MANILA – Aside from the controversial farm estate, Vice President Jejomar Binay denied owning an aviary with selection of rare birds under the name of his daughter.
Based on records from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), as of 2006, Makati Representative Abigail Binay owns about 56 heads of rare birds in Batangas province.
The collection includes the following species: Victoria crowned pigeon, common emerald dove, Luzon bleeding-heart, green imperial pigeon, mallard, island collared dove, helmeted guineafowl, Alexandrine parakeet, blossom-headed parakeet, silver pheasant, mute swan, black-necked swan, white peafowl, Indian peafowl, red and black parrot, and white pigeon.
The younger Binay has been given a certificate of wildlife registration to keep the birds in an aviary in Barangay Maligaya in Rosario, Batangas.
According to Batangas Environment Officer Jose Elmer Basos, the records of Binay with DENR are until 2006 only.
“They (wildlife owners) should submit a quarterly update (of the birds in their possession) or if these were disposed of already,” said Bascos. “There were no updates submitted [after 2006],” he added.
Last week, the DENR sent a representative to the farm but was refused entry.
“The caretaker said he did not have a permission from his boss to let our men in,” Bascos said. “They did not say who their boss is,” he added.
According to Czarina Quintanilla, Sunchamp was open to inspection of its agri-tourism park from representatives of different government agencies if it the investigation is “done in accordance with the law and due process.”
“The company categorically states that there are no endangered or restricted birds in the aviary,” Quintanilla said in a text message on Sunday.
She added, “It would appear that the threats made on the company are now materializing, but the company still hopes that the government will not be used for and, in fact, protect private business from partisan politics.”
Earlier, former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Maceda said that the estate was owned by Vice President Binay through dummies at Agri-Fortuna.
The Vice President’s camp said that Binay only leased the property for its hog-raising business under JCB Farms. He does not own the land and the amenities in it.
According to Binay’s spokespersons, he already divested his shares from the piggery business in 2010.