, Makati Rep. Abigail Binay, already explained their father’s assets were in his SALN.
“This is all about 2016. The ambition of one party is more important than following the rules,” she said, referring to the Liberal Party and its potential presidential candidate, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who, she said, had not gained in popularity surveys despite the bashing that her father was getting.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” she said.
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