FORMER vice president Jejomar Binay is asking the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division to raffle out the graft, malversation, and falsification cases filed against him and several others in connection with the alleged anomalous construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building.
The cases — which were filed after Binay’s term ended in June — were consolidated with the ones earlier filed against his son, former Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr.
“It is respectfully submitted that the consolidation of the instant cases with the previous ‘Binay cases’ is improper and invalid based on the grounds discussed hereunder,” the defense said in a motion to raffle.
The former vice president’s camp argued that the Sandiganbayan’s revised internal rules require that all cases must be raffled to the anti-graft court’s various divisions.
The defense added that “[t]he consolidated cases do not arise from the same incident or series of incidents nor do these cases involve common questions of fact and law,” and pointed out that Binay is not a respondent in the cases filed against his son.
“The instant cases pertain to the design of the Makati City Hall II, Phases 1, 2, and 3 of the construction. On the other hand, the previously filed ‘Binay cases’ pertain to Phases 4 and 5. While the subject cases pertain to the same building, it is undisputed, based on the Informations filed, that: (i) the charges are separate and distinct; (ii) the alleged facts are separate and distinct; (iii) the issues are separate and distinct; and (iv) there are no interrelated incidents, no connection, no relation between the subject cases,” Binay’s lawyers argued.
Moreover, the defense argued that the consolidation of the cases will violate Binay’s right to a speedy trial.
“Considering the afore-mentioned dissimilarities of the subject cases, [Binay] would be exposed to numerous testimonies that are irrelevant or immaterial as to him. Such exposure would unnecessarily delay the resolution of the cases against him and violate his right to a speedy trial,” it said.
The defense thus asked the court to “refrain the consolidation of the instant cases with the previously filed ‘Binay cases’; and refer the instant cases to the Raffle Committee for the appropriate raffling.”
The Makati City Hall carpark building was constructed in five phases with one design phase, spanning the respective terms of Binay and his son as Makati mayor.
In October 2015, the Office of the Ombudsman found probable cause to file charges at the Sandiganbayan against them and several others.
The respondents included then-Makati officials and employees: Marjorie de Veyra, Pio Kenneth Dasal, Lorenza Amores, Virginia Hernandez, Line de la Peña, Mario Badillo, Leonila Querijero, Raydes Pestaño, Nelia Barlis, Cecilio Lim 3rd, Arnel Cadangan, Emerito Magat, Connie Consulta, Ulysses Orienza, Giovanni Condes, Manolito Uyaco, Norman Flores, Gerardo San Gabriel, Eleno Mendoza Jr., and Rodel Nayve.
Efren Canlas who was identified in the charge sheets as then-representative of Hilmarc’s Construction Corp., and Orlando Mateo who was identified as then-representative of Mana Architectural and Interior Design, Co. were also included.