Friday, February 17, 2017

FLASHBACK: Kinakarma na nga ba si Sen. De Lima dahil sa ginawa niya noon kay Binay?

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is challenging Vice-President Jejomar Binay to stop making excuses and to answer the corruption allegations against him.

Speaking before officers and members of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, de Lima said Binay should face the music instead of blaming politics for everything.

"I think they really have to face the music. Address the accusations squarely and not hide you know, [behind] technicalities, legalities and excuses. 'These are all political.' Of course it is political. It is always political. But is that an excuse? They have to face the music," she said.

"They have to explain those findings so far as reflected in the freeze order of the Court of Appeals, which is prima facie. And in prima facie show that there is a connection between these accounts, their wealth to the commission."

De Lima insisted immunity from suit does not apply to the vice-president, adding that Binay can still face investigation and even impeachment.

She said the Anti-Money Laundering Council probe on Binay's accounts clearly shows that the vice-president can be investigated.

"VP Binay is not immune from suit. He is an impeachable official, yes, but impeachability simply means that an impeachable official such as vice-president can only be removed through impeachment," she said.

"But is he exempt from the investigation? Certainly not. There is no such thing as immunity from investigation. Everyone can be investigated."

"The end result might be, and I think it is the objective of the AMLC is the forfeiture of the ill-gotten wealth... It is civil in nature, it is not criminal. And when these assets...are ultimately forfeited, it will not result in the removal of the vice president. So you cannot stop these proceedings before the Court of Appeals by invoking the purported immunity from suit of Vice-President Binay."

De Lima also reminded KBP members to seek the truth and find ways to help the public understand national issues.

She said nothing prevents the media from reporting on the Court of Appeals' freeze order on questionable accounts.

"The mere reporting by the media of contents of a legal opinion or court order cannot be prescribed as an abuse of press freedom. On the other hand, the threat of criminal prosecution for reporting a CA freeze order likewise delivers a chilling effect on the media considering that the threat has no legal basis. What the AMLC prohibits is the disclosure to the media by banks and investment firms of the covert and suspicious transactions and reports to the AMLC."

"In the CA freeze order case, what was publicized by media were not bank reports by the AMLC, but the freeze order that resulted from the AMLC petition long after the reporting by the banks of the covert and suspicious transaction that was already made."




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