#AnimatED: Jojo Binay’s unexplained wealth
For the past 2 weeks, the bank accounts of Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, his financial adviser, Gerardo “Gerry” Limlingan, and secretary, Eduviges “Ebeng” Baloloy, among many other associates and supposed dummies, have been frozen, as ordered by the Court of Appeals (CA).
(Here is the redacted court order, without the bank account numbers.)
Given a window of 6 months, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) will have until about mid-November to probe into the 242 bank accounts.
But before the appellate court issued the freeze order, the AMLC had already done its homework and presented a detailed and substantial case, showing “probable cause” that these bank accounts are “related to violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act… and Plunder…which are unlawful activities under…the Anti-Money Laundering Act."
The 130-page petition submitted to the CA, which now forms part of court records, shows unimaginably huge deposits, withdrawals, and investments, some reaching billions of pesos—way beyond the declared incomes of VP Binay, Limlingan and Baloloy.
Apart from Binay, we are focusing on Limlingan and Baloloy because these are key personalities in the Vice President’s financial web. He has joint accounts with either of them and these have been reported by the AMLC to be engaged in multi-million-peso and –dollar transactions. Both Limlingan and Baloloy also have joint accounts which, like their individual accounts, show very large amounts of deposits and withdrawals.
Limlingan and Baloloy have known Binay for decades. In a statement, the Yorac law firm said that Limlingan’s “association with the Vice President dates back to the 1970s.”
For her part, Baloloy is a distant relative of Binay and has been his personal secretary since 1986, when he became officer-in-charge of Makati after the EDSA People Power revolution.
Let’s start with the basic facts.
Limlingan, according to the Land Bank’s client information referred to in the freeze order, received an income of P30 million in 2011 and 2012.
Baloloy’s declared source of income is her employment with Makati City Hall. Her annual salary, according to recent SALNS referred to in court records, rose from P266,948 in 2006 to P434,332 in 2009. Her net worth remained relatively steady, from P2.03 million in 2006 to P2.4 million in 2009.
Range samples of their transactions with their incomes. Here are some of them:
- From 2009 to 2014, VP Binay, in his individual accounts in several banks, made “large and frequent” deposits in amounts not lower than P2.5 million to a high of P25 million. The AMLC computed a total of “at least P263.97 million” in deposits and “at least P266.73 million” in withdrawals. “These are not commensurate to VP Binay’s declared income in his SALNs,” the AMLC said. “There is a wide gap between his legitimate income and his total bank deposits.” The AMLC continued, “Thus, the amounts transacted originated from illicit and/or undeclared activities.”
- The accounts of Limlingan and Baloloy, “made jointly or with other individuals allegedly associated with VP Binay,” show a volume of P2.8 billion in investments, deposits and withdrawals from August 2014 to January 2015.
- In a startling single transaction in September 2010, Limlingan made a P2-billion “regular trust fund placement/investment” with the Rizal Commercial and Banking Corporation.
- Deposits in the joint accounts of Binay and Limlingan reached a total of P29.18 million and withdrawals of almost the same amount, P29.15 million. These transactions took place in 2008 and 2012.
All these boggle the mind. The big ask is: Where did Binay, Limlingan and Baloloy get all their wealth?
We cannot be content with the explanation of Representative Abigail Binay that the joint accounts of her father and Limlingan were sourced from campaign funds. Transactions took place in 2008, 2 years before the 2010 vice-presidential campaign, and in 2012, 4 years before the 2016 presidential campaign.
Foreign transactions originating from the joint accounts of Binay and Limlingan were recorded in 2013 and 2014, way before next year’s campaign.
So far, Binay’s camp has blamed the messenger, accusing the AMLC of being used for partisan purposes.
The leading presidential candidate has a lot of explaining to do. He may try to wiggle out of this by crying political harassment , that he’s being singled out because he’s ahead in the polls. That is a tired refrain.
Binay wants our vote in 2016; we expect him to give us straight and factual answers, nothing less. – Rappler.com