THE Office of the Ombudsman has found basis to file graft and falsification charges at the Sandiganbayan against former vice president Jejomar Binay Sr., his son and namesake, former mayor Jejomar Jr., and other individuals over the alleged anomalous procurement processes in connection with the P1.3-billion Makati Science High School Building.
Also facing indictment were then-Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Chairmen Marjorie De Veyra and Eleno Mendoza Jr.; then-BAC members Pio Kenneth Dasal, Lorenza Amores, Ulysess Orienza, Gerardo San Gabriel, and Mario Badillo; then-BAC Secretariat members Giovanni Condes, Manolito Uyaco, Norman Flores, and Ralph Liberato; Rodel Nayve who was of the BAC Technical Working Group; then-city accountants Leonila Querijero, Cecilio Lim 3rd, and Raydes Pestaño; and then-city cashier Nelia Barlis.
Virginia Garcia who was from Infiniti Architectural Works, as well as Efren Canlas and Julius Ramos from Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation also face indictment.
In a statement issued on Thursday, former vice president Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado said that “[t]he Ombudsman has time and again disregarded her agency’s internal rules, due process and constitutional rights to pursue her witch hunt against former VP Binay and his family. Her recent move comes as no surprise.”
“The allegations have been answered, but apparently disregarded by the Ombudsman. It once again underscores the selective prosecution of the Binays and the Ombudsman’s tendency to look the other way when other political personalities are involved,” Salgado added.
“Former VP Jojo Binay and former mayor Junjun are confident that in a fair and impartial trial, they will be able to clear their names and dispute the baseless charges of a patently biased Ombudsman,” he said.
According to a statement issued by the Ombudsman on Thursday, then-mayor Binay Sr. allegedly entered into a P17.37-million Architectural & Engineering (A & E) consultancy services contract with Infiniti for the design of the subject building in 2007.
Witnesses from two architectural firms denied that they joined the bid negotiations and submitted proposals for the project, it added.
The Ombudsman further alleged that the respondents rigged the procurement processes for the building’s construction, divided into six phases (2008 to 2013) which, it said, were awarded to Hilmarc’s Construction at a P1.33-billion total net cost.
“Hilmarc’s was placed on higher footing than any potential bidders who, by lack of publication of the [invitation]in newspapers of general circulation and by the limited time of posting in the PhilGEPS, City’s website or conspicuous places, were deprived of sufficient chance to participate in the biddings. In fact, no other bidder participated in the public biddings for phases 2, 4, 5 and 6,” it alleged.