Binay hails latest court order on P200M damage suit
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday lauded the latest court order pertaining to his P200-million damage suit against detractors he accused of derailing his presidential bid.
Binay lauded the order from the Makati Regional Trial Court junking the motions to dismiss the case filed by his alleged detractors for lack of merit.
In a statement, Binay’s lawyer Claro Certeza said the omnibus order of the Makati Regional Trial Court only served to affirm that his damage suit was not harassment.
“The Omnibus Order clearly belies the contention of the defendants that VP Binay’s damage suit is merely a harassment case,” Certeza said.
“The Vice President welcomes the development as it proves that in the proper venue, where the rules of fair play are strictly observed, there can be a somber appraisal of the truth as to the charges hurled against VP Binay,” he added.
A copy of the Omnibus Order by the Makati Regional Trial Court was emailed by the Office of the Vice President to the media.
The order said it dismissed for lack of merit the motions to dismiss filed by Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano, Nicolas Enciso VI, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Amado Tetangco, and officials from the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
The court dismissed the motions to dismiss and said a full-blown trial was necessary to hear the merits of the case.
The court also dismissed Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’ motion for preliminary hearing on affirmative and special defenses.
It said Morales was not allowed to use state prosecutors to represent her in the case, because the case involved her purported personal capacity for allegedly conspiring to defame Binay.
Binay lauded the ruling which would allow him to dispute the corruption allegations against him.
“VP Binay can now prove what he is saying all along—that the inquisitorial proceedings conducted by his political detractors were all designed simply to destroy his presidential bid,” Certeza said.
In July 2015, Binay filed a P200-million damage suit against Cayetano and Trillanes, Ombudsman Morales, members of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, and several others for conspiring to malign his reputation and stop him from running for president in the 2016 elections.
Erice of Liberal Party is the most vocal critic of Binay in the House of Representatives, while Trillanes and Cayetano led the Senate investigation on the alleged corruption in Makati City when Binay was mayor.
Binay said the senators conducted a probe on “baseless allegations” of overprice and rigging of infrastructure projects.
Meanwhile, Binay said the Ombudsman acted as “inquisitors” for their graft investigation on the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II and Makati City Science Highschool building.
“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 said.
Also named in the damage suit were the witnesses against Binay in the Senate probe—former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, lawyer Renato Bondal, and engineer Mario Hechanova—as well as the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The Inquirer was named respondent in the complaint for allegedly publishing defamatory news against the Vice President, and printing the contents of the AMLC report which revealed, among others, that the deposits of Binay and his purported dummies reached P11 billion.
The court set anew the Inquirer’s judicial dispute resolution on Jan. 29, 2016.
Binay was indicted for graft by the Ombudsman for allegedly rigging the procurement for the design and construction of the P2.28-billion Makati City Hall Building II, deemed the country’s priciest car park building
Binay also faces four other plunder and graft complaints before the Ombudsman over the alleged anomalies involving the Makati Science High School Building, University of Makati, a Fort Bonifacio property, and over an allegedly anomalous land deal between Alphaland and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, where he is long-running president. RC
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.