Junjun Binay files libel case vs Trillanes for bribery claims

Katerina Francisco

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Junjun Binay files libel case vs Trillanes for bribery claims
The Makati mayor says Senator Trillanes' 'damaging and ruinous' claims were prompted by 'ill will and spite,' with no factual basis

MANILA, Philippines – Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr filed a libel complaint against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for accusing the Binay family of paying off Court of Appeals (CA) justices to issue resolutions in their favor. 

Binay filed the complaint before the Office of the Makati City Prosecutor on Monday, April 13, the same day Trillanes said two justices of the appellate court’s 6th division received a total of P50 million to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a writ of preliminary injunction stopping the Ombudsman’s preventive suspension against the Makati mayor.

In his libel complaint, Binay cited public statements made by Trillanes and quotes attributed to him in a report published in the April 8 issue of The Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Trillanes was quoted as saying that the Binays were “part of a syndicate” that has committed various anomalies.

The Makati mayor added that the senator made the statements “despite the utter lack of evidence.” 

“The damaging and ruinous claims spewed out by respondent Trillanes are mere concoctions and fabrications with no other purpose than to malign, discredit, ruin my reputation and besmirch my good name as well as that of my family,” Binay said.

He added that Trillanes’ statements “were prompted by ill will and spite inasmuch as they have no factual basis whatsoever” and were intended to injure his reputation.

Citing “reliable sources privy to the matter,” Trillanes on Monday said CA justices Jose Reyes Jr and Francisco Acosta were given money through lawyer Pancho Villaraza to issue resolutions favoring the Binay camp.

The CA Sixth Division denied Trillanes’ claims, adding that the senator’s “baseless accusations” were a form of “harassment” that sought to threaten the justices for performing their duties.

In his complaint, Binay also pointed out that Trillanes did not present credible proof when asked by reporters about the factual basis of his claims.

Binay said the senator merely cited his use of “intelligence,” a term used in the military for information gathered for “decision-making.”

The Makati mayor said Trillanes’ statements violate Article 355 in relation to Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code.

Libel is defined in the Code as “public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.”

Trillanes first insinuated last week that the Binays bought the injunction the CA issued upholding its TRO on Binay’s suspension.

In a statement on Tuesday, April 14, the Binays’ spokesperson Rico Quicho said Trillanes’ statements showed that the senator “has absolutely no respect for the principle of due process, and the equality of the three branches of government.”

“He is willing to sacrifice the pillars of democracy and due process before the altar of political expediency,” Quicho said.

“Senator Trillanes should stop acting that he is above the law and should realize that the rule of law still prevails,” he added. – Rappler.com


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