Binay camp blasts BIR move to probe UMak-STI deal
THE camp of Jejomar Binay on Monday blasted the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for its plan to investigate the supposed anomalous University of Makati (UMak) deal where the Vice President allegedly earned millions in dividends.
“The BIR chair has acted swiftly on a written request from a critic of Vice President Binay, which is all part of their conspiracy to harass businesses and private individuals even remotely connected to the VP,” Binay’s spokesperson Atty. Rico Quicho said in a statement.
Quicho made the statement after BIR commissioner Kim Henares noted a letter sent by Binay’s political nemesis, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who submitted a copy of the Senate investigation into the alleged anomalous deal between the University of Makati and STI Holdings.
Quicho said it is no wonder Henares is feared in the business community.
If he wins the presidency, Binay would replace Henares as BIR commissioner after 30 minutes of assuming office, according to Quicho.
“In the business community, harassment is a term that is associated with the BIR. No wonder the business community has warmly applauded the Vice President’s statement that the current BIR chief will be gone 30 minutes after he takes his oath as president,” Quicho said.
Henares reportedly said the BIR would look into the allegations that Binay earned millions in dividends from the University of Makati (UMak) College of Nursing through an alleged dummy, ophthalmologist Jack Arroyo, nephew of former Sen. Joker Arroyo.
The alleged anomalous deal was part of the Senate Blue Ribbon investigation into the allegations bared by lawyer Renato Bondal.
Bondal accused Binay of using Arroyo as a dummy to earn from a 2004 joint venture between UMak and the Systems Technology Institute (STI) that set up the Philippine Healthcare Educators Incorporated (PHEI).
The PHEI is tasked to collect the tuition and other fees of the UMak College of Nursing.
Bondal said Arroyo received 20 percent shares in the PHEI, even though he is neither part of the UMak nor STI. Meanwhile, UMak and STI each owned 40 percent shares.
He said the only logical explanation for this was that Arroyo received the shares as Binay’s dummy.
Bondal said Binay continues to make a profit from PHEI as an incorporator with UMak president Tomas Lopez and STI chairman Eusebio Tanco.
Binay’s camp had said that Arroyo was a shareholder because as president of the American Eye Clinic, the latter could provide quality training to UMak nursing graduates.
Quicho had also maintained that Binay did not benefit from the UMak-STI deal.
The spokesman had said Binay only held one qualifying share in the company “for the sole purpose of representing the City of Makati in the board of directors of the company.”
He added that Binay “never held any business interests therein in his own capacity.”
Quicho said Binay resigned from the PHEI board when he was elected vice president in 2010.
Bondal filed a plunder and graft complaint before the Ombudsman against Binay , his son dismissed Mayor Junjun Binay, UMak President Tomas Lopez and four other private respondents namely, Eusebio Tangco, Atty. Monico Jacob, Annabelle Bautista and Jack Arroyo Jr. over the UMak deal.
Bondal accused the respondents of misappropriating P547.4 million funds for the university’s College of Nursing to PHEI.
He said the UMak grossly overcharged the students’ tuition – ranging from P32,850 to P40,000, while other colleges’ tuition is at P1,500 per semester for Makati residents and P3,000 per semester for non-residents of Makati, but no improvements in the university’s nursing program were made. AC