Junjun Binay finally leaves Makati City Hall!

Source: Interaksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines —  Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. left City Hall Wednesday morning after failing to get the Court of Appeals to immediately issue a temporary restraining order against his preventive suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman, the second since March.

However, Binay stressed his stepping down was “temporary” pending the appellate court’s decision on his petition to stop his suspension over complaints of overpricing in the construction of the Makati Science High School building.

In March, Binay was also ordered suspended over the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2 but managed to fend it off when the appellate court issued a TRO.

This time, the court’s 10th division ordered the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of the Interior and Local Government to file their comments to Binay’s petition within 10 days of receiving the order and for the mayor to file his reply five days after receiving the comments.

“Action on the application for TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction is held in abeyance pending receipt of the parties’ pleading. Upon submission of the aforesaid pleadings or the expiration of the period for filing the same, the Petition will be deemed submitted for decision, unless the Court requires the parties to file their respective memoranda,” the resolution, dated June 30, Tuesday, said.

In his petition, Binay said the Ombudsman erred when it ruled that he should be held accountable for the alleged anomaly in the construction of the MSHS considering that three of the seven phases involved in the construction were made when he was not yet the mayor of Makati.

He said that as to the subsequent phases of the construction, he again invoked the so-called “Aguinaldo doctrine,” saying any administrative liability on his part was already removed when he was reelected as city mayor in 2013, beating by a wide margin lawyer Renato Bondal, who filed the complaint.

Binay also accused the Ombudsman of violating its own charter, which requires “strong evidence” to justify a preventive suspension.

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Kid Pena sworn in again as acting Makati mayor, Binay locked himself in City Hall anew!

MANILA, Philippines — Makati Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Pena Jr. was sworn in as acting mayor Tuesday morning, a day after the Office of the Ombudsman ordered the suspension of Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr., the second time it has done so this year.

Binay was ordered suspended over complaints about the alleged overprice in the construction of the Makati Science High School Building but, like the first time, has refused to acknowledge his suspension and has locked himself inside City Hall.

Just before Pena’s oath-taking, a brief fracas broke out between Binay’s supporters, who threw plastic chairs at riot police as they blocked representatives of the Department of Interior and Local Government from posting the notice of suspension at the locked down City Hall.

In March, the Ombudsman also ordered the mayor suspended over similar charges of overpricing, this time in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

However, the order remained unserved after the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order.

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Mayor Binay desperately seeks CA relief over second suspension!

Source: Interaksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines —  Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. has again sought relief from the Court of Appeals against his suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman.

But Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Binay may face additional administrative and even criminal charges for defying the preventive suspension order.

Binay filed his petition Tuesday morning, a day after his preventive suspension was ordered over the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati Science High School Building and around the same time Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Pena Jr. was sworn in as acting mayor.

Just before Pena was sworn in, a brief fracas erupted at the Makati City Hall, where Binay has locked himself in since Monday, as his supporters hurled plastic chairs to prevent police and representatives of the Department of Interior and Local Government from posting the notice of suspension on the building.

The Ombudsman first ordered Binay suspended in March over the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2. However, that order was not served after the CA issued a temporary restraining order.

In his petition, Binay asked the CA to “correct” the alleged “grave abuse of discretion” committed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales in ordering his suspension six-month preventive suspension by issuing a temporary restraining order.

Binay said the Ombudsman erred in ruling he should be held accountable for the alleged anomaly considering that three of the construction’s seven phases were undertaken before he became mayor.

“Petitioner cannot be held accountable for any for any alleged anomaly involving Phases I, II and III of the project as he was not yet the elected mayor,” Binay’s 35-page petition said.

He again invoked the so-called Aguinaldo doctrine, saying any administrative liability on his part for the subsequent phases of the construction had been removed when he was reelected in 2013, beating by a wide margin lawyer Renato Bondal, who filed the complaint against him.

In his complaint, Bondal accused the mayor of conspiring with other city officials to rig the bidding in favor of Hilmarcs and claimed what should have been a P470-million project had been overpriced by more than P862 million.

Binay also argued that the Office of the Ombudsman had failed to present “strong evidence” to justify his suspension, in violation of its own charter.

“Considering that the undisputed acts of the case and the very allegations of the complaint itself clearly evince a conclusion that petitioner cannot be held administratively liable and there is no evidence, much less any allegation of specific acts constituting a criminal offense, necessarily the assailed Joint Order was issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction as it disregards the law and established jurisprudence,” the petition said.

The mayor also accused the Ombudsman on relying on “hearsay statements” that his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, ordered the bidding for the MSHS construction rigged.

In any event, he said, “it must be emphasized that there is nothing in the Joint Order or the said Sworn Statements that mention Petitioner, much less attributes any acts against him.”

Neither, the mayor added, was there any truth to Bondal’s claim that the Invitation and Application for Eligibility to Bid for the MSHS construction was not published, pointing out that the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Officers admitted that it had been.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Binay may face additional administrative and even criminal charges for defying the preventive suspension order.

Two lawmakers suggested that it would be good for Mayor Binay to heed the suspension order and step down temporarily to allow due process to take its course.

“They are not the gifts of God to the people of Makati. There are other people who can run the city,” Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice underscored in a news conference.

Erice, a staunch critic of the Binays and stalwart of the administration’s Liberal Party (LP), said Binay should abide by the Ombudsman’s order and temporarily leave his post.

The mayor can go to court and question the decision if he believes his rights have been violated, he added.

In the same news conference, Akbayan partylist RepresentatIve Ibarra Gutierrez said Binay has all the opportunities to question the suspension order, but added that he has to first comply.

“It’s not a pretty sight from the point of view of the rule of law,” Gutierrez said. “Instead of respecting the order of the Ombudsman, you have a show of defiance.”

Erice played down observations that the Binays were being singled out by the courts, and that the cases against the allies of administration were not being acted upon: “They’ve probably just grown so used to having their way with nobody to scrutinize their actions, but in this Administration’s Tuwid na Daan (Right Path) mantra, everything should be transparent and subject to perusal.” (With a report from Lira Dalangin-Fernandez)

 

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SC’s oral argument on Junjun Binay suspension set on April 14!

Source: Inquirer.net

The Supreme Court has set for oral argument the petition of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to nullify the temporary restraining order (TRO) of the Court of Appeals stopping the implementation of the six-month suspension of Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.

Proceedings were set for April 14 in Baguio City.

Carpio-Morales, in her petition said the appeals court Sixth Division committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing two resolutions: (1) one pertaining to the TRO, dated March 16, on Binay’s six-month preventive suspension; and (2) the other dated March 20 directing the Ombudsman to file her comment on Binay’s plea to cite her in contempt for defying the restraining order.

She explained that the preventive suspension was issued to prevent him from interfering with the ongoing investigation on alleged anomalies in Makati City.

“In this case, respondent Binay was placed under preventive suspension pending the resolution of the administrative complaints against him (but not to exceed six months) for good reason – the cases involve anomalies in the procurement and payment for the Parking Building of the Makati City Hall. Needless to state, practically all the documentary evidence relevant to the case are in the custody of the city government, in the same way that potential witnesses – whether friendly or adverse – are currently in the City’s employ. There is, therefore, an imperative need to guard such evidence and witnesses against possible tampering and intimidation; hence, the preventive suspension against respondent Binay and his co-respondents, who are likewise incumbent officials of the city government,” the petition stated.

“Without doubt, therefore, the preventive suspension imposed by the Office of the Ombudsman on respondent Binay is not only permissible under the law but necessary given the prevailing circumstances of the case. The Suspension Order was dictated by prudence and the need to preserve the integrity of the ongoing administrative adjudication,” Carpio-Morales added.

She said the TRO issued by the CA, in effect, was delaying and interfering with the ongoing administrative cases against Binay “and worse, compromise the pending proceedings by granting him continued access to evidence and witnesses that bear heavily on the resolution of his case.”

“Respondent Court of Appeals cannot substitute the Office of the Ombudsman’s judgment for its own,” the petition further stated.

It added that in issuing the restraining order, the Court of Appeals “gravely abused its discretion and wantonly ignored the independence and mandate of the Office of the Ombudsman.”

Binay was suspended for six months after the Ombudsman fact-finding team recommended that he and several others were slapped with a case for violation of the anti-graft law and malversation in connection with the allegedly overpriced parking building.

Binay went to the Court of Appeals and asked to stop the implementation of the suspension order.

The appeals court issued a TRO but the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Office of the Ombudsman defied the restraining order saying it was already moot and academic because the suspension order had been served.

On Monday, the appeals court granted the writ of preliminary investigation in favor of Binay.

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Junjun Binay will also include Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales in contempt of court!

Source: DZMM.com.ph

Isasama na rin ni Makati Mayor Junjun Binay si Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales sa reklamong contempt of court.

Ayon kay Binay, magpapasa ang kanyang kampo ng supplemental motion para maisama si Morales sa kasong bunga ng umano’y pagsuway sa temporary restraining order (TRO) na ipinalabas ng Court of Appeals (CA) laban sa kanyang suspensyon.

Una nang isinampa ni Binay ang naturang kaso laban kina Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, ilang opisyal ng Philippine National Police (PNP), at Makati Vice Mayor Romulo Peña.

Matatandaan namang si Morales ang nagpataw ng anim na buwang preventive suspension kay Binay kaugnay ng umano’y maanomalyang pagtatayo ng Makati City Hall 2. Nanindigan din ang Ombudsman na “moot and academic” ang TRO na hawak ni Binay, na inilabas ng CA matapos umanong maisilbi na ang suspension order sa alkalde.

Ikokonsulta naman ni Binay sa abogado kung dapat maisama maging si Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima sa kanyang reklamo. Ikinatwiran ng alkalde ang pag-interpret ng DOJ sa ruling ng TRO, gayong wala umanong dapat gumawa nito maliban sa korte.

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Junjun Binay sleeps in Makati City Hall holding on to post despite suspension!

Source: Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines–Refusing to leave his office on the 21st floor of City Hall, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay said he had the right to perform his duties as an elected official until the Court of Appeals (CA) decides on his petition for certiorari.

In a press conference on Thursday morning, Binay said he would continue sleeping on the sofa in his office while his lawyers were asking for a temporary restraining order on his six-month suspension by the the Ombudsman.

“It was hard sleeping on the sofa (with a sleeping mat as his cover) but we will continue staying here. We will not leave. If we leave, it will look like we already gave up,” the mayor said.

He said his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and his entire family also stayed at City Hall on Wednesday night.

The mayor said they would not allow a member of the Liberal Party to take over his post as mayor. Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña is expected to head the city once the suspension order takes effect.

Vice mayor no-show

Peña, however, has been a no-show in his office since Wednesday, when the suspension order against Binay and 21 others, who are being investigated for the irregularities in the construction of Makati City Hall Building II, was announced by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Binay said that he was still the mayor and that all offices at City Hall were functioning normally.

The only difference was the presence of his supporters who stayed overnight at the quadrangle, he said.

Asked if they planned to set up barricades during the serving of the suspension order, Binay said he did not want any untoward incident but noted that he could not control what the people want to do.

On Thursday afternoon as news of the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s receipt of the suspension order reached the Binay camp, the doors of City Hall were closed, leaving only the main entrance open to certain people, including the media, the mayor’s supporters and some city officials.

Only one elevator was left operational for the use of those going to the mayor’s office on the 21st floor.

Binay remained in his office for the rest of the day except for one instance when he left for a press conference at an adjacent conference room.

Human barricade

About a hundred supporters stayed at the reception hall leading to the mayor’s office, almost serving as a human barricade in case people carrying the suspension order came. More than 1,000 supporters from various barangays (villages) in the city were at the quadrangle.

One of those who have been at City Hall since early Thursday morning was 65-year-old Angie Yu, who said she was a neighbor of Binay in Barangay San Antonio.

“We are here to show support because he has been a very good mayor in the city providing various benefits, especially to us senior citizens,” Yu said.

She said she, along with other San Antonio residents, was ready to block those who would serve the suspension order on Binay.

With the city mayor promising to stay in City Hall until the Court of Appeals decides on the petition for certiorari, Binay’s supporters vowed to also spend their nights at the quadrangle.

With makeshift tents as their only protection, Binay’s supporters have been staying on the grounds of City Hall since Wednesday afternoon.

Packed meals

They have been provided with packed meals by the city government and entertainment by various barangay officials and supporters who organized singing and dancing contests for the people.

Some invited entertainers played games with the people at the quadrangle on Wednesday night, keeping the crowd awake until the next day.

The mayor said the DILG should respect the petition and not insist on implementing the suspension order.

“Why is there still a need for preventive suspension when in fact, there have been several Senate hearings conducted on the case, and we have been able to provide them all the subpoenaed documents?” Binay said.

 

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Mayor Junjun Binay defies suspension order by the Ombudsman!

MANILA — Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay said Wednesday that he will not step down from his post despite the suspension order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman over his involvement in the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.

The Ombudsman ordered Binay suspended for six months pending the anti-graft agency’s investigation on the case. The mayor and 22 other Makati City officials were also ordered to answer the graft complaint filed against them.

Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who has supervision over local governments, said the order would be served as soon as he gets a copy.

But Binay, who maintained his strong stand to oppose what he described as an oppressive move against his family for political reasons in time for the 2016 elections, said that his battery of lawyers will exhaust all legal remedies, as they already filed a petition for certiorari asking the Court of Appeals (CA) to issue a temporary restraining order against the Ombudsman’s suspension order.

Binay said the CA must first rule on his petition as he argued that the order of the Ombudsman placing him under preventive suspension is not final.

Lawyer Claro Certeza, head of legal team of Mayor Binay, said it is just proper that the implementing agency which will serve the suspension against the mayor recognize the constitutional rights of his client and the Makati voters who elected Binay as their mayor.

“And until such time that our prayer for a temporary restraining order is decided upon, they cannot force my client, Mayor Binay to step down,” Certeza said.

Binay said he is still hopeful that the present government will respect his rights to be heard and will give him fair treatment.

He, meanwhile, asked his constituents in Makati to remain calm despite the recent developments.

“I will continue to discharging my duty as an elected mayor of this city despite the preventive suspension order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman,” he said.

When asked what he will do if the Department of Interior and Local Government would insist on implementing the suspension order, Binay said, “I know my constitutional right and I will stand my ground fighting for my right as a Filipino and for the majority of Makati citizens that voted for me as their mayor.”

Binay pointed to Roxas as the person behind the “special express suspension,” as he maintained that it is not a surprise anymore.

He revealed that those behind the issuance of suspension include special panel of investigators and prosecutors affiliated with former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo and lawyer Nonong Cruz, whom he tagged as the special operators of Roxas.

Roxas is believed to be one of the top contenders for the 2016 presidential elections under the ruling Liberal Party.

The issue against Binay stemmed from the construction of the 11-storey building. The construction took six years from 2007 and the building was alleged to be overpriced because it should have only cost P700 million and not P2.7 billion.

Binay however told the Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee in August last year that it is a green and “world-class” building. It was also designed to withstand earthquakes, the mayor had said.

Binay and his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, had repeatedly denied allegations that they amassed unexplained wealth from kickbacks in some projects in Makati, where the Vice President was mayor for two decades before his son succeeded him in 2010.

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Junjun Binay dragged into the Senate, arrested, now freed!

Source: Manila Bulletin

The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee finally arrested yesterday Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay, only to release him later after he refused to face the panel.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel Jr., head of the Senate sub-panel tasked to investigate the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2 and other alleged anomalies allegedly committed by the mayor’s father Vice President Jejomar Binay, decided to free the mayor after he manifested that he will no longer answer questions of the subcommittee.

“Wala naman itong personalan. We were only enforcing the processes of the institution,” Pimentel reasoned out.

“Ang theory ninyo is wala kaming jurisdiction but if you believe in your theory then I think it’s time to run to a referee, to a third party to tell us the correct interpretation of the situation and of the Senate rules,” he said.

“But anyway, we have heard of your manifestation and it has been noted… Since the order of arrest has been satisfied, your manifestation (not to answer questions) is noted. You lose your chance to give your side, you are free to go,” Pimentel said extending his hand as a gesture of letting Mayor Binay go.

Earlier yesterday morning, Senate Sergeant-at-arms Jose Balajadia served the arrest order, which was acknowledged by Binay’s lawyers.

Binay turned himself to Balajadia and coolly left the city hall past 9 a.m. without his supporters gathered at the city hall grounds seeing him.

The mayor arrived at the Senate, accompanied by members of the Senate Office of Sergeant-at-Arms hours before the sub-panel resumed its probe.

Also ordered arrested and detained were Makati City administrator Eleno Mendoza and former city administrator Marjorie De Veyra who were among the Makati city officials cited for contempt.

But Mayor Binay refused to attend the hearing, saying he would settle at the detention area at the basement of the Senate office.

When the Senate resumed the hearing at 1 p.m., Pimentel, upon the motion of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, ordered the Senate Sergeant-at-arms to bring Binay and the two Makati officials to the session hall.

Claro Certeza, one of Binay’s legal counsels, told the senators that Binay will not participate in the hearings anymore but the Trillanes’ motion prevailed.

BODILY DRAGGED

It was at this point that members of the Senate Sergeant-at-arms bodily dragged the mayor to the session hall. Mayor Binay was accompanied by several of his supporters, former senators Rene Saguisag and Joker Arroyo, and his sister Rep. Abigail Binay, when he was brought before the subcommittee.

During the brief scuffle, Binay sustained a bruise in his left arm. When he sat down in front of the senators, Trillanes asked the mayor if he was hurt. Binay’s supporters cried “Yes!” in unison.

Binay reiterated he had no intention of ignoring the subpoena issued by the committee nor evade the allegations hurled against them.

“We answered the show cause order of the committee that’s why we see no reason for us to be cited for contempt. We are not fighting the Senate as an institution but I believe we have civil rights that should be considered. That’s why my position is to face the Senate during the first hearing and all the documents that the chamber asked, if it’s in our possession, we submitted it,” Binay told senators during the hearing.

“That’s why I don’t see there is any need for me to appear in this proceedings (again),” he said.

Pimentel argued that even past government officials such as former President Fidel V. Ramos and former Vice President Noli De Castro appeared at Senate hearings to shed light on matters needed by the chamber.

ABUSIVE PANEL?

During the press conference after Mayor Binay was freed, Saguisag and Arroyo, both human rights lawyers, criticized the “abuses” of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee insofar as the conduct of the lengthy probe on Vice President Binay’s alleged acts of corruption is concerned.

“There is a tendency of government institutions to trample the rights of its citizens,” noted Arroyo, himself an ex-chair of the powerful Committee.

Arroyo frowned in particular at how the panel “tends to threaten resource persons with contempt at the drop of a hat,” whereas “they should be given every chance to defend himself or herself,” he said.

Saguisag echoed a much-repeated line from the Binay camp that the ongoing hearings are not being done in aid of legislation; rather they are an “investigation in aid of prosecution…hindi ‘yun ang diwa ng ating batas (that is not the spirit of our law).”

“It seems to us that Martial Law is reigns at the Senate,” Saguisag said. “There is a better way of handling these proceedings.”

Arroyo said that Mayor Binay’s uneventful release by the subpanel was an “encouraging” sign, although he slammed it for its bias and in prejudging the Binays.

NOT BINAY LAWYERS

Arroyo, however, clarified that he and Saguisag were not legal counsels of Mayor Binay.

“We are observers. We are here to see whether the committee acted without jurisdiction, if they violated constitutional rights,” he bared in the same press conference.

As MABINI lawyers, Arroyo said that they might intervene or take legal action once the senators “cross the line and are no longer fair.”

“Whether the mayor is guilty or not, we don’t know. Our role is to prevent violations of constitutional rights.”

Before he was arrested, Binay attended a Mass with his family, including mother, Elenita, sister Abigail, and his children. Saguisag, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim president Toby Tiangco, and Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla also joined Binay.

He, together with his four children –  Jejomarie Alexi, 12; Maria Isabel, 9; Jejomar III, 7; and Maria Kennely, 5 – also paid his respect to his late wife, Kennely Ann, at the Sacred Heart Church before proceeding to the city hall.

Before leaving for the Senate, the mayor lamented the difficulty of leaving his children.

One of the hardest part, according to Binay, is leaving his children. But he said he had explained to his children about his detention.

“Although I don’t expect them to understand everything. Some of them are innocent of the issues,” said Binay.

Right after his arrest, his little boy went looking for him and asked, “Where is daddy? Where is daddy?”

Her sister Abigail was in tears when members of the press asked her about the arrest of his brother.

“It’s so painful because I’m his sister, I can’t help it.  I feel the injustice but we will fight for what we believe in,” said Binay.

In the same press conference, Binay showed the bruise in his left arm which he sustained when he was bodily dragged to the Senate hearing.

According to Binay, he was already prepared to be detained at the Senate, saying he even gathered his family and children before he left.

“Ang gusto na lang naming ma-detain na lang ako. Dala ko na yung bag ko. Nakahanda na lang ako, tumawag ang aking ama, sabi ko dad, palagay na loob ko, laban ito ng prinsipyo. Handa na ako mag pa detain dito sa Senado,” Binay said.

“This is not about me, this is about the city of Makati. Sila po ang nakataya dito, hindi si Junjun Binay, dahil po tuwing may mga issue na pinupukol sa akin, ito po ay pukol sa lungsod ng Makati hindi po sa akin,” he said.

 BINAY TO FILE CASE

Asked if he will still file a case before the courts, Binay said yes. “I was detained. And therefore, I have all the legal right to raise my issues now to a competent court, like the Supreme Court. Darating po tayo dyan.”

“But for the time being, we need to face these issues,” he said.

He said there are certain questions that need to be raised like how the proceedings are going in the Senate subcommittee, and the process leading to his detention.

“It doesn’t mean that I was told I was freed by the subcommittee, hindi na ako pwede i-cite in contempt or i-detain ulit. Lahat yan kelangan natin ipasagot,” he added.

MOTHER’S SUPPORT

Meanwhile, the mayor’s mother, former Makati mayor Elenita Binay, believes that her son is strong enough to endure the storm that he is facing.

The former mayor said she is standing by the decision of her son not to attend the hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee subcommittee.

“The way they (Senate) treats the resource persons is wrong. A little  respect will do, they have conducting the hearings for several times already. If they have enough evidence (against my family), file the case at the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan,” said Mrs. Binay.

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Senate committee cites Junjun Binay, 5 others for comtempt and orders arrest!

Source: GMANetwork.com

The Senate blue ribbon committee on Monday ordered the arrest of Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and five other personalities after citing them for contempt for their continued refusal to attend the hearing of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee on the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building II and other alleged anomalies despite the issuance of subpoenas and show-cause orders.

Senator Teofisto Guingona, chairman of the committee, granted the recommendation of Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, chairman of the subcommittee, to cite in contempt and order the arrest of Binay, City Administrator Eleno Mendoza, Eduviges “Ebeng” Baloloy, former City Administrator Marjorie de Veyra, Engineer Line Dela Peña, and Bernadette Portallano.

“I am ordering the Senate sergeant-at-arms to serve the detention order,” Guingona said.

Present at the meeting were Guingona, Pimentel and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Tomas Lopez

On the other hand, University of Makati president Tomas Lopez was not included in the order as he submitted a letter manifesting his willingess to attend the next hearing on Thursday.

In a letter dated Jan. 26, 2015 to the blue ribbon committee, Lopez said he did not ignore the different invitations and subpoena to attend the hearing. He said upon the advice of his lawyer, he merely requested that he be furnished questions so that he would be able to prepare beforehand.

“In view of the fact that these requests have been rejected by the subcommittee and against the advice of my lawyers, I would like now to manifest my intention to appear in the next hearing of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee,” Lopez stated in the letter.

Lopez is also a member of the board of directors of the Pag-IBIG fund.

During the meeting, Trillanes asked what would happen if Lopez will not appear on Thursday.

Pimentel said he would write another recommendation to the mother committee to cite Lopez in contempt “and no new letter could save him anymore.”

Junjun to tun himself in

Meanwhile at a press conference in Makati, Binay said he would turn himself in before the Senate committee.

“Hindi na po nila ako kailangang arestuhin. Tatalima po ako sa naging decision ng Senate blue ribbon committee … magpapa-detain po tayo,” Binay said.

“Maling mali ang ginagawa nila. Nung nagpunta ako dun (sa hearing) kinukutya nila tayo pero pinababayaan yung mga nagsisinungaling. Selective ang application ng rules,” he added.

Up to Sergeant-at-Arms

In an interview with reporters after the meeting, Guingona said the decision where Junjun Binay and the others will be detained will be up to the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms.

The Sergeant-at-Arms has detention facility near their office.

Asked what would happen once the personalities are arrested and presented at the hearing, Guingona said the subcommittee need to write another recommendation to lift the detention order.

“We have to follow the rules of the blue ribbon committee, we have to protect the institution of the Senate blue ribbon. Pagkatinawag ka ng blue ribbon, kung wala kang valid excuse, dapat sumipot ka, dapat magpakita ka. Rules are rules and they apply to everyone,” he said.

Binay attended the first hearing in August last year and answered the questions of senators but he was absent in the succeeding proceedings. The other Makati officials, on the other hand, were present in the following hearings. The officials refused to attend the subsequent hearings when they decided to challenge the jurisdiction of the committee.

In their respective letters explaining their continued absence, Binay, Baloloy, Mendoza, Lopez, De Veyra, and Dela Peña said they were merely availing of remedies under the Senate Rules and were constrained to file a jurisdictional challenge because their right to due process, to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, among others, were being violated.

In addition, Binay, Baloloy, Mendoza and Lopez said they also requested that they be provided with the list of questions that would be asked of them. Such request was not granted by the subcommittee.

Portollano, in a letter sent to the subcommittee, said she was only a nominee of Marguerite Lichnock, one of the alleged dummies of Vice President Jejomar Binay, and she had no knowledge of the transactions which were the subject of the investigation.

Plunder raps vs. Binays

Mayor Binay, his father Vice President Jejomar Binay, and 21 other Makati officials are facing plunder charges in connection with the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

In December, a second plunder complaint was filed against the Binays, some former and current Makati officials, and 10 executives of Hillmarc’s Construction Corp. over the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati Science High School.

Both complaints were filed by lawyer Renato Bondal.

The Binay camp has dismissed the complaints and the allegations against them as politically-motivated, claiming that these are intended to destroy the Vice President and diminish his chances in the 2016 presidential elections.

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Three guards detained who stopped Mayor Binay convoy!

Three guards detained who stopped Mayor Binay convoy!

binay

Makati Mayor Junjun Binay ordered the arrest of three security guards of a posh subdivision in the city when the guards refused to allow his four-car convoy to pass through a restricted gate close to midnight on Nov. 30, according to a source privy to the incident.

The entire incident at the gate of Banyan and McKinley Roads was recorded by the closed-circuit television cameras of North Forbes Park and Dasmariñas Village.

Based on a 24-minute video, the standoff was witnessed by the mayor’s sister, Sen. Nancy Binay, a passenger of one of the vehicles. The mayor came from his sister’s house in Dasmariñas Village when their convoy was not allowed to get past the Banyan Road gate of the village.

The guards of Right Eight Security Inc. did not raise the iron barrier because vehicles are not allowed to pass through the gate after 10 p.m. for security reasons.

“All vehicles are allowed to pass this gate during the day. They can enter until midnight, but no one is allowed to go out after 10 in the evening,”

(Read more about the incident and watch the recorder video HERE)

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