Evidence vs Binay hearsay, says lawyer
The lawyer of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday dismissed as “hearsay” the purported state’s evidence on the alleged rigging of the bidding for the construction of the Makati Science High School when he was mayor of Makati City.
In a statement, Claro Certeza said the supposed evidence was given by former Makati City general services head Mario Hechanova and was based on what the late engineer Nelson Morales had told Hechanova.
“This hearsay evidence is not accepted by the court,” Certeza said of Hechanova’s allegation that Morales had told him to “fix” the tender.
“There is no way to prove whether it is true or not. Under our judicial system, a witness can only testify on something he has personal knowledge of. In this case, Morales is not around to attest to a statement attributed to him by Hechanova,” Certeza said.
A team of investigators from the Office of the Ombudsman has recommended that Binay be charged with graft and cited Hechanova’s statement as evidence.
Morales, the United Nationalist Alliance chair in Albay, was shot and killed as he was coming out of a church in Malinao town in the province three years ago.
“It is very easy for Hechanova to point at Morales as the source of information because he is dead and there is no way to verify it from him,” Certeza said.
The lawyer said that Hechanova could “conveniently claim that he believed Morales was telling him the truth” even with the absence of concrete evidence that the Vice President gave that order.
“Based on this and the past actuation of the Ombudsman, it is clearly biased in its investigation of cases involving Vice President Binay,” Certeza said, noting that the Ombudsman had rejected the condonation doctrine used by Binay when he questioned his earlier “preventive suspension,” but it dropped the charges against another city head who used the same doctrine. TVJ
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