Antigraft court trashes Binay’s plea for re-raffle of cases
The Sandiganbayan has denied the motion of former Makati mayor Elenita Binay to have separate trials of her malversation and graft cases for the allegedly anomalous purchase of hospital beds and sterilizers.
In a resolution promulgated Jan. 13, the antigraft court’s Special Third Division said her motion to re-raffle the cases was “bereft of merit.”
The court said the consolidation of her cases was “proper.” Thus, there was no need to have these re-raffled.
The court told Binay that the consolidation of criminal cases was a matter of judicial discretion.
The resolution was penned by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje Tang, who chairs the division. Associate Justices Sarah Jane Fernandez and Zaldy Trespeses concurred.
Binay sought separate trials of her cases claiming that consolidation of her charges would lead to “premature judgement.” She said it would give the “impression” that the allegations formed a “pattern.”
The prosecution opposed her move, saying her motion was only meant to delay the trial and that the consolidation of the cases would fast track the disposition of the case.
Binay, who was mayor from 1998 to 2001, was charged with two counts of violation of Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for causing undue injury to the government and giving unwarranted benefits to a private party, and two counts of malversation of public funds under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code.
The cases stemmed from alleged irregularities in the procurement of hospital beds worth P36.43 million in 2001 and P8.83 million worth of dry heat sterilizers in 2000 for the Ospital ng Makati. CBB/rga
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