Binay files damage suit vs Trillanes, Cayetano, Morales, Inquirer
VICE President Jejomar Binay on Monday filed a P200-million damage suit against Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, members of the Anti-Money Laundering Council and several others for conspiring to malign his reputation and stop him from running for president in next year’s election.
“Due to (i) the political ambitions of the defendants in the upcoming May 2016 elections; (ii) the disdain and personal animosity of the defendants toward the Plaintiff; and/or (ii) the insatiable greed of the defendants for power and money, the defendants, acting in conspiracy and in collusion with one another, decided to blatantly and publicly malign the good name and reputation of the Plaintiff,” Binay’s complaint which was filed before the Makati City Regional Trial Court said.
Also named in the damage suit were former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, Caloocan City Rep. Eric Erice, Atty. Renato Bondal, Engr. Mario Hechanova, AMLC officials and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The Inquirer was named respondent in Binay’s complaint for allegedly publishing defamatory news and frequent screaming headlines against the vice president, published the contents of the AMLC report which revealed, among others, that the deposits of Binay and his dummies reached P11 billion.
Other defendants include Bangko Sentral Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr., chairman of AMLC, and council members Insurance commissioner Emmanuel F. Dooc, Securities and Exchange Commission chair Teresita J. Herbosa, and AMLC executive director Julia C. Abad.
The complaint cited the Senate inquiry as a venue to air Mercado’s “baseless accusations” to give it a “semblance of credibility.”
On the other hand, Binay said the AMLC and Ombudsman have been designated as “inquisitors.”
Binay and several others have been accused of involvement in various anomalies including the overpriced Makati Parking Building, Makati Science High School Building, the 350-hectare property in Batangas, cakes for the elderly and alleged P200-million kickback from the sale of the Boy Scout of the Philippines’ property.
“Plaintiff thereby diminishing, if not destroying his chances of winning in the May 2016 elections. They were not made in response to duty but with the obvious intention to injure the reputation of an innocent person in order to attain their objectives,” Binay said.
“Worse, they were done in total breach and utter disregard of the constitutional rights of the Plaintiff…Based on the foregoing acts and omissions of the defendants, they are clearly jointly and severally liable for damages pursuant to [the provisions] of the Civil Code,” the complaint stated.
Binay said that alternatively or cumulatively, by publicly and maliciously imputing to the Vice President, in furtherance of their grand and malevolent orchestrated persecution, the commission of the crimes of graft and corruption and other illegal activities such as amassing ill-gotten wealth, in order to cause dishonor, discredit or contempt to the Vice President, “the defendants are civilly liable for defamation under Articles 33 of the Civil Code in relation to Articles 353, 355 and 358 of the Revised Penal Code.”
Sought for comment, Atty. Mary Rawnsley Lopez of the Office of the Ombudsman’s Public Information Office said they have yet to receive a copy of the complaint.
Claro Certeza, Binay’s lawyer who filed the complaint at the City Prosecutor’s Office, said the Vice President has long considered filing the complaint but earlier thought that he did not want to create disorder but noted that Binay could not anymore take the baseless accusations against him.
“This damage suit will allow the Vice President to prove what has had been saying all long- that the charges made against him are solely intended to malign his character and destroy his chances of being elected President,” added the lawyer noting that Binay has chosen the courts and did not use publicity gimmicks for his complaint.
“Before the courts, both the VP and his detractors will be given equal chances ti prove all their claims where strict rules on evidence are applied in search for the truth,” Certeza noted.
In specifying the roles of the defendants on the case, the complaint said that Cayetano, Trillanes and Erice were the “attack dogs” designated as talking heads to persecute him. With reports from Maricar Brizuela,Philippine Daily Inquirer
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