Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday downplayed the Senate Blue Ribbon Subcommittee report recommending the filing of plunder complaint against him, saying his role in the construction of the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building was only “ministerial.”
“The reason that I was included in the charges was because I signed the contract. The Supreme Court has handed a decision on that. Heads of agency sign documents [as]ministerial [duty],” he said in an interview on DWIZ.
Binay said he relied on the recommendations of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) when he approved the construction of the building.
In Arias v. Sandiganbayan, the Supreme Court ruled that “(a)ll heads of offices have to rely to a reasonable extent on their subordinates and on the good faith of those prepare bids, purchase supplies, or enter into negotiations.”
Binay said the senators who conducted the probe only wanted media attention because they know that a complaint has been filed at the Office of the Ombudsman.
“Kung hindi ba talaga gumagawa lang mileage, mabasa lang sa diyaryo, mapanuod sa TV. Alam naman nila na Ombudsman din naman ang hahawak nito. ‘Yang hablang ‘yan, ‘yang kunwari in aid of legislation nila. May habla na sa amin ‘yan. Naroon ho, nakabinbin na sa Ombudsman (They’re just after media mileage. They know that the Ombudsman will handle the case. A complaint has been filed, it’s pending at the Ombudsman),” he said.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said the Senate report can be used by prosecutors in their case build up.
Morales said the report can “complement the investigation that we are conducting.”
“We don’t know what are the contents, so I cannot say if we will use it as evidence. But it can be complementary to our case build-up or it could even go more than what we are finding sa case build-up. In which case, we will be happy to consider the report,” she said.
The Ombudsman’s Special Panel of Investigators filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against former the Vice President, Makati Mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay and 22 others for malversation, falsification, violations of the Anti-Graft Law and Government Procurement Reform Act.
The complaint is in connection with alleged irregularities in the purchase and award of the construction and design contracts of the Makati City Hall Parking Building.
In July 2014, Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso filed a plunder complaint against Binay for his alleged involvement in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II which they claimed was overpriced.
The camp of Binay has maintained that the Senate investigation was politically m,otivated.