WHAT WENT BEFORE
IN JULY 2014, Makati City Councilor Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso VI of the Save Makati Movement filed plunder and graft charges against the Binays in the Office of the Ombudsman over the reportedly overpriced P2.28-billion Makati City Hall Building II.
Construction of the 11-story building started in 2007 when former Vice President Jejomar Binay was the city mayor and continued through the administration of his son, Junjun.
In August 2014, the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee began an inquiry that expanded to include the allegedly overpriced Makati City Science High School building, illegally acquired condominium units and an agricultural estate in Batangas province, and the deal between Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and Alphaland Corp. to develop the BSP’s one-hectare property on Ayala Avenue Extension in Makati.
The allegations paved the way for a record 25 hearings conducted by the Senate for more than a year. Binay had repeatedly refused to attend any Senate hearing.
In October 2015, the Ombudsman dismissed then Mayor Junjun Binay over the building project and perpetually barred him from government office. A few days later, it approved his indictment, along with 22 others, for graft and other criminal charges.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales also recommended the indictment of then Vice President Binay, but acknowledged that being an impeachable officer, the elder Binay cannot be haled to court.
On Feb. 19, the Ombudsman formally brought criminal charges against the dismissed younger Binay over the alleged irregularities in the construction of the parking building.
Also indicted for graft were other City Hall officials: Marjorie de Veyra, Gerardo San Gabriel, Pio Kenneth Dasal, Lorenza Amores, Manolito Uyaco, Mario Badillo, Nelia Barlis, Efren Canlas, Cecilio Lim III, Connie Consulta, Eleno Mendoza Jr. and Rodel Nayve.
Included as private respondents were Orlando Mateo of Mana Architecture and Interior Design Co. and Efren Canlas of Hilmarc’s Construction Corp.
The Ombudsman said the former City Hall officials did not conduct a public bidding when the contract for the design of the multibillion-peso infrastructure project was awarded to Mana in November 2007. Inquirer Research
Source: Inquirer Archives
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