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University of the Philippines law professor Harry Roque came to the defense of Vice President Jejomar Binay, saying the freeze order issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) against his assets is unconstitutional.
Roque said in a phone interview that the petition of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to freeze the accounts of the Vice President violates his immunity from suits as mandated by the Constitution.
The lawyer also stressed that the freeze order does not constitute a finding of criminal offense, adding that the AMLC will now have to file a case before the regional trial court to declare the funds as “proceeds of predicate crimes under the law.”
Roque doubts if a case can be filed against Binay as he says the Vice President is immune from suits, a position that contradicts an earlier statement of Justice Sec. Leila De Lima who said that only the President is immune. De Lima claimed that while both the President and Vice President are classified as impeachable officials, only the President possesses immunity from suits while in office.
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