Court of Appeals freezes Vice President Binay’s bank accounts

By , on May 13, 2015

Vice President Jejomar Binay (Facebook photo)
Vice President Jejomar Binay (Facebook photo)

MANILA – In connection with the initial investigation conducted and petition filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the Court of Appeals (CA) issued an order to freeze Vice President Jejomar Binay’s accounts in banks, insurance and securities companies, according to a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Vice President Binay’s frozen accounts contained as much as P600 million. Moreover, his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) from 2007 to 2013 were ‘disproportionate to the values, frequency and complexity of their banking transactions.’

“The petition for the issuance of a frozen order is granted. A freeze order is hereby issued valid and effective immediately for a period of six months,” stated the CA’s 33-page order, which was issued last Monday.

Former Makati City barangay captains Nicolas Enciso IV and Renato Bondal were the plaintiffs in the AMLC petition. They asserted that the construction of the Makati City Hall parking building was overpriced by over P1.3 billion.

Aside from Binay’s bank accounts, also covered are the accounts of his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, his wife Elenita, Makati City former vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, and Binay’s purported ‘dummies’ Eduviges Baloloy, Francisco Balaguer Baloloy, Frederick Dueñas Baloloy, Man Bun Chong, Lily Hernandez Crystal, Carmelita Palo Galvan, Pee Feng Lee, Margeurite Lichnock, Gerardo Limlingan, Melissa Gay Castañeda Limlingan, Victor Limlingan, Joy Mercado, Mario Alejo Oreta, Jose Orillaza, Bernadette Cezar Portollano, Mitzi Sedillo, Daniel Subido, Ann Lorraine Buencamino Tiu, Antonio Tiu, James Lee Tiu and Omni General Services Inc.

The aforementioned ‘dummies’ of Vice President Binay were discovered to have probable links to him and his family, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) records.

Mercado, former whistle blower and now believed to be among Vice President Binay’s ‘dummies,’ earlier testified that he delivered cash to Mayor Binay and his allies.

Baloloy and Limlingan, among others, made large and frequent financial transactions when the Senate blue ribbon committee started the hearing on Vice President Binay’s case. Withdrawal and transfers of funds and pre-termination of investments were done.

In total, P16 billion was covered by the freeze order. This amounted from the 242 accounts in banks, insurance and securities of the respondents.

The CA agreed with the AMLC that there was ‘probable cause to believe that the individual and joint bank accounts of investments made by, and insurance policies issued’ to Vice President Binay was ‘related to unlawful activities.’

“Taking into consideration that the advanced state of technology of the electronic banking system allows for the closure of bank accounts or transfer of funds in a matter of seconds, the averment of the AMLC that there is an imminent danger that the funds in the subject bank accounts, investment and insurance policies will be withdrawn, transferred, concealed or otherwise disposed of is well taken,” said the CA.

“In the light of the foregoing and the sheer number of monetary instruments involved and the AMLC’s declaration that it still needs to conduct further financial investigation for the possible filing of appropriate legal actions against the respondents, we find the issuance of a freeze order, effective for a period of six months against the aforementioned bank accounts, insurance, policies and investments warranted,” added the CA.