• Court allows Junjun Binay to travel to US

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    The Sandiganbayan’s Third Division has allowed former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay to travel abroad from June 8 to 30.

    Binay is facing graft, malversation, and falsification charges along with several other individuals in connection with the alleged anomalous construction of the Makati City Hall parking building.

    Binay’s Motion for Permission to Travel Abroad which was filed before the Sandiganbayan on May 22 was granted by the Court which gave him permission to travel to California, New York and Washington from June 8 to 30 for a vacation with his four minor children.

    The court earlier issued Hold Departure Orders against the respondents, barring them from leaving the country without its prior permission.

    The defense said that Binay “commits and is ready to comply with any and all conditions that this Honorable Court may impose for his trip abroad.”

    It added in part in the motion that he “has no intention to jump on his bail or evade the law. As a matter of fact, he wants to protect and defend himself during the proceedings of this Honorable Court.”

    In granting Binay’s plea, the court said that he shall not leave the country earlier than June 8 and return not later than June 30.

    The court also said in its resolution that “his itinerary of travel shall be in California, New York and Washington in the US only.”

    Regardless of whether he was able to undertake the trip or not, Binay must present himself to the Clerk of Court of the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division together with his passport within five days after his expected date of return. He must also file a written formal compliance with all his undertakings not later than 15 days from his return.

    The court will notify his camp of subsequent proceedings if he fails and/or refuses to return.

    “Due notice given under these terms shall be deemed due notice to the accused, and the latter’s failure to appear for the settings indicated in such notice shall be deemed as waiver of his right to be present in hearings/trial of his cases,” the court said.

    The ruling was signed by Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, who leads the court’s Third Division, as well as by Associate Justices Sarah Jane Fernandez and Zaldy Trespeses.

    The Makati City Hall carpark building was constructed in five phases with one design phase from 2007 to 2013, spanning the terms of Binay and his father, former vice president Jejomar Binay Sr., as Makati mayor.

    Graft and falsification charges were filed against the younger Binay in February last year. Last April, the court found basis to try all the cases.

    Meanwhile, graft, malversation, and falsification cases against Binay Sr. and several others were filed after his term as vice president ended. The younger Binay is among the respondents in the malversation case and in two counts of graft filed against his father and several others. The court has yet to rule on whether or not there is basis to try these cases.

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