FORMER Makati mayor Elenita Binay begged the Sandiganbayan to stop the court hearing on a P35-million criminal case, following the Office of the Ombudsman’s reinstatement of her name in the charge sheet.
The wife of Vice President Jejomar Binay urged on Tuesday the Sandiganbayan in a five-page motion to stop the proceedings in the graft and malversation charges over the inclusion of her name in an amended information, as she was already cleared in the case for lack of strong evidence.
Through her lawyers at the Yorac Arroyo Chua Caedo & Coronel Law Firm, Binay said that she has yet to receive a memorandum of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), who included her again in the P35.1-million Ospital ng Makati hospital bed controversy.
Her inclusion in the defendants’ roll came after prosecutors filed a pleading before the Sandiganbayan asking the anti-graft court to admit an amended charge sheet that includes the former mayor as an additional accused in the case.
The graft case is tied to the alleged ghost purchase of 188 hospital beds, 220 bedside cabinets, 10 intensive care unit beds and four orthopedic beds from UGM Medisys without public bidding.
Prosecutors found that there is no actual UGM Medisys existing in Kendall Park, New Jersey.
Meanwhile, the malversation charge is related to the alleged embezzling of the P35.1 million, “simulating a fictitious agreement . . . and intercalating a product brochure of Juhng Mei Medical Instruments Co.” to make it appear that it is the brochure of UGM.
Defense lawyer Felicitas Aquino-Arroyo said earlier that the move of prosecutors was “pure harassment.
“The OSP did not even inform the former mayor of their decision nor did they give her the opportunity to challenge the legal basis for this high-ly irregular action,” the lawyer said.
Arroyo said that the former mayor was already cleared in the graft complaint that it is puzzling why Binay was now suddenly included in the active case.
The defense said that it was a “surreptitious resurrection” since the case was reopened at the Sandiganbayan 10 years after the case was filed at the Ombudsman in 2003, with Binay cleared for lack of evidence.
They added that state prosecutors went beyond the order of the Sandiganbayan on May 12, 2012, when the court only asked fiscals to resolve the motion for reconsideration of the other accused and not reopen the case against Binay.
At present, the defense wanted the hearing from stop moving forward until after a motion for reconsideration at the Ombudsman was filed and resolved.
“The filing of a motion for reconsideration is an integral part of the preliminary investigation proper and the denial to file the same is tantamount to deprivation of the right to full preliminary investigation,” the recently filed motion read.
The Sandiganbayan Third Division will hear the merits of the motion on Friday.