VICE President Jejomar Binay’s alleged trusted aide and financial officer has asked the Court of Appeals to lift a freeze order against 170 bank and financial accounts supposedly under his name.
In an 88-page urgent motion filed through lawyers, Gerardo Limlingan argued that the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the covered banks failed to present evidence that would show his accounts were related to unlawful activities.
The freeze order stemmed from a petition of the council, through the Office of the Solicitor General, that was filed on May 7, 2015, and granted by the Court of Appeals on May 11, 2015.
The freeze order was directed against 242 banks accounts of, investments made by, and insurance policies issued to Limlingan, former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, among others.
The funds in the covered accounts were allegedly derived from alleged overpricing in the Makati City Hall Parking Building and Makati City Science High School Building, as well as the alleged 5-percent share from a joint venture agreement with Alphaland.
In his appeal, Limlingan said he was an established businessman with legitimate businesses and sources of income. He said the funds in his accounts came from legitimate sources and were used for legitimate purposes.
Limlingan cited the businesses and business partnerships he had been engaged in over the years, saying those were in commodities, food, electronics, furniture, mining and logging industries, among others.
He said he also entered into partnerships that set up establishments like a renowned Thai restaurant, a shuttle bus company, a popular bar in Manila, and a movie company that produced box -office hits.
He said he also invested money to acquire several companies including cement plants, a cigarette manufacturing company, and a development bank in Mindanao. Together with his brother, Limlingan said, he also purchased a seat in the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“Notwithstanding the fact that respondent Limlingan’s background are easily and even known to the AMLC, petitioner deliberately refrained from bringing the foregoing matters to the attention of this honorable court,” Limlingan said in his plea.
“Indeed, none of the foregoing matters ever surfaced in the Senate, the Office of the Ombudsman, or this Honorable Court.”
According to Limlingan, there is a clear intent to lead the appellate court into believing he does not have the financial capacity to maintain bank and investment accounts.
“Limlingan has been unjustifiably pilloried and tarred with numerous despicable and unfortunate description, which have been reiterated in various media outlets and by various media practitioners,” the motion says.
Limlingan criticized the AMLC for being “content to rely on the sweeping and unsubstantiated accusation of Ernesto Mercado that he is the supposed ‘bagman,’ ‘henchman’ or ‘aide’ of Vice President Binay, notwithstanding the fact that Mercado’s convenient testimony is utterly suspect and clearly motivated by ill will and malice.” Rey E. Requejo