Arraignment of Junjun Binay, co-accused reset

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The Sandiganbayan’s Third Division canceled the arraignment of former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. over the graft and falsification charges filed against him and several other individuals in connection with the allegedly anomalous construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building.

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The court reset the arraignment to November 10 because several of the defendants are yet to receive a copy of the court’s ruling that upheld its finding of basis to try the cases. Binay’s camp received a copy of the resolution on Friday.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed the cases (two counts of graft and six counts of falsification) before the Sandiganbayan in February 2016.

The Sandiganbayan’s Third Division later found basis to try the cases, prompting several respondents to file motions for reconsideration.

In a resolution promulgated on September 25, the court denied “for lack of merit and for being pro-forma” the motions for reconsideration filed by Binay and his co-accused, who were then-Makati officials at the time material to the case, namely: Lorenza Amores, Manolito Uyaco, Cecilio Lim 3rd (respondent in the graft cases only), Rodel Nayve (respondent in the graft cases only), Nelia Barlis (respondent in the graft cases only), Eleno Mendoza Jr. (respondent one graft case only) and Mario Badillo (respondent in one graft case only).

Binay had argued that the court erred in finding probable cause against him, and that the court failed to consider that the Office of the Ombudsman’s evidence did not sufficiently establish the alleged conspiracy.

But the court said in part that “the absence [or presence]of any conspiracy among the accused is also evidentiary in nature and is a matter of defense, the truth of which can be best passed upon after a full-blown trial on merits.”

The following then-Makati officials at the time material to the case who were also charged were: Marjorie de Veyra, Pio Kenneth Dasal, Line dela Peña (respondent in one graft case only), Connie Consulta (respondent in the graft cases only), Gerardo San Gabriel and Rodel Nayve (respondent in the graft cases only).

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