Ombudsman pursues criminal probe vs Binay over Boy Scouts deal

Lian Buan

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Ombudsman pursues criminal probe vs Binay over Boy Scouts deal
(UPDATED) Fact-finding investigators say the Boy Scouts of the Philippines sold its property in Makati for P600 million when its true value was P1.75 billion

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.

Tax loss

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.”

Others implicated

Aside from Binay, the following BSP officials will also undergo the investigation:

  1. Wendel Avisado
  2. Del de Guzman
  3. J. Miguel De Jesus
  4. Enrique Lagdameo
  5. Pedro Destura
  6. Dale Corvera
  7. Maximo Edralin Jr
  8. Remedios Petilla
  9. Roberto Pagdanganan
  10. Harmes Sembrano
  11. Mildred Garay
  12. Manuel Jose Dalipe
  13. Leo Lasacar
  14. Danilo Asiaten
  15. Lutgardo Barbo
  16. Jose Mari Pelaez
  17. Ireneo Aquino
  18. Jose Eduardo Delgado
  19. Henry Dy
  20. Jose Ma. Gastardo
  21. Pepito Carpio
  22. Nemesio Miranda Jr
  23. Jaime Semana
  24. Wilfredo Chato
  25. Alan Zulueta
  26. Jorge Banal
  27. Efren Edgard Dieta
  28. Rodolfo Tamani
  29. Von Carlo Yacob
  30. J. Rizal Pangilinan
  31. Salud Bagalso
  32. Amado Espino Jr

Alphaland president Mario Oreta is also included in the criminal investigation. 

Binay is accused of pocketing around P188.98 million from the deal, which the former vice president has repeatedly denied.

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.

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.