What went before: Makati City Hall Building II probe
On March 11 this year, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay was slapped a six-month preventive suspension order in connection with the Ombudsman’s investigation of alleged anomalies in the construction of the P2.3-billion Makati City Hall Building II.
The investigation over the reportedly overpriced car park building was initiated after plunder and graft charges were filed against the mayor and his father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, among others, in July last year by lawyer Renato Bondal, a former barangay captain and Binay ally, and Nicolas Enciso VI of the Save Makati Movement.
After five days, the Court of Appeal’s Sixth Division issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the mayor’s suspension.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government, however, went ahead and installed the vice mayor as acting mayor of the city.
The mayor holed up for 28 days in his office while his supporters kept vigil outside the City Hall until the appeals court issued a preliminary injunction on April 6 indefinitely extending the TRO and ordering the Ombudsman to respect its ruling.
In May, the Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict Vice President Jejomar Binay, his son Junjun, and 22 others, including building contractor Hilmarc’s Construction Corp. for various criminal offenses in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati car park building.
On June 29, Junjun received a second six-month suspension order from the Ombudsman, this time in connection with its investigation of corruption allegations in the construction of the P1.3-billion Makati City Science High School building.
In December last year, a plunder and graft complaint was filed against the Vice President and his son for the alleged overpriced construction of the 10-story high school in Barangay Cembo.
The 11-page complaint of a group also led by Bondal urged the Ombudsman to charge the Binays criminally for conspiring to defraud the government of Makati City of P862 million in the construction of the school building.
The project cost was originally P470 million, but it ballooned to P1.3 billion, the complaint said. Construction started when the Vice President was still mayor of Makati and continued through the administration of his son.
Again, Junjun asked the appeals court for a TRO on the second suspension order, while his supporters again gathered outside the Makati City Hall in an attempt to block the enforcement of the Ombudman’s order.
The supporters faced a 700-strong force from the Philippine National Police sent to seal off the City Hall and help enforce the order of the Ombudsman.
The Vice President even confronted the force commander and a brief scuffle ensued between the policemen and Binay supporters. Several people were injured.
After the two-day standoff, Junjun came down from his 21st floor office on July 1 and told some 1,000 supporters on the Makati City Hall quadrangle that he was finally stepping aside while waiting for a TRO from the Court of Appeals.
The appellate court’s Ninth Division did not grant Junjun’s plea for a TRO.
Source: Inquirer Archives
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.