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Bondal cries harassment over filing of disbarment case.

Byline: Tetch Torres-Tupas

MANILA -- Lawyer Renato Bondal, one of those who accused Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay of raking in kickbacks and having a hand in the alleged overpriced car park building in Makati described as harassment the disbarment complaint filed against him.

The complaint filed with the Supreme Court alleged that he contracted two marriages violating the Revised Penal Code provision for bigamy.

"I am surprised that there is such a complaint against me," Bondal said in a phone interview Monday, adding that this might be the start of a campaign to malign him.

"Naghahanap sila ng ibabato sa kin," Bondal said.

Bondal explained that his ex-wife Rutchie Barcelona whom he married in 1997 became a US citizen and divorced him. He said she married an American national and they had three children.

He said that before he got married in 2011, he contacted his ex-wife and asked for a certified decree of divorce.

"Under the law, I am allowed to remarry," he said noting that there are previous Supreme Court rulings similar to his case.

Article 26 paragraph 2 provides that "where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law."

He said there are Supreme Court decisions saying such provision is also applicable to a Filipino who has become a foreign citizen.

"Kaya matagal na akong binata," he said.

He added that he also does not know Eduardo C. Eridio, the complainant.

"He is not a relative of my ex-wife. I will understand if he is but he is not. So his reason for filing this complaint is suspect," he said.

Bondal has been admitted to the government's Witness Protection Program upon recommendation of the Senate.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Sep 22, 2014
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