POSTSCRIPT / November 4, 2014 / Tuesday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Opinion Columnist

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FilAm group wants Binay out, Roxas in

MOTIVES: Why did Francisco Wenceslao, president of the Philippine Anticorruption Movement USA, Inc. (Pamusa), write that letter (see last Sunday’s Postscript*) warning Vice President Jojo Binay of the dire consequences of amassing ill-gotten wealth? http://manilamail.com/archive/2014nov/14nov02/

We can discern the motives of Wenceslao by reading his follow-up letter emailed to a Greg Mariano Jr. and shared with the Internet crowd. As we did with his first open letter warning Binay, we run below in full his second letter:

* * *

I CONFIRM to have written the letter that originally came out as “An Open Letter to Vice President Binay”. FYI, I’m receiving favorable feedbacks about the letter which you’re free to reprint in any PA publication that will carry it. At the same, could you please recruit more supporters now that Pamusa is a serious institution.

“As to the ultimate fate of Vice President Jojo Binay, based on Pamusa’s research and studies of the international cooperation agreements against corruption (ICAACs) such as the UNCAC, OECD, etc. and the PHL-USA Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty that permits cross-border investigation, indictment, arrest, prosecution of corrupt public officials including trial in the US and imprisonment if found guilty, Binay should make the greatest political decision of his life soon or he’s facing multiplicity of criminal charges both in the Philippines and the US. Surely, he doesn’t want to be like dismissed CJ Renato Corona who could end his career in the most disgraceful way in jail for tax evasion and unexplained wealth.

* * *

“LET ME cite the fates of Panama’s ex-President Manuel Noriega, Ukraine’s ex-PM Pavlo Lazarenko, Guatemala’s ex-President Alfonso Portillo, others disgraced government officials and foreign drug traffickers who committed crimes at home that were also punishable in the US.

“Recall President George H.W. Bush’s invasion of Panama and Noriega’s arrest and jailing which also happened to Lazarenko and Portillo. However, Lazarenko fled to the U.S. to escape the ire of his people and was arrested in San Francisco, tried and convicted and is now in U.S. jail. Portillo was indicted which he fought to no avail, was tried for corruption, money laundering, etc. and convicted and also now in U.S. jail.

“The ICAACs legitimized the US practice of cross-border arrest of foreigners that can now be done to Filipino citizens and corporations (accountable officers) who violated Philippine anticorruption laws similar to and also punishable in the US that oftentimes extend to violation of related laws.”

* * *

“UNDER these difficult circumstances Binay is in, my advice with copy to him, Makati Mayor Binay Jr., and Sen. Nancy Binay is for the Vice President to give up his aspirations for the presidency and announce his all-out support for the most likely successor of President Aquino –- maybe Mar Roxas who’s probably the most decent and best prepared presidential aspirant. Pamusa’s FilAm supporters are overwhelmingly for Roxas remembering his giving way to Aquino.

“Besides, Pamusa is now forming an international anticorruption team patterned after the World Bank’s International Corruption Hunters Alliance (ICHA) with world-class investigators of organized crime in preparation that next year the G20 Summit may finally add to the ICAACs a mandate for the government concerned to close safe havens for tax and illicit assets in its jurisdiction and territories like the British Virgin Islands, the Caymans, etc. or face sanctions of the remaining G20 members and affiliates.

“Mrs. Imelda Marcos, her children and Kokoy Romualdez’s heirs should carefully consider this, lest they wake up one day and the government of the country where their safe haven is located seizes the remaining Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth.”

* * *

“PAMUSA is likewise finalizing a mode of negotiating ill-gotten wealth settlement from the proceeds of corruption pending commitment of funding by big Philippine businesses which are considering if they will be spared from investigation and forensic auditing of their incredible growth of corporate assets and net worth of the controlling ownership.

“This will be offered to Roxas so that his promise to effectively and meaningfully fight graft and corruption which will still the No. 1 issue in the 2016 campaign is firmly founded.

“We’ll insist as a condition of Pamusa and me helping in the settlement of corruption of both government officials and private businessmen begin even before the 2016 elections.

“I know Jojo Binay loves this country as everyone and I do. I don’t want him to suffer the same way the really criminally inclined should suffer their due punishment.”

* * *

NOW, DRILON: The filing of plunder charges against Senate President Franklin Drilon et al. alleging, among other crimes, overpricing of the Iloilo convention center has triggered questions similar to those asked of Binay and an allegedly overpriced parking building in Makati.

Like Antonio Pigafetta (kantanod88) asks in an email: “With plunder and graft charges filed against SenPres Drilon, will his allies say again ‘He is innocent until proven guilty’? Will the following show the same rabid aggressiveness to ferret out ‘the truth’ — Morales, De Lima/NBI, Henares, Cayetano, Trillanes, Pimentel, AMLAC, COA, Cong Erice and Palace spokespersons?

“Will they investigate, call the businessmen and contractors involved, make an ocular inspection with media and allot a marathon inquiry and include his immediate family? Will they garnish his bank accounts? I’m not holding my breath.”

(First published in the Philippine STAR of November 4, 2014)

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