Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday said the Office of the Ombudsman holds no strong evidence on the complaint filed against him on alleged anomalies purportedly surrounding the bidding for the Makati Science High School building project.
“There is no evidence at all that will stand in any court of law to indict, much more convict, VP [Vice President] Binay of the charges filed by the Special Panel of Investigators,” Binay’s counter-affidavit on the alleged rigging of the bidding for the high school building said.
“Yet, not only did the Ombudsman entertain these baseless charges, it persistently declared in media that the evidence against VP Binay is allegedly strong,” it added.
The complaint is baseless, the counter-affidavit said, because it is founded solely on the testimony of engineer Mario Hechanova, former head of the General Services Department of the Makati City Hall during Binay’s term as mayor, that then-City Engineer Nelson Morales ordered him to award the project to Hilmarc Construction Company in 2007.
Hechanova, a member of the Bids and Awards Committee, also alleged that he and members of the committee were paid P200,000 monthly for rigging the bid process.
The counter-affidavit said Hechanova’s statement is a “blatant lie.”
It also questioned the timing, months before the 2016 presidential elections, of his allegations when the supposed incident happened seven years ago.
Since assuming office in 2010, Binay has been vocal in his plans to seek the presidency in 2016.
Moreover, the counter-affidavit pointed out that Hechanova’s testimony is merely hinged on a “hearsay.”
“Hechanova cannot testify on the truth of something that he merely ‘heard from another.’ This violates the rule on ‘hearsay evidence.’ Hechanova’s statement is not allowed because its truthfulness depends on the competency and credibility of Engineer Morales, who has long been deceased,” the affidavit said.
Morales was ambushed in 2012 in the Bicol region, south of Manila, outside the church where he served as a godfather in a wedding.
“In conveniently citing a dead person as the source of his accusation, Hechanova has effectively deprived VP Binay of the right to cross-examine [Engineer] Morales, if indeed such a statement was even made,” the affidavit said.
“This is a clear violation of the rules on evidence as well as the basic precepts of due process and fair play, which any fair and independent body will not and should not tolerate,” it added.
The affidavit also warned the Vice President’s detractors on filing criminal charges against him when he can only be on the receiving end of such after he is removed from office through impeachment.
“Criminal action against VP Binay can only proceed after he is convicted and removed from office in an impeachment proceeding,” it said.