Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. said he could not be held liable for alleged anomalies in a school building project because it happened before 2010 when his father, now Vice President Jejomar Binay, was the city’s mayor.
His argument is contained in a 35-page petition filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) on Tuesday.
Binay is asking the CA to exercise its constitutional duty under the 1987 Constitution “to correct” the preventive suspension order issued by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales against him. The case was raffled off to the 10th Division.
He said Morales’ order was issued “with grave abuse of discretion” and should be judicially restrained.
Just like in March when the Ombudsman similarly suspended him in connection with the Makati City Hall Building 2 case, the mayor wants the appellate court to again issue a temporary restraining order and, after due proceedings, a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) from performing acts that would render his petition moot.
His first suspension is pending before the Supreme Court.
“The restraining order/preliminary injunction must preserve the status quo prior to the controversy,” Binay’s petition read.
He argued that he could not be held accountable for the alleged anomalies involving phases I, II and III of the Makati Science High School Building project because transactions and actual work happened before 2010 or before he was elected mayor of Makati City.
Binay succeeded his father, who got elected Vice President in 2010. The elder Binay was appointed officer-in-charge-mayor of then-Makati town from 1986 to 1988 and served three terms as elected mayor from 1988 to 1998. Barred by the Constitution to stand for reelection, his wife Elenita became mayor from 1998 to 2001 and who also served three terms from 2001 to 2010. Jejomar Erwin was first elected mayor in 2010 and was reelected in 2013.
For the other phases of the project, Mayor Binay said he could not be held administratively liable for these phases because his reelection had rendered the case against him moot and academic.
He cited the so-called Aguinaldo Doctrine, whose underlying theory is that each term is separate from other terms, and that reelection to office operates as a condonation of the public officer’s misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him from office.
The mayor said there is no allegation against him that he rigged the bidding for the project, and that the claim was merely based on hearsay.
He added that the allegation of conspiracy between him and the other respondents had no evidence.
“Clearly, the Ombudsman whimsically and capriciously disregarded and violated the foregoing established laws and jurisprudence,” his petition read.
A source of The Manila Times said the preventive suspension of Mayor Binay and 14 other city officials is already executory even pending appeal at the CA, unless a TRO is issued.