Junjun loses yet another bid for dismissal of Makati carpark case
The Sandiganbayan Third Division has dealt yet another blow to dismissed Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., as it denied his motion to quash the charges in connection with Phases IV and V of the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.
In a 25-page resolution dated March 12, the anti-graft court said Binay Jr.’s arguments on the insufficiency of the charges against him were matters of defense best threshed out in a full-blown trial.
The court said the Ombudsman prosecutors sufficiently alleged the actions that would constitute valid charges of falsification of public documents and violation of Section 3(e) of the Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
It rejected Binay Jr.’s argument that the prosecution did not state it was the mayor’s duty to intervene in the allegedly fabricated publication of bid invitations in the July 7, 2011 issue of Balita and August 2, 2012 issue of Metro Profile.
The court also did not give credence to Binay Jr.’s claim that the prosecution failed to attribute any “overt act” to him, except his signing of the contracts with Hilmarc’s Construction Corp. and approval of the payments.
The court explained at this stage, the prosecution did not need to elaborate such “evidentiary facts,” and the charges only needed to state the “ultimate facts … which the expected evidence will support.”
“The determination of whether conspiracy indeed attended the commission of the complained acts is a matter that should be established during the trial of these criminal cases,” read the resolution penned by Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang and concurred by Associate Justices Bernelito R. Fernandez and Sarah Jane T. Fernandez.
The alleged falsification of the bid invitations put into question the regularity of the bidding process for the contracts worth P649.28 million and P141.65 million, which were awarded during Binay Jr.’s term.
Binay Jr. was reeling from the same court’s Feb. 22 denial of his motions to quash on the cases involving his continued approval of the payments for the P11.01-million architectural design contract to MANA Architecture and Interior Design Co., and P599.4-million contract for Phase III also awarded to Hilmarc’s.
The release of the payments was questioned because of the alleged irregularities hounding the procurement process during the term of his father and predecessor, mayor-turned-Vice-President Jejomar Binay Sr./lb
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