CA affirms ruling reversing dismissal of Junjun Binay
The Court of Appeals has affirmed its ruling last year to overturn the Ombudsman’s September 2015 order dismissing and barring from government service former Makati Mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr.
The appellate court’s 10th Division earlier this week denied the Ombudsman’s motion for reconsideration and maintained that the “condonation doctrine” applied to Binay’s case before it was abandoned by the Supreme Court in November 2015.
Binay had invoked the legal doctrine to stop former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales from first suspending and then dismissing him from office in 2015. This was after he was charged administratively over alleged irregularities in the construction of the P2.29-billion Makati City Hall Building II, one of the projects during his first term in office from 2010 to 2013.
The condonation doctrine absolves elected public officials of administrative liability for previous offenses when they are reelected into office. Binay won a fresh term as Makati mayor in 2013.
On Nov. 10, 2015, the Supreme Court overruled the Ombudsman’s suspension of Binay, citing the condonation doctrine. However, the high tribunal also declared that the doctrine would no longer be used in future cases.
On May 3, 2018, the Court of Appeals’ 10th Division ruled for the first time in Binay’s favor and nullified the Ombudsman’s order for his dismissal and perpetual disqualification from office due to the condonation doctrine. According to the court, his reelection in 2013 was a condonation of his administrative liabilities.
In its motion for reconsideration, the Ombudsman insisted that “nothing” in the high tribunal’s decision “would remotely suggest that the Supreme Court condoned [Binay] of his administrative liabilities or that the doctrine was still applicable to him despite its abandonment.”
In its March 18, 2019 ruling, the Court of Appeals said the condonation doctrine still applied to Binay “based on the factual circumstances of this case” and the fact that it was filed when the condonation doctrine was still in effect.
Binay is running for Makati mayor in May against his sister, incumbent Mayor Abby Binay.
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