• Binay graft trial starts in October

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    The Sandiganbayan will begin hearing the graft and malversation charges filed against former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay and several other former Makati officials in October.

    The court’s Third Division scheduled the trial after the parties have finished marking the documentary evidence that they intend to present.

    On Tuesday, the pre-trial of the case was terminated and the court set trial dates on October 17 and 20, November 22 and 23, January 24 and 25, February 21 and 22, March 22 and 23, April 19 and 20, and May 16 and 17.

    The cases, filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2011, stemmed from the alleged anomalous purchase of sterilizers in 2000 and hospital beds and cabinets in 2001.

    The prosecution intends to present at least 50 witnesses, including State Auditor Heidi Mendoza, representatives from the Commission on Audit’s Special Task Force on Local Government Units Makati Team, former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado and former Makati General Services Department chief Ernesto Aspillaga.

    Representatives from the Office of the Treasurer and Supply and Property Division of Makati City, and past and present Makati councilors were also included.

    Likewise listed as witnesses were representatives from the Ospital ng Makati, Senate, Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Trade and Industry, Business Permit and Licensing Office of the City of Manila, and Bureau of Food and Drugs.

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