Binay camp: Graft raps Ombudsman’s tactic to protect LP
The camp of Jejomar Binay Sr. on Thursday lashed out at Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and called her a patron and protector of the Liberal Party (LP) in filing of malversation, graft, and falsification of public documents against the former vice president over the allegedly anomalous P2.28-billion Makati car park building.
In a statement, Binay’s spokesperson Joey Salgado said Morales allowed herself to be a political tool of the former administration by going after its political enemies.
“The Ombudsman’s fealty to the Constitution and to the public interest has long been compromised by her willingness to be a tool for political ends,” Salgado said.
“It has been established that the Ombudsman violated due process, constitutional rights and even its own rules to railroad the filing of the complaint. Her undying loyalty to her LP patrons comes at the expense of accountability and respect for the rule of law,” he added.
Salgado said the Ombudsman filed the charges against Binay even while it served as a “protector” of the Liberal Party from being charged over the anomalous Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the savings impounding mechanism declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. It was criticized as former president Benigno Aquino III’s pork barrel.
Salgado said the filing of charges against Binay was “clearly a diversionary move.”
“Kahit nagpalit na ng administrasyon ay ipinapakita pa rin ng Ombudsman na s’ya ay protektor ng Liberal Party. Alam naman natin na sinampahan ng reklamo ang mga lider ng LP dahil sa maanomalyang Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP),” Salgado said.
(Even after the change in administration, the Ombudsman continues to show that she is a protector of the Liberal Party. We all know that complaints have been filed against LP leaders for the anomalous Disbursement Acceleration Program.)
“Ngunit para malihis ang galit ng taumbayan sa kanyang mga patron, inatupag ng Ombudsman ang paghahain ng palyadong kaso laban kay dating Vice President Binay (But to divert the anger of the people from her patrons, the Ombudsman prioritized a loose complaint against former Vice President Binay). Clearly this is a diversionary move intended to shield her political patrons from public indignation,” he added.
Salgado said Ombudsman Morales should instead face the P200-million civil suit for damages Binay filed against her and Binay’s other critics before the Makati Regional Trial Court
“Former VP Binay is ready to face his accusers and clear his name in a fair and impartial hearing. The Ombudsman should also be ready to account for her actions in the civil suit now pending before the courts,” Salgado said.
Binay Sr. on Thursday was formally charged with malversation, graft, and falsification of public documents over the allegedly rigged procurement for the construction of the Makati Parking Building II.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor filed one count of malversation or violation of Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, four counts of graft or violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and nine counts of falsification of public documents or violation of Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code against the former vice president, who lost his presidential bid in the recent May 9 elections.
Binay Sr.’s son, dismissed Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr., was also included as a coaccused in his father’s malversation charge and in the two counts of Binay Sr.’s graft charges. Binay Jr. was earlier charged for graft and falsification of public documents in a separate case.
The charges against the former vice president were filed when his term ended upon the expiration of his immunity from suit.
While Binay Sr. was charged for rigging the first three phases of the building when he was Makati mayor, Binay Jr. was charged for phases IV and V of the building when he succeeded his father in the city hall.
Ombudsman prosecutors arrived at the docket section of the Sandiganbayan around 8 a.m. and delivered piles of documents.
In its resolution finding probable cause against the two, the Ombudsman said the documents showed that Binay Jr. and Sr. had approved the Bids and Awards Committee resolutions, notices of awards, contracts and payments using unnumbered/undated disbursement vouchers and obligation requests despite the anomalies.
The Binays awarded the procurement of the design to Mana Architectural and Interior Design (MANA) despite lack of public bidding, the Ombudsman said.
The Binays also allegedly rigged the bidding to favor MANA and approved the release of P11.97-million payment to MANA despite the anomalies.
The Bids and Awards Committee also completed the procurement process for the building with undue haste or only 11 days.
Meanwhile, the procurement for the construction was awarded to Hilmarc’s Construction despite lack of invitations to bid with Hilmarc’s as lone bidder in four phases of the project.
The construction also began despite the absence or approved design standards, contract plans, agency cost estimates, detailed engineering and programs of work.
The Ombudsman also noted collusion among city officials and Hilmarc’s to rig the public biddings.
Binay Jr. has been dismissed and perpetually barred from public office in connection with his administrative offense for misconduct and dishonesty in connection with the alleged offense. IDL/rga
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