• Ombudsman finds ground to charge VP Binay, son

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    After over a year of investigation, the Office of the Ombudsman found ground to file charges at the Sandiganbayan against Vice President Jejomar Binay, his son Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and 22 others in connection with the alleged anomalous bidding and construction of the P2.28 billion Makati carpark building.

    Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales found probable cause to file charges of graft, malversation of public funds, and falsification of public documents against the Binays and Marjorie De Veyra, Pio Kenneth Dasal, Lorenza Amores, Virginia Hernandez, Line Dela Peña, Mario Badillo, Leonila Querijero, Raydes Pestaño, Nelia Barlis, Cecilio Lim III, Arnel Cadangan, Emerito Magat, Connie Consulta, Ulysses Orienza, Giovanni Condes, Manolito Uyaco, Norman Flores, Gerardo San Gabriel, Eleno Mendoza, Jr. and Rodel Nayve.

    Private respondents Orlando Mateo from Mana Architecture and Interior Design, Co. (MANA) and Efren Canlas of Hilmarc’s Construction Company (Hilmarc’s) were also included in the indictment.

    The respondents have five days from receipt of the Ombudsman’s resolution to file their motions for reconsideration.

    The Ombudsman said documents “established badges of fraud committed by Binay, Sr. et.al. in manipulating the procurement to ensure the award of the contract to MANA; processing and approving a series of four (4) payments totaling to P11.97 million despite the incomplete submission of deliverables such as design plans, working drawings, and technical specifications.”

    It also found alleged violations of R.A. No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act including the supposed absence of publication of invitations to bid as provided in the law.

    “A certified true copy of the publication obtained from the National Library showed that no advertisement for the invitations to bid was made as attested to by the publisher,” the office said.

    It added that there was “undue haste” in the award since the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) took only 11 days to complete the procurement process for the multi-million peso infrastructure project.

    The vice president argued that the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction to investigate impeachable officials, but Morales dismissed his assertion and explained that “being an impeachable officer does not insulate him from investigation.”

    She said Binay was investigated for criminal acts he allegedly committed while he was Mayor of Makati City and not as Vice President.

    “At all events, impeachable officers, like Binay, Sr., are within the investigatory power or jurisdiction of this Office,” the Ombudsman stressed.

    But because Binay is immune from suit, the office will have to wait until his tenure expires before a case may be filed in court.

    If he wins in the presidential race next year, no charges can still be filed because a president is also immune from suit.

    “Hindi po ito minadali, ang dapat pong malaman ng ating mga kababayan nagsimula po ang investigation September 15, 2014 and that means na mahigit na po isang taon mula nang imbestigahan ang bagay na ito [This was not railroaded, what our countrymen should know is that the investigation started September 15, 2014 and that means it has been over a year since this matter was investigated],” Maria Janina Hidalgo, spokesperson of the Office of the Ombudsman Hidalgo, said.

    Reina Tolentino

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    6 Comments

    1. For the information of the bloggers:

      Read Atty Salumbides et al vs. Ombudsman, G.R. no. 180917 promulgated by the Supreme Court on April 23, 2010.” This is one of the last decisions written by former Justice Carpio-Morales now, the Ombudsman herself. While the petitioners prayer for the extension of the “doctrine of condonation” was rejected because it can only be available to elective officials, Carpio-Morales asserted the doctrine of condonation and cited several cases to wit:

      “More than 60 years ago, the Court in Pascual v. Hon. Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija17c?a issued the landmark ruling that prohibits the disciplining of an elective official for a wrongful act committed during his immediately preceding term of office. The Court explained that “[t]he underlying theory is that each term is separate from other terms, and that the reelection to office operates as a condonation of the officer’s previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor.”18c?a

      The Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. To do otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right to elect their officers. When the people elect[e]d a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. It is not for the court, by reason of such faults or misconduct[,] to practically overrule the will of the people.19c?a

      Lizares v. Hechanova, et al.20c?a replicated the doctrine. The Court dismissed the petition in that case for being moot, the therein petitioner “having been duly reelected, is no longer amenable to administrative sanctions.”21c?a

      Ingco v. Sanchez, et al.22c?a clarified that the condonation doctrine does not apply to a criminal case.23c?a Luciano v. The Provincial Governor, et al.,24c?a Olivarez v. Judge Villaluz,25c?a and Aguinaldo v. Santos26echoed the qualified rule that reelection of a public official does not bar prosecution for crimes committed by him prior thereto.

      Consistently, the Court has reiterated the doctrine in a string of recent jurisprudence including two cases involving a Senator and a Member of the House of Representatives.27c?a

      Salalima v. Guingona, Jr.28c?a and Mayor Garcia v. Hon. Mojica29reinforced the doctrine. The condonation rule was applied even if the administrative complaint was not filed before the reelection of the public official, and even if the alleged misconduct occurred four days before the elections, respectively. Salalima did not distinguish as to the date of filing of the administrative complaint, as long as the alleged misconduct was committed during the prior term, the precise timing or period of which Garcia did not further distinguish, as long as the wrongdoing that gave rise to the public
      official’s culpability was committed prior to the date of reelection.” (end of quote)

      Did Morales forgot her recent decision before she left the Supreme Court? Why did she reasserted the “doctrine of condonation” as to elective officials when she was still a member of the Supreme Court yet now, conveniently urged the Supreme Court to revisit the time honored doctrine (60 years)? For convenience?

      Are you saying that the Supreme Court was consistently wrong in a string of several cases for 60 years reiterating the said doctrine and you are the only one correct Sereno? Are you saying that Capio-Morales was also wrong considering that the decision penned by Carpio-Morales was decided by a “court en banc”?

      “As for San Pedro, his administrative liability was rendered moot and academic owing to his reelection in the same position in 2010,” she said, referring to a Supreme Court doctrine that condones the administrative liability of an elected public official for a past offense once that official is reelected for a fresh term.

    2. The FDA is extremely corrupt. List of people at the FDA and DOH who are corrupt: Atty Romela Devera, Sec. Garin, Dr. Miriam Sales, Atty. Lutero III, Jesusa Cirunay, Dr. Peter Glenn Chua, Agnette Peralta, MArivic Paulino, Atty. Jasper Lascano and Atty. Emilio Polig and former employees: Sec. Ona, FDA chief Suzette Lazo, FDA chief Kenneth Hartigan-Go (and now undersecretary of Health)! are extremely corrupt!
      Wicked_Lia(r) said, ” mukhang kilala mo ang mga tao sa FDA aH!
      nakakatransaksyones mo ba?
      lahat naman ng ahensya may mga BULOK……..”
      Yan na! Inamin ng corrupt silang mga N0ytard at MARnanakaw!

    3. Grabe naman kung walang makitang katibayan ang ombudsman. AMLAC records plus testimony of Mercado, best friend in Binay sa corruption.

      • huwag ng tayong umasa dyan kay moral less na kakasuhan si boy sisi at abadingding. pag nanalo ang mga manok ni boy sisi na sina boy pickup o poequino o biNOY walang kaso si boy sisi. lalo na pag si boy pickup ang nanalo, via hocus pcos machines, lusot lahat sila drilon, belmonte, alcala, dinky, abad, abaya at iba pa. pag si poequino ang nanalo, baka si boy sisi, abad, drilon, belmonte ay lumusot pero pag si biNOY, sabit lahat pwera lang si boy sisi. baka makasama pa sina trillanes, pimentel at cayetano for misuse of pdaf and dap.