Critic files malversation complaint vs Binay siblings

Mara Cepeda
Critic files malversation complaint vs Binay siblings
(UPDATED) Renato Bondal revives allegation he made months ago that Makati congresswoman Abby Binay and Mayor Junjun Binay released funds to fake NGOs

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Lawyer Renato Bondal filed on Tuesday, September 1, filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman, accusing Makati City Representative Abigail Binay and her brother, suspended Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr, of malversation of public funds. 

Bondal alleged that the Vice President’s children misused of Abby’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in 2011 – an allegation he made months ago.

The lawyer told reporters after the filing that Abby allegedly released P25 million of her allotted pork barrel in 2011 to two “fake” non-governmental organizations.

Bondal, who has been testifying in the ongoing Senate probe against the Binays, said Abby released P15 million to the Gabay at Pag-asa ng Masa on January 20, 2011. She allegedly gave the remaining P10 million to the Kaakbay Buhay Foundation Incorporated on March 29, 2011.

Bondal said the two NGOs were “dubious and fraudulent” because they belong to the Godofredo Roque group, which he claims has a “similar modus operandi with that of the now infamous Napoles NGOs.” (READ: COA witness: Napoles NGOs broke all rules)

He said that Junjun, who is currently serving a 6-month preventive suspension order for allegedly overpricing the Makati Science High School building, should be held liable as well because it was the city government that implemented the disbursement of the now-unconstitutional PDAF.

On August 26, Senate blue ribbon subcommittee member Senator Antonio Trillanes IV levelled a new allegation against Abby, saying there were irregularities in her PDAF’s disbursement. (READ: Trillanes vs Abby Binay on PDAF, consultants)

Abby then challenged the Senate subpanel to invite her to its hearings about the corruption allegations against her father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and their family so she can defend their side. (TIMELINE: Binay’s plunder case, one year after)

Just a gimmick?

In a statement on Tuesday evening, Abby said she is not surprised Bondal filed the complaint.

Hindi ko na kinagugulat ang bagong demanda na isinampa sa akin at sa aking pamilya. Makikita sa demandang ito ang pagsasabwatan ng mga taong nais sirain ang aking tatay para umangat ang kanilang mga ‘manok’ bilang presidente,” said the congresswoman.

(I am not surprised with this new complaint filed against me and my family. This shows the collusion among the people who wants to destroy my father so their presidential bets will be ahead.)

According to Abby, Trillanes said he would file a case against her this week after the Binay camp questioned the unusually high salaries of the senator’s consultants.

“Sinabi niya na maghahain sya ng kaso laban sa akin ngayong Martes. Eh bakit si Atty Bondal ang nag-file? Hindi ba’t ito’y matibay na patunay ng kontsabahan ng mga nag-aakusa at nandirinig ng mga akusasyon sa Senado laban sa aking tatay at pamilya na batay lamang sa hula at PowerPoint presentation?” Abby asked.

(He said he will file a complaint against me this Tuesday. But why is it that it was Atty Bondal who filed it? Isn’t this a strong proof that my family’s accusers in the Senate, whose allegations are just based on guesses and PowerPoint presentations, are colluding with each other?)

She said that she properly allocated her PDAF when it was still constitutional and she has supporting documents, photos, and real beneficiaries to prove it.

Joey Salgado, media affairs head of the Vice President, also slammed Bondal’s latest complaint before the Ombudsman.

Dahil wala nang nanonood sa kanilang telenovela sa Senado, gumawa kanina ng gimik sina Senator Trillanes at ang kanyang mga kasama. Pero ang ‘sinampa ni Mr Bondal ay replay lang ng kanyang lumang PowerPoint presentation sa Senado. Gaya ng iba pang mga sinabi ni Mr Bondal, ito ay napatunayan nang walang basehan at hula-hula lang,” he said.

(Because no one is watching their telenovela in the Senate anymore, Senator Trillanes and company made a new gimmick. But what Mr Bondal filed is a replay of his old PowerPoint presentation which he showed in the Senate. It has been proven that Mr Bondal’s claims are not based on truth and are mere guesses only.)

Like Abby, Salgado said Bondal filing the complaint is an indication that he and Trillanes are “working in tandem against the Vice President.”

Salgado added that the Binay camp is ready to respond to this latest allegation against them.

“If the Ombudsman were only fair and impartial, these complaints would immediately be dismissed. But the Ombudsman is part of the conspiracy against the Vice President and his family so we will not be surprised if sooner rather than later, it will again suspend Mayor Junjun Binay despite the absence of concrete factual basis,” he said. (READ: ‘Guilt strong’ vs Junjun Binay – Ombudsman)

Salgado also reiterated his challenge to Trillanes, Bondal, and “the other accusers” to face the Vice President in court.

Nagsampa si Vice President ng kaso sa kanila sa hukuman. Ayaw nilang humarap dahil alam nila na hindi papayagan sa hukuman ang kanilang haka-haka at pagsisinungaling,” he said.

(The Vice President already filed a case against them in court. They do not want to face the court because they know the court will not condone their lies.) – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.