• Binay appeals graft indictment

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    No legal basis in claim VP benefited from anomaly, lawyers argue

    Lawyers for Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday asked the Office of the Ombudsman to set aside its resolution recommending the filing of charges against him.

    In a 32-page motion for reconsideration filed on October 19, lawyers Claro Certeza, Maria Patricia Alvarez and Francis Paul Baclay said signing of bidding documents for the Makati City Hall Building 2 was part of Binay’s “ministerial duties” as local chief executive in Makati City at the time.

    The lawyers added that there is no factual or legal basis for the complaint claiming that the now Vice President benefited from the allegedly anomalous bidding and construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

    They argued that the Vice President was not the one who conducted the bidding or recommended the contractor.

    “His actions were purely ministerial in nature or part of his work as then mayor of Makati City,” a statement from the Office of the Vice President said.

    “It imputes guilt based on the minutest imperfections that could be conceivably found in the bidding process. The questioned resolution ascribes guilt to respondent Binay even if he is not responsible for the bidding process and that he merely signed the BAC [Bids and Awards Committee] resolution and authorized payment/s as part of his ministerial duties,” the lawyers said.

    They added that there was no irregularity when the-Mayor Binay approved the BAC resolution for negotiated procurement because he only signed the resolution based on the recommendation of then-City Engineer Nelson Morales and the BAC.

    This was part of the procedure and Binay, as mayor, only followed the regular procedure, the statement said.

    The lawyers said the Ombudsman’s resolution was based on hindsight even when the Supreme Court ruled that hindsight should not be relied on.

    Citing the ruling in Arias vs. Sandiganbayan, they noted Binay “had every right to rely [on]good faith upon the recommendations of his subordinates.”

    “All heads of offices have to rely to a reasonable extent on their subordinates and on the good faith of those who prepare bids, purchase supplies or enter into negotiations,” the ruling read.

    “There should be other grounds than the mere signature or approval appearing on a voucher to sustain a conspiracy charge and conviction,” it added.

    The Ombudsman earlier ordered that charges of graft, malversation and falsification of public documents be filed against Binay, his son Makati Mayor Erwin “Junjun” Binay and 20 Makati City employees.

    The Ombudsman also directed that the charges against the younger Binay and others be filed immediately, while the elder Binay will only be charged when his term expires.
    But the Vice President’s lawyers said the resolution requires a second look.

    The lawyers added that the law requires that an impeachable officer must first be removed from office by impeachment before charges against him can be investigated to determine probable cause.

    They said the law does not give the Ombudsman jurisdiction to investigate impeachable officers like the Vice President and to issue a resolution indicting an impeachable officer.

    “In proceeding with the investigation and subsequently issuing the questioned resolution, this honorable office clearly violated the Constitution and established jurisprudence on the matter. It acted without jurisdiction,” the lawyers said.

    Binay’s right to due process was violated by the Ombudsman when it ignored the objection posed by Binay that the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over the case as he is an impeachable official, they added.

    It was only when the questioned resolution was issued that the Vice President was informed of the Ombudsman’s contrary position that is has jurisdiction and would proceed with the investigation and render a resolution on the charges against him.

    “Hence, respondent Binay was deprived of any available remedy to question this honorable office’s position before the proper court,” the lawyers said.

    They alleged that the resolution has political pressure because Binay then was about to file his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the presidency.

    The Vice President’s camp earlier questioned the timing of the Ombudsman’s resolution, saying it is part of a “perception war.”

    The Ombudsman resolution was released to the media three days before the start of the COC filing.

    Binay apparently had not yet received a copy of the resolution when Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales disclosed it to media, saying they have found probable cause to charge the Vice President in court, but recommended the filing of charges against him only when his term ends in 2016.

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    8 Comments

    1. Mag kano kaya binayad ni Binay sa mga abugadong ito? Cige Binay panigay mo na nakaw mo.

    2. apolonio reyes on

      I had a dog name Diego. He was a very nice dog pet and when he got old fleas got all over his body that sucks his blood. In spite of all the pesticide and colar treatment recommended by the veterinary, huge number of fleas still suck his blood and multiply. Finally the Vet recommended that Diego have to be put to sleep. Our children were crying not to do this to Diego whom they love so much but I have to order TO DO IT so that the fleas EXTERMINATED and SAVED US FROM THIS PESTS.
      I believe this is the only way we could get rid of these blood sucking politicians who have brain as greedy as the Fleas. If these greedy blood sucking politicians does not change, amend themselves and return their loots, the only alternative is, God Forbids, is annihilate them to save our children and our beloved country.

    3. There is a very very big possibility that the whole Binay family will go to jail if Binay will lose in this election. That is the result of uncontrolled greed. What will it profit a man if he owns the world and loses his soul.

    4. Bilyong-bilyong piso ang naideposito sa bank accounts nina Binay at dummies.
      We do not need to connect the dots, the proof is already in the pudding!

    5. the ombudsman office is the attack or lapdog of Pnoy. Morales has lost her ascendancy to head this constitutional body. she should resign from her office if she has any iota of delicadeza.

    6. Bert Hernandez on

      Indict the corrupts that sucks the blood of the taxpayer. These suckers don’t have the heart of those suffering women who work as maids overseas away from their families. These people are arrogant, wants luxury, spending monies without shedding a sweat. Shame ! Shame!

    7. Under this administration, with or without sufficient evidence, if you have been targeted for harassment and prosecution, they will find a way to do so. You can’t even rely anymore with the sandigan. It seems that they are also being used as tools to persecute perceived or real political enemies of this vindictive Noy2. Look at GMA. She was charged with conspiracy but her alleged con-conspirators were either dismissed from the case or allowed to post bail. But GMA is being treated differently.That is how justice is dispensed under this administration.