Ombudsman has ‘prejudged’ me—VP Binay
After filing a 20-page counter-affidavit, Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday accused the Office of the Ombudsman of “prejudging” him on the corruption allegations hurled against him regarding the allegedly overpriced Makati Science High School building.
In a statement, the Vice President said he filed a counter-affidavit to prevent the Ombudsman and his political opponents from “twisting his lack of participation as an admission of guilt.”
“Exhibiting extreme bias against me, the Ombudsman herself has already convicted me in the bar of public opinion as she has been quoted by various media outlets as stating that the evidence of guilt in the instant criminal action is strong, even without the benefit of the respondents such as myself submitting any countervailing evidence,” Binay said in a statement.
The Vice President also criticized the Ombudsman and former general services division head Mario Hechanova for “quoting a dead man” as testimony against him.
Binay was referring to the late Makati city engineer Nelson Morales, who supposedly told Hechanova that the Vice President was behind the alleged rigging of biddings for the Makati Science High School. Morales died about two years ago.
“This is a brazen lie. I never gave such instructions. Moreover, the allegation of Hechanova is based on hearsay and is, therefore, not admissible as evidence in any civilized society that is governed by the rule of law. It has no probative value whatsoever,” he said.
Binay’s lawyer Atty. Claro Certeza said the Ombudsman was “depriving the Vice President of his right to due process” when it acknowledged Hechanova’s testimony, which he called “entirely hearsay and have no evidentiary value whatsoever.”
“Hechanova’s testimony alone cannot stand in court as it came from someone else. He has no first-hand knowledge of the alleged order being given. He was not present when the alleged order was relayed to Morales. His claims that the Vice President violated the law are based on a dead man’s alleged story. This is plain and simple hearsay,” Certeza said.
Calling the corruption allegations as “unfounded and incompetent,” the Vice President said his signatures on documents like award resolutions, contracts declaring winning bidders, notices of awards, and certifications were not enough to conclude that he ordered the alleged rigging.
“My mere signature in the documents, again without admitting its genuineness and due execution, does not constitute proof of my participation in the alleged conspiracy,” he said.
Maintaining that he cannot be removed from office by proceeding with the criminal action, Binay questioned the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman anew to investigate the case.
“Stated differently, I cannot be impeached, as Vice President, for wrongdoings I allegedly committed before I assumed my present position,” he added. TVJ
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