Thursday, November 6, 2014

Republishing an open letter from PAMUSA: Is Binay on the way out?

We are republishing an "OPEN" letter for the sake of discussion of the second most powerful person of the Philippines, Vice President Jejoemar Binay , a former mayor of Makati City. I read first the article on

Dear Mr. Vice President:

As your friend since the time we joined Mrs. Cory Aquino’s campaign for President I feel obliged to let you know that as Pamusa’s president I will be involved in investigating, locating and recovering your ill-gotten wealth and of your family members and close associates or the private businessmen and individuals that colluded with you in amassing such unexplained assets beyond the statistical probability of your combined legitimate income since 1986 when you were named OIC in the Office of Makati Mayor.

For clarification, Pamusa is eight years old now as a nonprofit California corporation authorized since 2007 by the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) of fighting corruption in our country under international cooperation agreements against corruption (ICAACs) of which the Philippines is a signatory such as the UNCAC, OECD, etc., hence they are parts of the law of the land. ICAACs are given focus and enforced under U.S. laws and the U.S. Government’s (USG) National Strategy to Internationalize Efforts Against Kleptocracy. Of course, under the PHL-USA Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) which enables cross-border investigation of corruption and narcotic trafficking, which if committed in the Philippines by a Filipino citizen, national or corporation is deemed committed also and actionable in the USA when the offenses are more serious in the latter, and vice-versa.

The USDOJ defines ill-gotten wealth as the proceeds of corruption from "a process or series of actions through which income of illegal origin is concealed, disguised, or made to appear legitimate (main objective); and to evade detection, seizure and taxation.” Hence, putting up dummies as owners of properties actually owned by another, family members or close associates cannot remain hidden because forensic audit and information technology advances can disprove false ownership claim in no time, more so when a dummy learns the legal problems he faces and immediately admits wrongdoing.

It is now a fact of life that the USDOJ investigators’ ability to dig up hidden assets has been progressively enhanced which led to the downfall of corporate America’s big corporations, such as Enron, Worldcom, etc. including the world’s largest accounting firm, Arthur Andersen. Former high government officials in jail for graft and corruption include Peru’s former President Alberto Fujimori for 37 years for corruption, human rights violation and abuse of power; Guatemala’s ex-President Alfonso Portillo sentenced only last May to 6 years in U.S. jail for laundering millions of dollars through American banks; Ukraine’s former PM Pavlo Lazarenko to 9-year in U.S. prison; and several others.

Recently added are the USDOJ’s forfeiture actions against an upscalehouse-and-lot worth over $700,000 purchased from the proceeds of corruption of South Korea’s ex-president Chun Doo-hwan’s, and the estimated $30-millionassets in the U.S. owned by the Second Vice President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue that he purchased with proceeds of corruption.

Multinational companies such as Siemens, ITT, Daimler (maker of Mercedes Benz), Avon Cosmetics, Marubeni, etc. and large international banks such as the Union Bank of Switzerland, U.K.’s Standard Chartered Bank and the HSBC, etc. agreed to pay billions of dollars of fines rather than risk responsible officers be brought to court and sentenced to jail for the company’s or bank’s violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and related laws. HSBC thus far paid the biggest fine of $1.92 billion for alleged laundering drug cartel’s money and violation of banking regulations.

It is probable that Sen. Enrile, Estrada and Revilla, House members, their aides and other government officials involved in the pork barrel scams would go to jail at least for money laundering in the Philippines and the same in the U.S. where parts of their kickbacks were most likely transferred, deposited in U.S. bank accounts and spent in America which was illegal. Unbeknownst to many Filipinos, the U.S. Treasury Dept.’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has databases in which all U.S. financial transactions in banks, financing institutions, casinos, money exchanges, etc. are recorded.

If the evidence submitted by Pamusa to the FBI requires the agency to access FinCEN’s databases to find out that a target of investigation for corruption may have transferred and did not report amount of money deposited in U.S. banks, the aggregate sum of account balances is forfeitable. This happened to Sen. Lito Lapid’s wife who was arrested of bringing to the U.S. over $10,000 without reporting the money to customs and immigration authorities. When she was arrested and actually trying to smuggle $40,000 it was later found out she had 23 bank accounts in the Las Vegas area with aggregate deposit of $159,600 the court seized so she won’t go to jail. All the money in her name including the $40,000 plus the bank balances totaling $199,600 was seized and she was sentenced to 3-year probation with 5-month home confinement as conditions of her plea agreement.

The Lapids probably had employed dummies but disposed of them after they were easily exposed they could not afford a given property’s cost at the time of acquisition, its yearly taxes and maintenance especially in the U.S. Random checking of a dummy’s financial condition even in the Philippines such as the earnings in a 5-year period matched with his ITR for the same period coinciding with the acquisition of a property in question almost always shows a big difference and fail the investigation of ill-gotten wealth.

I therefore decided to write this letter because, according to a Pamusa volunteer lawyer-CPA your witnesses in the Senate hearing if the same as the dummies of your U.S. properties would bring you straight to jail if Pamusa sues you in the U.S. like we intend to do against the members of Congress and others charged of involvement in the pork barrel scams masterminded by Janet Lim Napoles et al. as Pamusa’s contribution to the

tightening USDOJ’sKleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

Would you believe that the late Kokoy Romualdez left an estate worth $200 million? This may well be the question you would be asked when your doctored SALN for the 28-year "You’re King of Makati” is matched with your actual assets after DOJ-Ombudsman finished investigation at home and Pamusa has done our U.S. investigation. Romualdez’s estate has not been touched because the Marcoses’ and other cronies’ ill-gotten wealth have been covered up by corrupting those tasked to recover them. But not for long though because a new ICAAC is coming next year when the Marcos’ and Romualdez’s heirs would be pleading to be allowed to keep at least 10% of their loot.

More importantly to take note of with regards to the Philippine government (PHG) and businessmen is Presidential Proclamation No. 7750 issued by President George W. Bush in 2004, "To Suspend Entry As Immigrants or Nonimmigrants of Persons Engaged In or Benefiting From Corruption.” PP7750 basically says the U.S. can suspend entry into the country "of certain persons who have committed, participated in, or are beneficiaries of corruption in the performance of public functions where that corruption has serious adverse effects on international activity” subject to an exception where denying such entry would be "contrary to the interests” of the U.S.The Vice President or any of his children in public service may be denied entry to the USA if any one or all of you haveprobablycommitted, participated in, or benefited from corruption.

In this case, proof beyond reasonable doubt is not necessary because denying your entry to the USA is not contrary to its interests. A precedent has been set in 2006 by President GMA’s ex-agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Jocjoc” Bolante who defied a Senate committee’s subpoena to shed light on the loss of the P728-million ($16M) fertilizer fund. Bolante left for the USA via Seoul. He did not know that Sen. Magsaysay, committee chairman, asked the Senate President to petition the U.S. Embassy to cancel Bolante’s U.S. visa for defying the Senate’s subpoena powers with which the embassy complied while Bolante was on a flight for Los Angeles.

On arrival at LAX Bolante found out his U.S. multiple entry visa was cancelled and he could not get out of the airport terminal. He was asked to board the next flight to Manila as an illegal entrant when an American lawyer made representation that Bolante would ask for asylum because his life was in danger at home. He was detained by immigration authorities at a U.S. Customs and Immigration detention center in rural Wisconsin that he said only birds could be heard at night during his 2-1/2 years stay until his 3 appeal motions were heard and denied.

During Bolante’s incarceration a group of Filipino Americans organized Pamusa on Aug. 9, 2006 with me as the founding president after learning the ICAACs will enable PHDOJ and Pamusa to jointly fight graft and corruption at home. Although authorized since 2007 by the USDOJ to work with and submit to the FBI evidence of corruption in the Philippines, the PHG’s attitude that something new is suspiciously with bad intention, birth pains, road bumps and potholes delayed Pamusa to be on track and help the Aquino administration’s "tuwid na landas” fight against corruption. Pamusa has had many "cooks spoiling the broth,” which we intend to remedy by launching a joint USDOJ-PHDOJ anticorruption program this month.

This makes it still possible to add to President Aquino’s legacy the conviction for tax evasion and unexplained wealth of several people led by dismissed Chief Justice Renato Corona, those involved in various scams such as Bolante, Napoles, Lito Lapid and former FG Mike Arroyo of the fertilizer fund fiasco and the senators and congressmen, et al. in pork barrel scams. A would-be state witness says a good portion of the P728-million fertilizer fund went to the construction of rental houses in Ayala-Alabang owned by a corporation organized by Bolante & Arroyo. The witness who claims to be an expert of organizing dummy corporations or individual dummies believes there might be hundreds of houses in Makati’s upscale subdivisions owned by top government officials from the proceeds of corruption in the names of dummies who are paid salaries and expenses for "ownership” of the properties in the records of Municipal and City Assessors’ and Treasurers’ offices, a few of whom are themselves in cahoots with property owners and dummies.

That is why President Aquino may add another legacy by an executive order directing the Secretary of Finance, Municipal and City Treasurers and Assessors, and all concerned to conduct an inventory of real properties and their owners which will include relevant information such as lot areas, improvement, acquisition cost, assessed values and estimated market prices, from whom acquired including the previous owners before the owner bought from, and other information and data relevant to national development planning.

Finally, as a friend, I will be pleased to help you. However, I see your best option to avoid impeachment and dismissal from office is to give up aspirations to be President because unless you do so settlement of your ill-gotten wealth in which the full accounting of your true assets and net worth including those of your children will be out of the table is impossible to be accepted by reasonable people.

This may be the time to come to a realization that the era of unabated corruption and escaping retribution has passed by and never come again like the postal system replacing the Internet or going back to using radios instead of television.

Best regards.


Francisco Wenceslao


Philippine Anticorruption Movement USA, Inc. (Pamusa)

Phones: 562-864-7737 & Cell 562-547-4357

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