NP: Noynoy broke the law during Cory’s term, Security agency bagged gov’t contracts
By Michael Lim Ubac
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Soon after Corazon Aquino became president, her son Benigno III or “Noynoy,” along with some relatives and friends, put up a security agency that obtained contracts from the government.
Then a private citizen, Noynoy Aquino listed the Arlegui residence of his mother located in the Malacañang compound as the business address of Best Security Agency (BSA), the Nacionalista Party (NP) charged.
“He committed a crime as the son of the president, while he was still in Malacañang,” said NP senatorial candidate Gilbert Remulla in a press conference on Monday.
In the same press conference, NP senatorial candidates Adel Tamano, Susan Ople and Col. Ariel Querubin, represented by his stepson Martin Loon, said Aquino and his relatives violated the Constitution and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, or Republic Act No. 3019, when they put up BSA in 1986.
They said the Constitution expressly prohibits relatives of the president from angling for government contracts.
“Senator Noynoy Aquino cannot claim to be untainted by graft and corruption because he helped incorporate a security agency that bagged contracts from the government during the presidency of his mother,” Remulla said.
In a press conference in Baliuag, Bulacan, last week, Aquino admitted being an incorporator of BSA but said that he divested from the company when his mother became president.
“If I were to have business dealings with the government, one of the most difficult would be through a security agency whose contracts are 99 percent with the private sector. If we were corrupt and we wanted to get rich from a security agency, we’d be lucky to get five percent from the gross profits,” Aquino said.
‘Blood of my father’
Aquino said he took the initiative and divested from the company during his mother’s term to avoid insinuations that he gave favors or had preferences.
“The blood of my father brought us to power. Will we ruin our father’s sacrifice for a few pieces of silver? I don’t think so,” he said.
But the NP said that Aquino was vice president from 1986 to 1993 of BSA which was headed by his uncle, Antolin Oreta Jr., who served as chair and president.
Oreta is the husband of former senator Tessie Aquino-Oreta who now sits as chair of the Early Child Care and Development Council with Cabinet rank in the Arroyo administration.
Other BSA officers were director-treasurer Cipriano Lacson, George Gaddi, Bienvenido Reyes, Alexander Lopez and Jacob Acuna.
Aquino has claimed in interviews that he was just an “employee” of the security agency and that he worked in its “back room.”
“Because of Aquino’s affiliation with Malacañang, BSA was able to obtain contracts to secure government offices and corporations, while also providing security for crony corporations of Kamag-Anak Inc.,” Remulla said.
Kamag-Anak Inc. refers to relatives of President Aquino who involved themselves in government business and transactions.
“Imagine the president’s son putting up a private company and using the official address of the president of the republic for the firm’s corporate registration papers,” Remulla said.
“So this is a serious matter that we hope, no, we demand, that the Liberal Party squarely address this time. These issues are factual which he (Aquino) should answer,” Tamano said.
In a statement, the NP said that “the true nature of BSA as a private army was revealed when Noynoy said during a sortie in Bulacan that they put up BSA as a response to the forces still loyal at the time to deposed President Ferdinand Marcos.”
“If BSA was tasked to help secure President Aquino at the time, then it was at the very least usurping a mandate that is the sole responsibility of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police,” the NP said.
The party said Aquino was not above the law and should be punished for crimes he committed when his mother was president. With a report from Gil Cabacungan