July 26, 2017, 8:48 am
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Graft, falsification raps vs Junjun Binay affirmed

FORMER Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr., along with 10 other city officials and a private contractor, will stand trial for criminal charges in connection with alleged anomalies in the award of Phases 4 and 5 of the Makati City Hall Parking Building project from 2011 to 2013 totaling P790.925 million.

In a 65-page resolution dated April 18, 2017 penned by Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and Third Division chair Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, the anti-graft court affirmed the existence of probable cause in two counts of graft and six counts of falsification of public documents filed by the Office of the Ombudsman against Binay and the rest.

Binay, through his lawyer, Daniel Subido, said he will file a motion for reconsideration. Subido expressed confidence that Binay will be vindicated.

In the same ruling, concurred in by Associate Justices Sarah Jane T. Fernandez and Bernelito R. Fernandez, the Sandiganbayan junked the challenge posed by the defendants against the validity of the information over alleged defective form.

Charged in all eight cases along with Binay were city administrator Marjorie A. De Veyra; Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) vice chair and General Services Department chief Gerardo K. San Gabriel; city legal officer Pio Kenneth I. Dasal; and city budget officer Lorenza P. Amores.

BAC secretariat head and Internal Management Control Officer Manolito N. Uyaco was charged with five counts of falsification and one count of graft.

Named co-accused in both graft charges were BAC technical working group chairman Rodel R. Nayve; city treasurer Nelia A. Barlis; civil engineer Connie N. Consulta; central planning management office chief Line M. dela Pena; city accountant Cecilio P. Lim III; and private defendant Efren N. Canlas, executive of Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation, the firm that was awarded the building contracts.

Acting city administrator Eleno M. Mendoza Jr. and former city engineer Mario V. Badillo were both named in one graft charge.

Binay and the other defendants claimed lack of evidence or specific allegations of conspiracy among them in the graft charges while arguing that there was no basis for their indictment for falsification of public documents since they merely performed their official functions in good faith.

Prosecutors said the bogus publication of the invitations to apply for eligibility and to bid was proof that there was a simulated bidding intended to favor Hilmarc’s, which eventually won Phase 4 of the building project worth P649.276 million and  Phase 5 worth P141.649 million. – With Evan Orias 
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