Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 03 January 2018

Rozier steals spotlight, leads Celtics past Cavaliers

Terry Rozier #12 of the Boston Celtics celebrates after hitting a three point shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first quarter at TD Garden on January 3, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP
BOSTON — One by one, the Boston Celtics lined up to embrace Isaiah Thomas.
The next time they see their former teammate, he probably won’t be in a hoodie after watching the game from the bench.
And it won’t be so easy.
Terry Rozier scored 20 points in 20 minutes, stealing the spotlight from Thomas, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals and leading the Celtics to a 102-88 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Thomas received a standing ovation from the Boston fans but did not play one night after making his season debut in a return from a hip injury. Rozier made sure to pay his respects, and Thomas told the third-year Celtics guard he was proud of him.
“When I first came in the league, that’s a guy that I watched a lot. The little things he did on and off the court. Like a big brother to me,” Rozier said. “Just to hear those words from him, I’m happy that he’s on his way back — so I can guard him in February.”
Rozier scored the last eight Boston points of the first quarter to give the Celtics an 11-point lead, and had another eight in a row midway through the fourth when they expanded the lead to 21. Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum had 15 points apiece, and Irving and Al Horford each had 11 points and nine rebounds to help Boston to its fourth straight win.
James had 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists on 8-for-15 shooting — the only starter to make more than half of his shots on a team that scored a season-low 88 points.
“Against LeBron, there’s nobody that can guard him the whole game. So you have to throw as many bodies at him as you can,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “And then pray.”
Tristan Thompson had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland, which lost for the fourth time in five games. Playing on back-to-back nights — the Celtics had been preparing for them since New Year’s Eve — Cleveland shot 34.8 percent.
It was the first time the teams had played since the season opener, when top Boston free-agent Gordon Hayward broke his leg in a gruesome injury that reshuffled the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Celtics finished with the top seed last year, but lost in the conference finals to Cleveland.
And so much has happened since then.

Thomas was traded for Irving, then missed the first 36 games of the season with a hip injury before making his season debut on Tuesday night. In that time, he stewed over his departure from Boston, where he developed into an All-Star and fan favorite.
“I don’t know who we are or who we can be until we get I.T. back consistently,” James said. “Until we get a full dosage of I.T. … we’re trying to figure things out. But we’ll be fine.”
The Celtics scored seven straight points midway through the first quarter to turn a one-point deficit into a 15-9 lead. They ran off the last five points of the quarter — all by Rozier — on a tip-in and a 27-foot 3-pointer just before the buzzer that made it 32-21.
DOUBLE TEAMS
With the Cavaliers double-teaming their longtime point guard for much of the game, Irving was held under 20 points for the first time since Dec. 10, a span of 11 games.
“Every time he gets doubled, I’m thinking of ways I can help him out, scoring,” Rozier said. “He opened up the game for a lot of us.”
WELCOME HOME
Thomas made his first appearance at the new Boston Garden since the trade, but he did not play. Although he had expressed shock at the trade and held a grudge toward Danny Ainge, who orchestrated it, the relationship between him and the Boston fans remains unblemished. (Thomas also said on Wednesday that he had mended fences with Ainge .)
Thomas, who asked the Celtics not to play a video tribute, saying he would prefer to be honored when he was actually playing, got a cheer from the crowd when he joined his teammates on the bench late in the first quarter and made a brief appearance on the video board.
At the break, cameras again showed Thomas. And this time, the crowd rose to its feet for a standing ovation. The Cavs guard pounded his heart three times, smiled and gave a little wave before returning to his seat for the start of the second quarter.
HAPPY TO BE BACK
Thomas said he has a long way to go before he feels like himself on the court. But after his seven-month absence, he said playing Tuesday night against Portland was one of the most special moments of his career.
“There’s still movements that I’m scared to do. But it’s just because I’ve been out for so long,” he said. “For the most part when you get hurt the mental part is the toughest part. My wind isn’t there. I’m not in that good of a shape. Obviously my game isn’t where I want it to be, but it showed a positive step in the right direction that I’m not far where I want to be.”
TIP-INS
Cavaliers: Kevin Love left the game early in the fourth quarter with a right ankle sprain. He finished with two points and five rebounds in 21, going 1-for-11 from the floor and missing all four 3-point attempts.. … Jae Crowder also made his first trip to Boston as a visiting player. He finished with six points and nine rebound son 2-for-12 shooting. … The Cavaliers are 14-4 over the last 18 matchups against Boston, including two playoff series.
Celtics: Seen in the crowd: Gymnast Aly Raisman, Red Sox manager Alex Cora, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, Patriots Dion Lewis and James White and former Patriot Troy Brown. … Aron Baynes limped to the locker room in the second quarter but returned. He finished with six points.
UP NEXT
Cavaliers: Visit the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
Celtics: Host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
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With Ginebra or Alab, Justin Brownlee loves the Philippines, and the feeling is mutual

BACK IN PH. After knocking down back-to-back triples for Alab Pilipinas, Brownlee was showered with "Ginebra" chants from the sizable crowd. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines - Justin Brownlee is not supposed to return to the Philippines until the end of the PBA’s All-Filipino Cup but he has no problems being back to the “greatest place I’ve played in the world.”

Brownlee made his ASEAN Basketball League debut in fine fashion after submitting 29 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and two blocks to power Alab Pilipinas in a 90-79 win over the Westports Malaysia Dragons on Wednesday, January 3.

At 29 years old, Brownlee is already a veteran in the international basketball scene, having played in Italy, Mexico and France before being one of the cornerstones of Ginebra’s back-to-back Governors’ Cup titles in the last two years.

As far as Brownlee is concerned, nothing compares to playing here in the Philippines.

“We need to talk to Gilas and tell me to sign them up for the national team. Just joking, just joking. I love it here man. It’s the greatest place I’ve played in the world,” said the former St John’s University stalwart.

“You know, playing in Europe and in the States for a couple of years but I just love it here and the fans are great. They love me and I love them back. Whenever I have the opportunity to play, I’ll definitely try to see and take that opportunity.”

As one of the most beloved imports in the PBA, Brownlee received the same admiration he gets when he dons the Barangay Ginebra jersey.

After knocking down back-to-back triples that gave Alab a 66-63 lead late in the third quarter—and catapulting Pilipinas to a game-clinching run in the fourth period—Brownlee was showered with “Ginebra” chants from the sizeable crowd at the Arena in San Juan.

“That was very special. I know I’m here in Alab, this is a great team, a great organization and a great company and everything and have great sponsors. It’s always going to feel great to hear that chant no matter where I am,” Brownlee said. – Rappler.com

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Ombudsman dismisses Mabilog anew

Jed Patrick Mabilog was found guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service in connection with a towing services agreement the city government entered into in 2015 with a firm he allegedly owned, according to a decision recently signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. Mabilog Facebook Page/File
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman has issued another dismissal order against former Iloilo City mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

Mabilog was found guilty of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service in connection with a towing services agreement the city government entered into in 2015 with a firm he allegedly owned, according to a decision recently signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

The ombudsman also ordered Mabilog’s perpetual disqualification from holding public office, forfeiture of his retirement benefits and cancellation of his civil service eligibility.

Since Mabilog is no longer in service, the dismissal order is convertible to a fine equivalent to his salary for one year, the ombudsman’s public information and media relations bureau said.

Graft probers said the city government entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with 3L Towing Services in April 2015 after the city council approved an ordinance that required the use of a wheel towing clamp as part of its towing operation.

Under the MOA, 70 percent of the collected fines will be given to 3L.

Former councilor Plaridel Nava II, who filed the complaint, said Mabilog owned 3L, adding that the company’s proprietress, Leny Garcia, was only a dummy owner.

Nava admitted that he approached Garcia to serve as Mabilog’s dummy, on the former mayor’s instruction “to look for someone we could trust.”

The ombudsman had earlier ordered the filing of graft charges against Mabilog and Nava before the Sandiganbayan over the towing deal.

The first dismissal order against Mabilog was issued last October after he was found guilty of serious dishonesty over his alleged questionable wealth amounting to P8.9 million.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government served the dismissal order on Oct. 30. Mabilog was replaced by Vice Mayor Jose Espinosa III.

In November, the Court of Appeals junked the petition of Mabilog to nullify the ombudsman ruling on technical grounds.

Mabilog, whom President Duterte linked to the illegal drug trade, has yet to return to the country after he left for a conference on disaster management in Japan last August.

On Christmas Eve, he posted a photo of his family on Facebook with a Christmas greeting. – With Jennifer Rendon

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Cargo vessel sinks; 9 rescued

Police and Coast Guard personnel prepare to conduct search and rescue operations for crewmembers of a cargo ship that capsized off Northern Samar on Tuesday in this photo provided by the PCG-Eastern Visayas.
MANILA, Philippines — Nine Chinese crewmembers of a cargo ship that sank off Northern Samar were rescued on Tuesday afternoon.

Capt. Gregorio Adel Jr., Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-Eastern Visayas commander, said six of the crewmembers are citizens of China, two of Hong Kong and one of Taiwan.

Adel said the PCG station in Northern Samar deployed search and rescue teams after they received a distress call at around 12:30 p.m. that M/V Jin-Ming Nr. 16 was sinking.

The ship, which left China on Dec. 12, was bound for Chile.

Adel said five crewmembers were rescued by PCG and Office of Civil Defense personnel some 400 meters away from the shoreline of Pambujan town at about 5 p.m.

The remaining crewmembers were rescued after an hour.

The crewmembers underwent medical checkup at the Pambujan rural health unit and spent the night at the house of Mayor Felipe Sosing.

“While Tropical Depression Agaton affected the Samar area, it is still not certain if the ship’s problems started when it was passing through Samar. It is possible that…it was only while traversing Samar that the crewmembers found out that there was water in the engine room,” Adel said.

He said personnel of the Marine Environment Protection Unit went to the area to check if the sinking of the ship resulted in an oil spill.

The PCG-Eastern Visayas also created an investigation team to look into the accident. – With Miriam Desacada, Jaime Laude

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Classes, work suspended for Nazarene feast

Devotees of the Black Nazarene pray during a novena at the Quiapo Church in Manila yesterday. Miguel De Guzman
MANILA, Philippines — Classes at all levels and work at the Manila city hall are suspended for the feast of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 9, Mayor Joseph Estrada announced yesterday.

Estrada signed Executive Order No. 1 suspending classes in public and private schools as well as universities and colleges in the city.

“The suspension was made to ensure public order and the safety of millions of devotees expected to join the procession of the Black Nazarene,” Estrada said.

He said the suspension of work in national government and private offices in the city is up to Malacañang.

Manila is hosting the International Pilgrimage of the Black Nazarene.

“I will be the hermano mayor again for the feast of the Black of Nazarene,” Estrada said.

MPD inspects traslacion route

Officials of the Manila Police District (MPD) yesterday inspected the route of the traslacion or the procession of the Black Nazarene.

MPD director Chief Superintendent Joel Coronel led officials of the city government in inspecting the 5.96-kilometer route of the traslacion from the Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church, the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.

Coronel was joined by Monsignor Hernando Coronel, rector of the Quiapo Church, and officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Coronel said the image of the Black Nazarene would no longer pass through Lagusnilad Bridge and instead counterflow to the westbound lane of P. Burgos street heading toward Jones Bridge.

“The procession will not pass through Lagusnilad overpass to ensure the safety of the devotees,” Coronel said.

He said road obstructions such as electric cables and open manholes need to be cleared.

Millions of Catholic devotees are expected to join the procession.

Superintendent Lucille Faycho of the MPD said last year’s crowd estimated at 18 million during the 10-day novena prior to the Black Nazarene feast could increase to 18.9 million this year.

In 2006, a male devotee died after a wooden plank covering a manhole collapsed.

Coronel said devotees who would jump over the Jones Bridge would be arrested.

Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, newly designated commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Joint Task Force National Capital Region, said he would deploy a battalion of soldiers to assist police in securing the procession.

The traslacion will start from the Quirino Grandstand (Independence Road), turn right to Katigbak Drive straight to P. Burgos (westbound lane) going to P. Burgos (southbound lane) through Jones Bridge, turn right to Dasmariñas, left to Palanca Street, left to Quezon Boulevard, right to Arlegui, right to Fraternal, right to Vergara, left to Duque de Alba, left to Castillejos, left to Farnecio, right to Arlegui, left to Nepomuceno (counterflow), left to Aguila, right to Carcer, left to Hidalgo through Plaza del Carmen, left to Bilibid Viejo, left to Guzman, right to Hidalgo, left to Bautista (Barbosa), right to Globo de Oro under Quezon Bridge, right to Palanca, right to Villalobos and then Plaza Miranda going to Quiapo Church.

Church 100 percent ready

Fr. Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of the Quiapo Church said they are “100 percent ready.”

Badong said church officials have been meeting with officials of the Manila city government, National Parks Development Committee and other local offices in preparation for the event.

Aside from the thanksgiving procession last Dec. 31, Badong said there would be a procession of the replicas of the image of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 7.

There would be slight changes in the procession route to speed up the traslacion.

Badong said last year’s processon took 21 hours.

“We hope that the procession would be shorter this year. Last year was the longest traslacion,” he said.

Alex Irasca, a member of the Traslacion 2018 organizing committee, said there would be 12 prayer stations along the procession route. – With Evelyn Macairan, Jaime Laude

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Gatchalian: Social media being used to target officials

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian drew flak for using expletives against online bashers. Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — After drawing flak for cursing online bashers, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian lamented that social media is now being used against public officials.

In an interview with ANC's Headstart, the neophyte senator reiterated that he will not issue an apology to "paid individuals" designed to "bring out the worst" in him.

"Sad to say the free market of the internet has now been used against public officials whether in media or in government service and this is the sad part because the internet is designed to come up with good ideas and good opinions but it’s also designed to ruin certain people," Gatchalian said Thursday.

READ: Calling critics 'trolls,' Gatchalian says he reached 'breaking point' in Twitter firestorm

Gatchalian suggested that there should be a mechanism to monitor organizations funding online trolls to advance their own political agenda. The senator, however, noted that there cannot be a legislation that would regulate free speech.

The senator is firm on his position and said that he does not regret cursing at online trolls using his personal Twitter account.

"I don’t see the reason to delete it because again we’re talking to people who are organized and paid to attack you," Gatchalian said.

He added that he wants to move forward by blocking or muting his bashers online.

"We can engage one another in a healthy debate but when it’s a troll then I don’t see the reason of apologizing," he said.

'Balimbing'

When asked what word ticked him after receiving criticism from social media for the past years that he has been in public office, Gatchalian said that "it was basically the lies" being thrown at him, particularly the word "balimbing" or turncoat.

"For the record when I joined public service in 2001... I joined the [National People's Coalition] and still now I'm part of the NPC party from 2001 to 2017," he said.

Gatchalian stressed that he cannot be called "balimbing" if he has stayed with only one party for the past 17 years.

"This is obviously a lie and this type of organized group is designed to really bring out the worst in you by throwing lies, by throwing profanities," he said.

Earlier this week, one Twitter user posted screenshots of Gatchalian's tweets in 2011 praising former President Benigno III and his tweets in 2017 where he was criticizing the Aquino administration.

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Dela Rosa 'elated' by ranking in Senate race surveys

RUNNING? Dela Rosa's spokesperson says he will focus first on finishing his job in the PNP. File photo by Albert Cain/PPD

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa is "elated" that Filipinos find him trustworthy enough for the Senate.
PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos relayed Dela Rosa's response to the results of separate surveys conducted by independent pollsters on possible contenders for the Senate in 2019.

"The CPNP (Chief PNP) is elated with the trust of the people as reflected in the latest surveys," Carlos told Rappler in a text message.

Based on documents obtained by Rappler, the top cop placed 10th to 12th in the Laylo survey held in November 2017, and was part of the top 20 in a Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll on potential senatorial candidates for the 2019 elections.

Carlos noted, however, that 2019 was still far off. (READ: PNP to add new drug war rules before resuming Tokhang)

"The CPNP is focused on the job, especially that his service has been extended by the CIC (Commander-in-chief). He will do his best in leading the organization until he officially retires from the police service in April 2018," the PNP spokesperson said.

Months before the surveys were conducted, Dela Rosa had already expressed openness to run for senator in 2019. He had repeatedly joked about it and even pretending to be a senator in a press conference, while a few senators had publicly toyed with the idea of having him as a colleague.

Dela Rosa was originally due to retire on January 21, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56, but President Rodrigo Duterte extended his term by "two to 3 months" before appointing him as Bureau of Corrections chief.

The top cop had been under fire for the bloody PNP-led drug war, but his personal assessment was that he managed to restore public trust to the police. – Rappler.com

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Transport groups demand P6 per liter fuel discount

TRANSPORTATION. A jeep carrying goods and passengers speeds through one of the highways in Coron, Palawan in December 2013. File photo by Pat Nabong/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Transport groups are demanding a P6 per liter fuel discount for public utility vehicles (PUVs) due to the implementation of the tax reform law.

On Thursday, January 4, Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) pointed out that excise tax on petroleum products under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law would lead to more expensive fuel.

"Piston is against the TRAIN law which would lead to a higher increase in oil prices including diesel, which in turn would result in an additional hike because of the 12% value added tax (VAT)," Piston president George San Mateo said in a mix of English and Filipino.

"We are demanding to President [Rodrigo] Duterte, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to give PUVs, especially jeepneys, a fuel discount of P6 per liter across the board nationwide," he added.

San Mateo also said commuters would likely be spared from a fare hike if PUVs are given the P6 per liter fuel discount.

TRAIN was implemented last Monday, January 1. (READ: EXPLAINER: What's inside the bicam-approved tax reform bill?)

But the DOE clarified that higher oil prices do not apply to existing or old stocks of petroleum products. The impact is expected to be felt mid-January.

Under the tax reform law, diesel, which is not taxed at present, will be imposed P2.50 per liter tax in 2018, P4.50 in 2019, and P6 in 2020.

Gasoline, from the current tax of P4.35 per liter, would be imposed a levy of P7 per liter in 2018, P9 in 2019, and P10 in 2020.

In the coming days, Piston and the No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition plan to hold protests to seek the suspension of the TRAIN implementation. – Rappler.com

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BIR files tax evasion complaints vs Mark Taguba, Kenneth Dong

TAX EVADERS?. Customs broker and middleman Mark Taguba (right) and Kenneth Dong (left) face tax evasion charges based on their testimonies in the Senate hearing into the P6.4-billion shabu shipment.

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Thursday, January 4, filed tax evasion complaints against customs fixer Mark Taguba and businessman Kenneth Dong, personalities implicated in the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China last year.

BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay said in a press conference on Thursday that the complaints were filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

He said Taguba, the whistleblower in the shabu shipment incident, faces an P850-million tax evasion case which the BIR calculated from Taguba's own testimonies in the Senate probe into the multibillion-peso smuggled shabu.

“As a consequence of his acts and omissions, respondent Taguba evaded the payment of taxes for taxable year 2016 in the aggregate amount of P850,574,228.77, inclusive of surcharges and interests," the BIR said in a statement.

Of the amount, P660,758,572.33 represents the income tax Taguba allegedly owed the govenrment, while the P189,815,656.44 is for valued added tax.

During the congressional hearings, Taguba admitted that he brokered shipments for his clients and pulled strings at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for smoother transactions. Taguba mentioned dealing with a so-called "Davao Group," said to be influential within the BOC.

The BIR’s computation was based on Taguba’’s testimony that he charges between P170,000 to P190,000 per container van, and a trucking fee of P10,000 per container van.

“Based on the congressional inquiries and data obtained from the BOC, a total of 7,458 and 7,694 container vans were brought in by Taguba’s consignees for 2016 and 2017, respectively. For 2016 alone, Taguba earned P1,267,860,000.00 (at PhP170,000.00 per container van),” the BIR said.

The Senate blue ribbon committee report on the shabu shipment probe had tagged Taguba as the "central" figure in the corruption chain in the BOC, but cleared Customs officials who failed to keep the illegal drugs shipment from entering the port of Manila.

P11.4-M tax evasion case vs Kenneth Dong

The BIR filed an P11.4-million tax evasion complaint against Dong, based on his testimonies at the Senate hearing on the income he earned, and other documents collated by the BIR.

Dong is described as a middleman in the drug shipment issue. He is supposedly the point man of Richard Tan or Richard Chen, chairman and general manager of Philippine Hongfei Logistics Group of Companies Incorporated, the supposed importer of the shabu shipment.

Aside from his income from acting as middleman the BIR said Dong “had received compensation income in the years 2013 and 2015 from Asuki Weighing System, Inc amounting to P19,650.00 and P148,122.00, respectively."

According to the BIR, Dong did not file any Income Tax Return, Value Added Tax Return, or Percentage Tax Return from 2003 to 2017.

The BIR also said it uncovered documents that would show that Dong “gave P3 million in 2013 and P8 million in 2016 to support the election campaign of two lawmakers.”

Dong had been portrayed as a close friend of Paolo Duterte, based on their photos posted on Dong's social media account, but Dong later clarified that they were just "acquaintances."

Paolo Duterte and presidential son-in-law Manases Carpio, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, had been linked to the Davao Group but both denied the allegation. The Senate panel chaired by Senator Richard Grodon had cleared both in the shabu-smuggling incident.

The DOJ had earlier filed a drug importation case against Taguba, Dong, and other personalities before a Valenzuela court, but dismissed the cases against Customs officials, including former commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, who were included in a list of alleged corrupt officials in the BOC.

Faeldon resigned as customs chief but was later appointed as a deputy administrator of the Office of Civil Defense. – Rappler.com

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Junjun Binay asks court to drop charges in Makati parking cases

MAKATI PARKING. Former Makati mayor Junjun Binay files a motion to quash to seek the dismissal of his malversation and graft charges over the allegedly overpriced Makati City parking building.

MANILA, Philippines – Former Makati city mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr filed a motion to quash before the 3rd Division of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, asking for a dismissal of his malversation and graft cases that stemmed from the allegedly overpriced Makati Parking Building.

There is already probable cause to hold Binay and his father, former vice president Jejomar Binay Sr. They are scheduled for arraignment on January 12, not considering any readjustments that may arise due to the new pleading.

In the motion filed on Wednesday, January 3, the younger Binay said his approval of payments to the architecture and design firms in Makati City’s ‘world-class’ parking building was not an unlawful act.

“All he did was pay the obligation already incurred by the City of Makati under a contract that was entered into even before he became Mayor, which was valid and subsisting during his term,” Binay Jr’s motion said. (READ: INVESTIGATIVE: 'World-class' prices for Binay's parking building)

Binay Jr said that by approving the release of payments to the firm, he was only fulfilling his obligation to a private contractor.

“Had he not honored the payment of a valid and subsisting obligation, he would have exposed Makati City to liability for damages,” the motion said.

'Institutionalized bid-rigging'

It was Junjun’s father, the former vice president, who entered into the contracts in 2007 when he was the mayor of Makati City.

But Binay Jr said there can be no conspiracy alleged in this case due to the lack of "showing of both knowledge and intentional participation in the supposed criminal acts."

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigation in 2015 said that the P2.28 billion worth parking building was overpriced by over a billion. The Senate called it ‘institutionalized bid-rigging.’

It involves construction firm Hilmarc’s which, according to records, has Makati City as its regular client. From 199 to 2004 alone, Hilmarc’s won Makati’s projects worth P2 billion.

Rappler’s investigation into records show the bidding for the parking building was won by Hilmarc’s by close margins.

Procurement experts say that close bidding suggests a possible simulated bidding, where the favored bidder taps other firms to bid for the project.

The favored bidder arranges everything to create the illusion of a competitive bidding. Once the favored bidder wins, they get their conspirators as subcontractors.

The two Binay men have also been indicted for graft and falsification of documents over the allegedly overpriced P1.3 billion Makati Science High School. A plunder complaint into the overpricing issue is still being threshed out in the Ombudsman level. – Rappler.com

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