Elenita Binay seeks dismissal of Ospital ng Makati cases
Former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay has urged the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division to dismiss the graft and malversation cases filed against her in connection with the anomalous purchase of P45.26 million worth of beds and sterilizers for the city-run Ospital ng Makati (OsMak).
Binay argued that the trial should be cut short, since the Ombudsman’s evidence would be “totally insufficient” to convict her.
But the Ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor objected to Binay’s motion, saying that the court had already admitted the documents she was contesting so these could be used as evidence against her.
The prosecution said Binay’s “seemingly innocent act” of signing the contracts with Apollo Medical Equipment and Supplies was a “necessary step … to give unwarranted benefit and advantage to [the supplier].”
Acts of subordinates
It added that Binay could not “thoughtlessly rely on the acts of her subordinates,” since it was her duty as elected official to ensure that public funds were spent on lawful and regular transactions.
Prosecutors had questioned the lack of bidding in the city’s 2001 deals with Apollo, claiming that its status as exclusive distributor was “later determined to be spurious.”
Binay said the prosecution’s “sweeping conclusion … was not validated” and that it had failed to submit an original copy of the special audit report on the city government’s projects in 2000 and 2001, which contained the findings on the OsMak contracts.
The former mayor said the documents that served as basis for the state auditors’ findings were not presented during the trial and that the prosecution failed to establish that she had conspired with her coaccused to unlawfully award the negotiated contracts to Apollo.
Binay said there was no proof that she was aware that the procurement documents were spurious.
Aside from being charged over the OsMak deals, Binay also faces a graft case before the court’s Fifth Division in connection with the allegedly rigged bidding in the P72.06-million contract to supply furniture to the Makati city hall in 1999.
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