The October 12 decision of the Ombudsman dismissing Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. from the service was a calculated attack meant to undermine the petition filed by the mayor before the Court of Appeals (CA).
“The mayor’s lawyers had anticipated the decision of the Court of Appeals, as this would be the consequence of the Ombudsman’s irregular and illegal order dismissing Mayor Binay,” Joey Salgado, spokesman for the Mayor, said.
The dismissal was meant to pre-empt the CA, he added.
He said Mayor Binay had already filed a motion for reconsideration before the Ombudsman, asking the agency to reverse its decision and instead order the dismissal of the complaint and recall all the penalties imposed.
“The Office of the Ombudsman ignored the Mayor’s Constitutional right to due process.
He was not informed of the nature of the allegations, and he is even being held liable for acts committed before he was elected mayor. The agency also did not act on earlier motions filed as early as May and instead issued its decision,” Salgado said.
He added there is no factual basis or evidence of conspiracy in the alleged rigging of the bid and the award of the contracts for architectural and engineering design of the Makati City Hall Building II.
“The Ombudsman also erred in applying rulings of the Supreme Court,” he added.
In his 26-page motion for reconsideration filed October 19, Mayor Binay said the Ombudsman’s Special Panel of Investigators charged him even if he did not participate in the bidding process.
“No stretch of imagination could yield a conclusion that I conspired in the commission of offenses that happened during the bidding when I am not a member of the Bids and Awards Committee and I could not have been the author of the falsifications allegedly committed,” the mayor said.
Mayor Binay said the Special Panels held him accountable for acts committed in 2007 when he was not yet the mayor.
“I submit that my constitutional right to due process was violated when, contrary to the rules of court and the Ombudsman’s rules of procedure, I was made to answer to the complaint even when on its face, there is no valid allegation against me,” he said.
Binay said the Ombudsman’s inaction on several motions he had filed “is most telling of its disregard of the rights of the undersigned respondent.”
These acts denied him “the opportunity to be heard and to submit any evidence he may have in support of his claim or defense,” he said.
“Undersigned respondent have long ago expressed his doubt as to the neutrality of the Special Panel and the recent issuance of the Joint Decision and the separate Resolution and Joint Resolution in the criminal aspect of the instant cases have all the more confirmed our serious doubts as to the neutrality of the Special Panel and the Office of the Ombudsman,” Binay said.
“The inaction, failure, or refusal of the Special Panel to resolve the pending incidents, especially the motion to suspend proceedings despite our earlier manifestations of doubt as to its impartiality constitutes denial of due process,” he added.
The mayor emphasized that he did not participate in the procurement of the contract for the Architectural and Engineering Design of the Bulding.
“I was not the author of the alleged falsifications. No amount of imagination could yield a conclusion that I could not have agreed to commit a crime that is supposed to have been agreed upon in 2007,” he said.
Binay said contrary to the findings, he relied “in the good faith and certifications of the the Acting City Accountant and the City Treasurer.”
“It is to be emphasized that the Commission on Audit never issued an audit observation memorandum regarding any of the payments made,” he said.
“I took no part in the bidding of the contracts for the different phases of construction. I was not the author of the alleged falsifications. No evidence was submitted to show that I participated in any manner or agreed to the commission of the alleged irregularities of the procurement, or that I approved of them,” the mayor said.
Binay also said there is no substantial evidence that he violated laws or established rules.
“On the contrary, the actions I performed consists the very functions of my office as the City Mayor and Head of the Procuring Entity,” he said.
“It is to be emphasized that undersigned’s act of signing his approval on the documents are the same acts that he had to perform in fulfillment of his duties. They do not in themselves constitute any deviation from established rules of procedure nor do they constitute any distortion of the truth. Signing an approval, by itself, does constitute a conscious agreement to irregularities allegedly committed, absent independent evidence of bad faith,” he said.