Where on earth is Limlingan? National manhunt on
The brother of Gerry Limlingan insisted that he did not know his whereabouts or whether he was still alive, as the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee wanted to turn the search for Vice President Jejomar Binay’s close aide and alleged bagman into a “national manhunt.”
Limlingan, who has been ordered arrested by the Senate for ignoring summonses to the subcommittee hearing, has managed to elude search teams from the Senate sergeant at arms and the National Bureau of Investigation.
The subcommittee chair, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, said there should be no letup in the search for Limlingan, who has been mentioned several times in connection with the controversies involving Binay being discussed in the subcommittee. He was allegedly Binay’s dummy.
“We have to find Mr. Gerry Limlingan and hear his testimony before we can even think of terminating our hearings,” Pimentel said at the 23rd hearing of the panel on Thursday, which was also the first anniversary of the probe.
“Before we end this investigation and since Vice President Binay does not want to face the Senate, we will continue the search for Mr. Gerry Limlingan and we should turn this into a national manhunt,” he said.
Pimentel called on the NBI, the police and the people to help the Senate in looking for him.
Reacting to the subcommittee’s call, the NBI said it would intensify its search for Limlingan.
“We will continue our efforts in looking for Limlingan based on the order of the Senate blue ribbon committee,” NBI Director Virgilio Mendez said.
Mendez said several trackers were assigned by the bureau to locate Limlingan following various leads, but the efforts did not produce results.
Despite the bureau’s inadequate tools, there is no letup in the hunt for Limlingan in compliance with the Senate order, the NBI chief said.
The subcommittee wants to hear Limlingan’s explanation as to why he seems to be everywhere Binay is, “or the other way around,” he added.
Limlingan’s name has cropped up in the Senate hearings in connection with the alleged three-bag system of delivery of kickbacks intended for Binay when he was mayor of Makati, the joint venture between the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and Alphaland, the alleged anomalies in the Pag-Ibig Fund, ownership of pieces of land in the vicinity of the so-called Hacienda Binay, and the freeze order on the assets of Binay and of his alleged dummies, among other issues.
Based on Bureau of Immigration records, Limlingan has not left the country, according to Pimentel.
“Where in the world is Gerry Limlingan?” he asked. “If he is still in the country, why is he hiding rather than defending his name and family honor. Or is he being held against his will and thus unable to come forward?”
But even Limlingan’s own brother, Victor Limlingan, told the Senate on Thursday that he did not know where he was and could not say with certainty if he was still alive.
Senators were either skeptical of or perplexed at Victor’s explanation and the supposed lack of communication between the brothers.
According to Victor, he has had no communication with his brother. He said the two of them had an arrangement in which his brother would be the one to get in touch with him if he needed any help.
Victor said this arrangement came about after his brother’s 2012 ambush that almost cost his life.
“Up to now, the people who committed the crime have not been arrested. Because of that, my brother has been very security-conscious,” he said.
He said he was “concerned” about his brother, but was leaving it up to him to get in touch. Asked if he thought his brother was still alive, he replied, “I guess I cannot be sure.”–Leila B. Salaverria with Nancy C. Carvajal
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