Binay Billions and Filipino Values

The Anti-Money Laundering Council revealed that Vice President Jejomar Binay, his wife, Dr. Elenita Binay, his son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and a few of their friends and allies have had a total of 242 bank accounts, securities, and insurance accounts. The Court of Appeals have frozen those assets. Rappler also reported that the Vice President’s son, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay’s wealth also didn’t match his income. The younger Binay succeeded his father as Mayor of Makati City in 2010. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that the assets examined by the Anti-Money Laundering Council totalled PHP16 Billion since 2008.

PHP16 Billion pesos can buy you approximately 1,600 Jollibee franchises (10M per franchise) or buy every Filipinos dinner or 7.2 million rice sacks, or one and a half Saint Luke’s Bonifacio Global City hospital, which is a 14 story 628 bed hospital, helipad and parking for 1,100 cars: 

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You can also opt to buy 1 million sari sari stores with 16 billion pesos. Sixteen billion pesos could also be used to fund 16,000 startups at 1 million pesos each startup. Seed funding earliest stage of venture capital funding and is implemented by such organisations like Y Combinator.

 

Sixteen billion pesos (PHP16B) can also be used to buy 2.8 million shares of Apple (USD126 per share) and would earn approximately PHP66 million worth of dividend (USD0.52 per share). 

In 2014, the rise of Mr. Binay’s wealth was examined by the Philippine Centre for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ). The PCIJ report is based on Vice President Jejomar Binay’s Statements of Assets and Liabilities. The PCIJ reported that Mr. Binay’s wealth grew 500 percent from PHP8.8 Million in 1993 to PHP 57.9 million in 2011. The PCIJ also reported that Mr. Binay received a total of PHP 231.5 million in campaign contributions. According to the Philippine Centre for Investigative Journalism, the Vice President only spent PHP 217.9 million for his campaign in 2010. This number is far fewer than the alleged accounts that the Anti-Money Laundering Council had examined. 

Two of Binay’s aides are billionaires, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. The one aide was named Gerardo “Gerry” Limlingan, Mr. Binay’s finance officer. The other is his longtime secretary Eduviges “Ebeng” Baloloy. Former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Solita Monsod about Ms. Balloon in a column about Mr. Binay’s alleged 242 accounts., “Only 19 accounts belonged to the Vice President’s”, Ms. Monsod wrote. “The interesting one,” she goes on, “is about the 53 accounts belonging to Eduviges Duenas Baloloy.”  Ms. Baloloy is the long time secretary of Mr. Binay. According to Ms. Monsod, Eduviges Baloloy is an executive assistant 4 with an annual income of PHP697,658. According to former secretary Monsod, Baloloy’s deposits range from “P550,000 and the largest was P100,000,000.”

The Vice President’s family and his political allies say this is an attack on them by the Liberal Party.  United Nationalist Alliance president Tobias Tiangco said, “If the AMLC is not being used by the Liberal Party, it should show proof that it also made an effort to look into the bank accounts of the administration allies who are also involved in large-scale corruption scandals and scam.” 

AMLAC countered that all cases filed have sufficient evidence.

The Binay Road to Power is long, deep and seemingly unstoppable. As Joe America take on the Binay empire goes like this, “The empire is built on a huge nation-wide network of sister cities. The count of Makati’s sister cities, or LGU’s (encompassing provinces, cities and municipalities), was tabulated at 334 in 2012, with some 235 additional LGUs in line  to sign up (Bacolodnons can avail Makati’s hospitalization, scholarships). The current number is unknown as the Makati web site is silent on this enterprise.”” It is this network, among other things, Mr. Binay hopes to use to win the Presidency. 

SWS survey says Mr. Binay as of March 15 is the preferred successor to President Aquino: 

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Pulse Asia says

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In a similar time frame, Pulse Asia looked into the most urgent national concern

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“If the Republic of the Philippines has filed a case against the Vice President of the Philippines, shouldn’t he at least resign from his Cabinet position? One only has to read the petition of the AMLC, to realize that there is now “hard evidence” against him. He should stop making a spectacle of himself, and answer the charges as best he can.” Solita Monsod

Where does this leave the Vice President? Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte says the Palace is leaving it to Mr. Binay to decide whether he wants to stay in the President’s cabinet. The President as early as late last year has been on record to say, Mr. Binay is “free to leave” at anytime. As of this writing over two thousand people have signed a petition asking Vice President Binay to resign amidst this scandal. At the end of the day, the question is less about Jejomar Binay than what Filipinos value. When the preferred successor to President Aquino is not yet even president, and is embroiled in a corruption scandal, and eventually succeeds him, what does that say about what Filipinos value?

 

Image credit: Jejomar Binay 2009” by Mike Gonzalez (TheCoffee) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Cocoy Dayao

Cocoy is the Chief Technology Officer of Lab Rats Technica, a Digital Consulting company that specialises in DevOps, iOS, and Web Apps, E-Commerce sites, Cybersecurity and Social Media consulting. He is a technology enthusiast, political junkie and social observer who enjoys a good cup of coffee, comic books, and tweets as @cocoy on twitter.

Cocoy is also the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of the ProPinoy Project.

Cocoy considers himself to be Liberal.