What Went Before: Senate hearings vs Binays
Since last year, 23 hearings have been held by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee to look into corruption allegations against Vice President Jejomar Binay when he was mayor of Makati City.
The initial investigation centered on the alleged anomalies in the construction of the P2.3-billion Makati City Hall Building II but later expanded to include other allegations of corruption.
In May, the committee issued a partial report recommending that plunder and graft charges be brought against Binay, his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, along with longtime aides Gerardo “Gerry” Limlingan and Eduviges “Ebeng” Baloloy and several others in connection with the parking building.
In the same month, the Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict Binay, Junjun and other Makati government officials and private contractors for anomalies in the public bidding and awards process of the building.
The Senate investigated the car park project after plunder and graft charges were filed against the Binays in July last year by lawyer Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso VI of the Save Makati Movement.
Junjun Binay appeared in the first hearing of the subcommittee on Aug. 20 last year, but ignored the subsequent invitations from the panel. He questioned its jurisdiction over the inquiry and the way some senators treated him.
The Vice President rejected all invitations for him to appear in the subcommittee chaired by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III with Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano as members, maintaining that the three would only insult and humiliate him.
The subcommittee also investigated other corruption allegations against the Binays, including the allegedly overpriced Makati City Science High School building, his ownership of various condominium units, his agricultural estate in Batangas province and the deal between the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP), headed by the Vice President, and Alphaland Corp. to develop the BSP’s one-hectare property in Makati.
Junjun is now serving out a six-month preventive suspension ordered by the Ombudsman while he is being investigated in connection with his involvement in the allegedly overpriced Makati Science High School building.
The Binays have denied wrongdoing.–Inquirer Research
Sources: Inquirer Archives
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