Ombudsman pursues criminal probe vs Binay over Boy Scouts deal
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Office of the Ombudsman will open another criminal preliminary investigation against former vice president Jejomar Binay, this time over the alleged undervalued sale of a property of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
Binay will undergo a preliminary investigation for graft and an administrative adjudication for gross neglect of duty, the Office of the Ombudsman said in a statement on Wednesday, June 13.
This is over the P600-million sale of a 10,000 square meter BSP property in Makati City in 2011. Binay was the BSP president when they sold the property to Alphaland Makati Place Incorporated (AMPI).
“According to the Field Investigation Office, the sale was grossly undervalued considering that, under the Omnibus Loan and Security Agreement between BSP and AMPI, the Malugay property was mortgaged for P1,750,000,000.00 which is indicative of the property’s true value,” the Office of the Ombudsman said.
The Office of the Ombudsman added that previous improvements on the property were valued at P8.426 billion, meaning that the total appraisal value was P10.126 billion.
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officials Teodoro Galicia, Mark Anthony Panganiban, and Romeo Tomas will also undergo criminal investigation for graft for exempting the sale from capital gains tax.
“The BIR officials were faulted for certifying that the sale was exempt from payment of capital gains tax which resulted in a loss of P63,000,000.00 in tax collection for the government,” the statement said.
Fact-finding investigators said the tax exemption was obtained without a request for a ruling, indicating that there was “manifest partiality and evident bad faith causing undue injury to the government.”
Aside from Binay, the following BSP officials will also undergo the investigation:
- Wendel Avisado
- Del de Guzman
- J. Miguel De Jesus
- Enrique Lagdameo
- Pedro Destura
- Dale Corvera
- Maximo Edralin Jr
- Remedios Petilla
- Roberto Pagdanganan
- Harmes Sembrano
- Mildred Garay
- Manuel Jose Dalipe
- Leo Lasacar
- Danilo Asiaten
- Lutgardo Barbo
- Jose Mari Pelaez
- Ireneo Aquino
- Jose Eduardo Delgado
- Henry Dy
- Jose Ma. Gastardo
- Pepito Carpio
- Nemesio Miranda Jr
- Jaime Semana
- Wilfredo Chato
- Alan Zulueta
- Jorge Banal
- Efren Edgard Dieta
- Rodolfo Tamani
- Von Carlo Yacob
- J. Rizal Pangilinan
- Salud Bagalso
- Amado Espino Jr
Alphaland president Mario Oreta is also included in the criminal investigation.
The Office of the Ombudsman's statement is limited to the undervalued sale, and does not mention alleged kickbacks for now.
In a statement, Binay's spokesperson Joey Salgado again hit Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales for "selective justice," an allegation that the latter had repeatedly categorically denied.
Salgado questioned how Morales can "find the time" to pursue the investigation against Binay, when the retiring Ombudsman said in recent interviews that the pork barrel scam cases will not be finished during her term for lack of time.
"Clearly, the Ombudsman intends to spend her last days in office pursuing her personal and political agenda against former VP Binay while being a true-blue Yellow protector to the end. It’s selective justice, pure and simple," Salgado said.
The opening of a criminal investigation was a result of a fact-finding investigation by the Field Investigation Office. – Rappler.com