Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Opposition mayor Binay Suspended by DILG

(UPDATED and bumped up)

Background From the Malaya Editorial:

Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay has been accused by perennial mayoral loser Bobby Brillante of hiring ghost employees. Binay understandably wants to know what the charges are all about. He is asking for a "bill of particulars" so he can prepare his defense to the charges.

The interior department has not deigned to answer Binay. Yesterday Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita confirmed that Binay is under investigation by the DILG. Ermita, however, also could not say what the charge is against Binay.

Perhaps the Binay case has not reached the table of Ermita, thus, the latter’s claimed ignorance about the charges.

Binay, however, recalls that the Brillante complaint has been forwarded by the DILG to the Palace, the latter being the body authorized by the Local Government Code to administratively suspend city mayors.

Binay said Malacañang asked him on Sept. 1 to reply to the complaint. Binay said he has submitted documentary proof of the employment details of those mentioned in Brillante’s complaint.

In the meantime, Binay fears that his suspension is just around the corner. So he has gone to the Court of Appeals to seek a temporary restraining order against any planned suspension order.

Binay may be showing signs of paranoia. The pattern of harassment of opposition local officials, however, cannot be ignored.

Paranoia? Not anymore.

From Ellen Tordesillas.

Amidst tension in Makati, Local Government Undersecretary Wencelito Andanar served the suspension order on Makati Mayor Binay, his vice mayor and all the 16 councilors at about 6 a.m.

They have designated Rodolfo Ferraren, official of the national capital region, as officer-in-charge.

Binay refused to personally receive the suspension order. Andanar merely pasted it in front of the City Hall.

Binay’s suspension, which stemmed from allegations filed by Vice Mayor Roberto Brillantes that he employed ghost employees, comes after the suspension of Pasay Mayor Peewee Trinidad and his vice mayor. Both Binay and Trinidad are with the opposition.

Binay, who is in military fatigues, said they have filed a petition before the Court of Appeals. He further said he will not vacate the Makati City Hall.

Makati City Hall was surrounded by Philippine National Police. A text from a Binay supporter said,”We protest the Gestapo style of serving suspension of Binay. All opposition mayors will be removed. Stand before Ninoy statue and know that you are not alone. May God help us.”

MLQ3 comments:

Like a train wreck in slow motion, it finally happened: the entire Makati City government has fallen, a regime change on a scale not seen since the aftermath of the 1986 Edsa Revolution, when local officials were dismissed wholesale. There was certainly plenty of time to prepare the public for what was going to happen. The timing is perfect, beating the prohibition on suspensions that takes effect 90 days before the start of the campaign period (in January). Philippine Commentary says this is all a Ronnie Puno power play.

From DJ Bocobo: "President Cory Aquino has expressed her support for Jojo Binay, vouching for his integrity."

Anyway, there is an interesting article from the Phil. Star (will not be confused as an anti GMA newspaper) back in July 2005.

GMA ALLIES LAUNCH 'OPLAN SAVE THE QUEEN' COUNTER-PROPAGANDA

MANILA, July 13, 2005 (STAR) By Perseus Echeminada - A plan to counter and neutralize the negative reports and publicity swirling around the Arroyo presidency is reportedly being launched by the President’s allies, a source close to Malacañang told The STAR yesterday.

Dubbed "Operation Plan Save the Queen," the strategy includes mobilizing pro-Arroyo supporters for rallies in support of the beleaguered Chief Executive and conducting a massive information campaign on the "real issues" affecting the country.

"Our first priority is to save the Queen," the source said, referring to Mrs. Arroyo, though he refused to give further details.

But another political officer disclosed that one million pro-Arroyo supporters will converge at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila as a counter-display of force to the rallies organized by the opposition and other anti-Arroyo groups, especially the mammoth rally scheduled in Makati City this week.

Oplan Save the Queen was launched just as the Campaign for Public Accountability (CPA), a multicultural group, filed an urgent motion before the Ombudsman to resolve the multimillion-peso graft charges filed against Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, the chairman of the United Opposition seeking the ouster of the President.

In its motion, the CPA, headed by Bobby Brillantes, was seeking the immediate resolution of the P662-million graft and plunder cases filed against Binay. The cases were based on Commission on Audit (COA) reports dated April 19, 2002 and Sept. 24, 2004.

Francis Reyes, CPA spokesman, however, denied that the filing of the urgent motion was linked with Oplan Save the Queen. He said it’s just a coincidence that they are seeking resolution of the graft cases at the same time Oplan Save the Queen was being hatched.

"We are a neutral group, we are not part of the Oplan Save the Queen," Reyes emphasized, adding that their group is just carrying out its mission to help the government fight graft and corruption.

Pro-administration politicians also began their own exposé on the alleged irregularities committed by personalities identified with groups calling for the President’s resignation.

The STAR source said it is ironic that while some of the opposition leaders are crying for the ouster of Mrs. Arroyo, they themselves were also involved in irregular transactions, both in their public and private lives.

"We want to expose their true motives in seeking the ouster of the President," the source said.

They've begun their "exposes" last year to counter the GLORIAGATE legitimacy scandal, and now that the elections are near, the timing for bringing this up again could not have been more perfect. isi-isa na nilang tinutuloyan ang opposition.

And "neutral group" my ass!

Order for Binay's suspension served

From Ellen Tordesillas.

Amidst tension in Makati, Local Government Undersecretary Wencelito Andanar served the suspension order on Makati Mayor Binay, his vice mayor and all the 16 councilors at about 6 a.m.

They have designated Rodolfo Ferraren, official of the national capital region, as officer-in-charge.

Binay refused to personally receive the suspension order. Andanar merely pasted it in front of the City Hall.

Binay’s suspension, which stemmed from allegations filed by Vice Mayor Roberto Brillantes that he employed ghost employees, comes after the suspension of Pasay Mayor Peewee Trinidad and his vice mayor. Both Binay and Trinidad are with the opposition.

Binay, who is in military fatigues, said they have filed a petition before the Court of Appeals. He further said he will not vacate the Makati City Hall.

Makati City Hall was surrounded by Philippine National Police. A text from a Binay supporter said,”We protest the Gestapo style of serving suspension of Binay. All opposition mayors will be removed. Stand before Ninoy statue and know that you are not alone. May God help us.”

MLQ3 comments:

Like a train wreck in slow motion, it finally happened: the entire Makati City government has fallen, a regime change on a scale not seen since the aftermath of the 1986 Edsa Revolution, when local officials were dismissed wholesale. There was certainly plenty of time to prepare the public for what was going to happen. The timing is perfect, beating the prohibition on suspensions that takes effect 90 days before the start of the campaign period (in January). Philippine Commentary says this is all a Ronnie Puno power play.

From DJ Bocobo: "President Cory Aquino has expressed her support for Jojo Binay, vouching for his integrity."

Anyway, there is an interesting article from the Phil. Star (will not be confused as an anti GMA newspaper) back in July 2005.

GMA ALLIES LAUNCH 'OPLAN SAVE THE QUEEN' COUNTER-PROPAGANDA

MANILA, July 13, 2005 (STAR) By Perseus Echeminada - A plan to counter and neutralize the negative reports and publicity swirling around the Arroyo presidency is reportedly being launched by the President’s allies, a source close to Malacañang told The STAR yesterday.

Dubbed "Operation Plan Save the Queen," the strategy includes mobilizing pro-Arroyo supporters for rallies in support of the beleaguered Chief Executive and conducting a massive information campaign on the "real issues" affecting the country.

"Our first priority is to save the Queen," the source said, referring to Mrs. Arroyo, though he refused to give further details.

But another political officer disclosed that one million pro-Arroyo supporters will converge at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila as a counter-display of force to the rallies organized by the opposition and other anti-Arroyo groups, especially the mammoth rally scheduled in Makati City this week.

Oplan Save the Queen was launched just as the Campaign for Public Accountability (CPA), a multicultural group, filed an urgent motion before the Ombudsman to resolve the multimillion-peso graft charges filed against Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, the chairman of the United Opposition seeking the ouster of the President.

In its motion, the CPA, headed by Bobby Brillantes, was seeking the immediate resolution of the P662-million graft and plunder cases filed against Binay. The cases were based on Commission on Audit (COA) reports dated April 19, 2002 and Sept. 24, 2004.

Francis Reyes, CPA spokesman, however, denied that the filing of the urgent motion was linked with Oplan Save the Queen. He said it’s just a coincidence that they are seeking resolution of the graft cases at the same time Oplan Save the Queen was being hatched.

"We are a neutral group, we are not part of the Oplan Save the Queen," Reyes emphasized, adding that their group is just carrying out its mission to help the government fight graft and corruption.

Pro-administration politicians also began their own exposé on the alleged irregularities committed by personalities identified with groups calling for the President’s resignation.

The STAR source said it is ironic that while some of the opposition leaders are crying for the ouster of Mrs. Arroyo, they themselves were also involved in irregular transactions, both in their public and private lives.

"We want to expose their true motives in seeking the ouster of the President," the source said.

They've begun their "exposes" last year to counter the GLORIAGATE legitimacy scandal, and now that the elections are near, the timing for bringing this up again could not have been more perfect. isi-isa na nilang tinutuloyan ang opposition.

MORE Thoughts on the suspension: Wawa naman si binay. First, Binay’s aide pablito glean got killed by an assassin’s bullet.

Now this.

ini-isa isa ng administration ang mga opposition… ng ombudsman. lol. pero sila nani perez, mike arroyo at joc joc bolante, ayaw pakialaman ni mercy gutz.

Solon raps Ombudsman on GMA’s big fish getaway

By Dona Policar and Sherwin C. Olaes

10/13/2006

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who is still reeling from strident public criticism over her absolution from any criminal liability of Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials, led by their chief, Benjamin Abalos Sr., was yesterday again rapped by opposition congressmen for her office’s continued inaction on the $2-billion extortion case, related to a bribe offer from an Argentine independent power producer, Impsa, filed against then Justice Secretary Hernando Perez by a Manila congressman.

House Minority Leader Francis Escudero brought this issue up during yesterday’s budget hearing delving into the Ombudsman’s budget for 2007.

At the same time, the congressman lashed at the Office of the Ombudsman for employing double standards in pursuing graft and administrative cases against government officials, especially when the official is not an administration ally.

The Ombudsman was also given more dressing down by the minority leader for not doing her job — fighting corruption — pointing to the cases where her office failed to act on various issues, particularly the multimillion fertilizer scam, and for coming up with an incredible resolution absolving from any criminal, administrative and civil liability all officials of the Comelec and the Mega Pacific consortium on the controversial poll automation project.

During the deliberations, Escudero said Perez’s case had been filed a long time ago and continues to remain pending before the Office of the Ombudsman, but to this day, there has been no resolution issued.

There are many people like Capalla and Bong Austero who say, "let's move on" na. But if you settle on that kind of mentality, especially against this corrupt and amoral administration, you allow them to recover and survive. And one of these days, iisa isahin ka ng administration (but maybe not you Bong), until all anti-Arroyo people are either dead, in jail, cowed or bought off.

Another thought: I guess pidal’s boy mr. lito lapid don't have to run for mayor in makati anymore huh? because the heavy political lifting has already been done by the ombudsman and the DILG to remove binay from his office and inflict severe damage on him politically.

UDPATE: More from Dean Bocobo:

14:20 Excellent comments from House Minority Leader Francis "Chiz" Escudero: (1) Unlike all the other Mayors that have recently been suspended by the DILG, who were suspended by orders from the Sandiganbayan or Ombudsman's office, the order of preventive suspension against Mayor Jojo Binay came directly from the Office of the President; (2) Unlike all those other Mayors, Binay will apparently be replaced by a non-elected person who doesn't even live in the City of Makati, NCR Regional Director Rodolfo Ferraren. The latter tried to call a meeting of Department Heads to get the business of the country's premiere business district going. But no one showed up. (3) The preventive suspension may actually be illegal and irregular since "the issues have not been joined" since the suspension order does not identify WHO the alleged ghost employees are, and merely lists 600 names with the allegation that "some of these" are ghost employees.

UPDATE: I expect the DILG to want to give the appearance of evenhandedness by nailing an expendable pro-administration mayor next. But taking down the opposition leader binay was the big prize.

From the Tribune Editorial:

The elite in Makati may not be enamored with Binay, but there is grave doubt that they would want him replaced this way, and by a no brainer such as Lito Lapid, who is not even from Makati. And to think that Binay is being ordered suspended by Gloria on the strength of an ex-councilor (who can’t even legitimately win a seat) Bobby Brilliantes’ complaint of ghost employees who have not even been identified!

In other words, on the basis of a complaint by Brilliantes charging Binay with having hired ghost employees, he promptly gets suspended, and in the meantime, the administration goes into an investigation to the charges.

If such is the manner by which a duly elected mayor gets suspended, then anyone can file any trumped-up charge against him and expect him to be suspended. Is this what is called probable cause, or is it all a matter of a prostituted cause that Gloria again wants to force through?

And Bobby Brillantes has been at it against Binay since the late eighties pa! LMAO!

From Ernesto Maceda:

The Malacañang/DILG investigation centers on former Councilor Bobby Brillante’s charge that Binay, Mercado and the city councilors hired ghost employees. The theory here is that the local officials pocketed the salary of the ghost employees on the payroll which amounts to a measly sum.

Considering that Brillante has accused Binay and the councilors with overpricing purchases in the hundreds of millions, it doesn’t make sense to go into a ghost employee scam involving only thousands of pesos which is easily detectable.

Besides, Brillantes has not identified the alleged ghost employees. Just like the “aswang” in Guimaras, this is a ghostly, if not ghastly, suspension.

Thirteen out of 17 Metro Manila mayors have pending cases before the Ombudsman but only those against opposition Mayors Peewee Trinidad and Jojo Binay are being taken up. Now the Commission on Audit (CoA) is reviewing all the contracts signed by San Juan Mayor J.V. Ejercito. Manila Vice Mayor Danilo Lacuna, another opposition leader, revealed that he is also under investigation.

None of administration mayors’ cases has been pursued, including Caloocan City Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri who has 16 pending cases.

If people get the impression na ang mga oposisyon lang ang tinatarget, you cannot fault them for that..

Like i said before, many of the anti-GMA people who listened to the calls of Bong Austero and Capalla to "move on" na lang have been duped. they said na if we just "shut up" about arroyo and politics, this country will be able to move forward na.

Well, it didn't happen. but it allowed this administration, who has been on the ropes and on the defensive since the legitimacy crisis came out, a chance to recover and reconstitute it's defenses.

now, they are back on their usual attack mode, a familiar mode since 2001-2004 nung siniraan ng admin sila ping (via corpus, rosebud, blanquita), FPJ (manapat's forged documents), and roco (deped scandal smear).

(The latest targets are Ellen Tordesillas and Jejomar Binay.)

you may be tired of politics, bong. but the arroyo admin and politics are not tired of you. (ay, nakalimutan ko pala, maka-arroyo ka, so you don't count. kami lang ang nasa delikadong posisyon)

This is interesting:

The Manila mayor is said to have 80 cases pending in the various courts including the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan, and three of the cases are for implementation and over three years old now. Yet, he has not been put under preventive suspension until now. Caloocan Mayor Enrico Echiverri is reputed to have the most number of cases and, like Gov. Ayong Malicsi of Cavite who also had a number of cases, was scheduled to be suspended until they swore in to Glue’s party. Lito Lapid has a string of cases but being with Glue’s party has spared him any problems. Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay was not even given the five days due to appeal.

UPDATE: Read this too.

JB Baylon: "Jejomar Binay now feels the wrath of a woman scorned. A critic of Fidel Ramos when Ramos was in office, Binay was never treated the way he is being treated now under the administration of a president he would love to see ousted and who just as equally would love to see him ousted in turn.

I have said it once, I will say it again: this government has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for throwing the book at political opponents and the small fry, while protecting their loyal followers and key allies. Whether it is the Secretary of Justice or the Ombudsman, the PNP or the NBI – the wheels of justice turn only a certain way, while the eyes of Justice turn away!"

The PDI Editorial: Putsch in Makati

UPDATE: Para fair and balanced, here's what the other side is saying. Read the comments section too, where many arroyo defenders and pro-arroyo's congregate.

Two words pop out of my mind: breathtaking hypocrisy

2 comments:

Lord Dracula said...

Tatakbo pa rin si Lapid, at mapapadali panalo nya kasi wala na si Binay.

Kawawa si Brillantes, ginamit lang sya, pero hindi sya ang susuportahan ng admin next year (kung may election). Tsk tsk. Nakaganti man sya kay Binay, talo pa rin sya sa huli.

john marzan said...

thanks for the info, lord.

brillantes is such a tool.