Friday, April 26, 2019

Bunye: Stupid experiment?

Speaking Out

THE experimental run last week of "Edsa driver-only rush hour ban" drew mixed reaction from motorists.

Angry reactions ranged from calling the experiment "stupid" to "insane" to "band-aid." Even a few members of the Senate waded in and asked the MMDA to suspend the implementation of the ban.

Senate President Sotto was joined by Senators Zubiri, Drilon and Recto in citing that the basis of the ban has not been empirically proven. The MMDA had claimed that 70 percent of cars that use Edsa have single occupants -- a fact which the senators dispute.

A few motorists were, however, were more forgiving. Some claimed that they just grinned and bore it, waking up at 3 a.m. Others took the P2P buses. A few bragged that they defied the ban (using highly tinted vehicles) and got away with it.

"As we went to the press, we learned that the MMDA has temporarily suspended implementation of the ban pending consultations with the Metro Manila mayors."

Ultimately, the decision whether to fully implement the ban will depend on one answer: Did it significantly ease the flow of traffic in Edsa?

"As we went to the press, we learned that the MMDA has temporarily suspended implementation of the ban pending consultations with the Metro Manila mayors."

BSP v. Banco Filipino, 2-0

One by one, the series of cases filed by the shuttered Banco Filipino against the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) are being decided - favorably for BSP.

The latest decision was handed by the Supreme Court. The SC, in a decision penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, affirmed an earlier judgment of the Court of Appeal (CA) which voided an order of the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC). The RTC required the BSP to release P25 Billion as emergency assistance to Banco Filipino.

In the earlier case, the CA ruled that the Makati City Regional Trial Court had no jurisdiction trying the case against a quasi-judicial agency like the BSP. The case should have been filed with the CA.

On appeal, the SC dismissed Banco Filipino's petition for another reason. Banco Filipino, which was a closed bank under receivership, could only sue (and be sued) thru the receiver, the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Tapos ang kuwento. The BSP is not required to pay a single centavo of the P25 billion that Banco Filipino was demanding.

The BSP was represented by its external counsel Cruz Marcelo and Tenefrancia (CMT). The CMT team consisted of lawyers John Balisnomo, Rogelio Torres, Bernice Mendoza and Norvin Jalipa.

Not too long ago, the Ombudsman affirmed a decision of the Department of Justice dismissing a criminal complaint by Banco Filipino officers and depositors against then BSP Governor Amado M. Tetangco Jr., then Monetary Board Members Juanita D. Amatong, Alfredo C. Antonio, Ignacio R. Bunye and Peter B. Favila, then Deputy Governor (now Governor) Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. and then BSP General Counsel (now Monetary Board Member) Juan de Zuñiga, Jr.

The case was for alleged violation of the Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The complainants were Maxy S. Abad and Francis A. Rivera, officers of Banco Filipino, and Mary Lou A. Vasquez, a stockholder.

The complainants charged that the respondents committed abuse of authority and caused undue prejudice when the BSP ordered the closure of Banco Filipino on March 17, 2011.

The DOJ basketed the case for lack of probable cause. Then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales agreed: The questioned acts of respondents were done in their official capacities and in accordance with existing laws and procedures.

The respondent BSP officials were represented by BSP external counsel Yorac Arroyo Chua Caedo and Coronel.

Working behind the scene for Banco Filipino was a future Duterte cabinet secretary who, before his fall from grace, was reportedly very interested in becoming BSP governor.

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