Binay camp denies link to remittance
Vice President Jejomar Binay is not involved in any of the bank transactions reported in an Inquirer article alleging that Binay’s law firm sent more than P100 million to a Hong Kong firm using the same remittance agency embroiled in the alleged $81-million money laundering scam, his lawyer said Thursday.
“We can categorically state that none of the bank transactions mentioned in the libelous article of the Philippine Daily Inquirer involve the Vice President. The Vice President is but one of many other clients of the SPCMB law offices,” said lawyer Claro Certeza.
Certeza, who is part of the Subido, Pagente, Certeza, Mendoza and Binay (SPCMB) law office referred to in the story, clarified that the SPCMB did not engage in any illegal transactions.
A Binay spokesperson earlier clarified that Binay was not a partner in the SPCMB law firm. But his daughter, Makati Rep. Abigail Binay, is a partner-on-leave of the firm, he said.
“The alleged transactions of the SPCM law office are but parts of legitimate business activities duly reported to several government agencies where the services of the SPCM law offices were engaged,” Certeza said in a statement.
He also said the foreign currency remitted outside the country by the law firm involved only two instances of $500,000 and “not $100 million as being maliciously claimed, and again for a client not the Vice President.”
He was referring to the transactions—reported in the March 17 issue of the Inquirer, quoting an Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) report—that the Greenergy made in June 30, 2014, (involving $400.5 million) and July 2, 2014, ($310 million and $214.5 million) involving the sale of the company’s shares and purchase of shares.
The lawyer accused the Inquirer and the AMLC of violating the gag order of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 53 as, he claimed, that the AMLC report quoted by the newspaper was the subject of a civil forfeiture case filed by the AMLC.
“Without admitting the veracity and provenance of the purported AMLC report, it is clear that the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the AMLC violated the gag order and the confidentiality provision of the Anti-Money Laundering Act,” Certeza said in a statement.
But he made clear Binay did not take part in these bank transactions.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano Thursday challenged Binay to answer the AMLC report about his alleged ill-gotten wealth “line by line.”
“I am challenging VP Binay. Hold the AMLC report. Don’t just give generalities, blame it on politicking and call for pity,” Cayetano told a Senate news forum. With Niña P. Calleja
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