Thursday, January 24, 2019

CA freezes 242 bank accounts of Binay, others

THE Court of Appeals (CA) has granted an application by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to freeze bank accounts belonging to Vice President Jejomar Binay, some members of his family and close allies.

The CA First Division order dated May 11, 2015 affects Binay's 242 bank accounts, investments, and insurance policies.

The six-month freeze order was effective immediately.

The court said it agrees with the AMLC that there is probable cause to believe that the individual and joint bank accounts of, investments made by, and insurance policies issued to the Vice President, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, Gerardo Limlingan, Eduviges Baloloy, Antonio Tiu, members of Chong family, Ernesto Mercado, Greenergy Holdings Inc., Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp., and Earthright Holdings, and OMNI are related to unlawful activities.

The CA said the Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth of the Vice President, his wife Elenita, Mayor Binay, Baloloy and former ally Mercado from 2007-2013 were inconsistent to the "values, frequency and complexity of their banking and other transactions".

Binay's camp declined Tuesday to confirm the reports of the freeze order on the bank accounts of members of the Vice President's family.

Joey Salgado, Binay's spokesman, said court proceedings involving money laundering allegations are highly confidential.

"We cannot confirm this report. We do not know if such an order has been issued by the Court of Appeals. Court proceedings of this nature are deemed highly confidential and any party who discloses is subject to contempt," Salgado said.

He said the AMLC investigation is connected to the 2016 national elections.

Binay is the presumptive presidential candidate of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

Salgado said that since Binay declared his intention to run for president, the administration Liberal Party (LP) has been hell-bent on damaging his reputation.

"This is all about the 2016 presidential election. This is all about unleashing the agencies of government to harass and malign the Vice President in the hope- however dim – that the LP's presumptive candidate will benefit from the demolition campaign," Salgado said.

Salgado accused LP of leaking the information to the media and of using AMLC for political gains.

"The Liberal Party has been obsessed with attacking the Vice President. The LP has been aggressively harnessing government resources and agencies against the Vice President and his family ever since he declared his intention to run for President in 2016. The AMLAC is apparently one of these agencies," he said.

Binay and his son are facing corruption charges before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building 2, which was built during Binay's term as city mayor. (ABC/Sunnex)
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