Forfeiture case vs Binay violated 1-year filing ban, say legal experts
The forfeiture case filed against Vice President Jejomar Binay violated the one-year filing ban set under the law, two legal experts said on Tuesday.
Former University of the East law dean Amado Valdez said forfeiture cases cannot be filed against public officials within a year before general elections.
“Also, no judgment could be rendered on forfeiture within six months before general elections,” said Valdez, who is also president of the Philippine Association of Law Schools and founding president of the International Association of Constitutional Law.
Valdez is referring to Republic Act 1379, the law that gives way to the forfeiture of properties with amounts manifestly out of proportion to a public
Section 2 of the law specifically states that a forfeiture case may only be filed against a public official or employee “provided that no such petition shall be filed within one year before any general elections or within three months before any special election.”
Valdez, for his part, said: “[That portion of the law was made] perhaps in order to prevent harassment and ensure a level-playing field.”
Former UP Law Dean Pacifico Agabin agreed with Valdez saying “the purpose of the prohibition is to avoid political persecution.”
Early this month, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) filed a forfeiture case before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 57 against the bank accounts of 63 corporations and individuals, including a lone account from Binay.
The AMLC petition was filed on November 12, a day after the lapse of the original six-month freeze order on the Binays’ assets, filed on May 11.
Based on the AMLC petition, the Manila RTC issued a 20-day “Provisional Asset Protection Order” (Papo) the following day, on November 13, on several accounts, including Binay’s account that contained P1.7 million.
The Binay camp earlier stressed that the order was not a determination of the truth on the allegations against the Vice President. Binay has
likewise vowed not to touch the assets that are subject of the Manila court’s Papo.
Apart from RA 1379, the Binay camp had likewise cited Section 16 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, which states that “no case for money laundering may be filed against and no assets shall be frozen, attached or forfeited to the prejudice of a candidate for an electoral office during an election period.” TVJ
Binay camp protests asset seizure during poll period
Manila Court issues gag order on Binay forfeiture case
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.