Vice President Jejomar Binay has only five bank accounts under his name, and not 242 accounts as reported in the media, his lawyer said on Wednesday, citing the purported copy of the freeze order allegedly being circulated by Binay’s erstwhile ally, former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado.
“It is an outright lie to say or make it appear that Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has 242 accounts as reported in media. Even based on the purported copy of the Freeze Order being circulated by Ernesto Mercado, there are only five accounts that mentioned the name of Vice President Binay,” Binay family lawyer Claro Certeza said in a statement.
“It is also apparent from the purported copy of the Freeze Order that the AMLC deliberately misled the Court of Appeals by omitting the fact that Vice President Binay received campaign contributions in the amount of P231 million and incurred expenses in the amount of P218 million through his designated banks accounts which were all duly reported in his Statement of Campaign Contributions and Expenses filed with the Comelec,” he said.
AMLC is Anti-Money Laundering Council, which asked the court to freeze Binay’s assets, while Comelec stands for the Commission on Elections.
Certeza said the AMLC was also not truthful with the CA “because it deliberately concealed the fact that Vice President Binay and his wife were earning additional income from their respective businesses in addition to the Vice President’s salary.”
“All these information were duly reported in the Income Tax Returns of the Vice President that span for almost three decades and on file with the Bureau of Internal Revenue,” he said.
The lawyer issued the statements after the media reported the purported freeze order that the court supposedly issued last Monday, May 11.
Certeza said it was regrettable that the strict confidentiality of a proceeding involving an ex parte petition for a freeze order is being “brazenly violated, saying it would be very easy to take a freeze order out of context “in order to destroy the name and reputation of a person since the order is issued based solely on the representations of AMLC.”
“The respondents are not yet given the opportunity to be heard. It is for this reason that, according to the law and the congressional deliberations, ex parte freeze order proceedings must be strictly confidential, with those violating the confidentiality rule being liable for contempt as well as criminal prosecution,” he said.
“It is clear that the intent of this perception game is not to hold people accountable or to find the truth but to malign the reputation of Vice President Binay, as part of his opponents’ orchestrated campaign for the May 2016 elections,” the lawyer further said.
Binay’s spokesman, Rico Quicho, meanwhile, viewed Mercado’s “malicious leakage” of the court order as another blatant attempt to engage the Vice President in trial by publicity and to deprive him of his right to due process provided by the Constitution.
Quicho said the leak was also an “indirect way” to pressure and preempt the independence of the courts, which would eventually decide on the controversy.
“Moreover, this is again geared to condition the minds of the people by maligning the reputation of the Vice President because his detractors have again failed to produce proof to back up their charges in the Senate and before the Ombudsman,” he said in a separate statement.
“This is plain and simple character assassination by means of peddling lies through media releases that come from polluted source.”
“In the end, the rule of law will prevail over these unjust and irresponsible attacks against the Vice President. The Vice President will squarely address and clearly refute these baseless accusations and would triumph in a fair, independent and impartial trial on the merits before a competent tribunal,” the spokesman added.