• Sandiganbayan allows former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay to travel anew to Japan

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    The anti-graft court on Friday granted the motion of former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay, wife of Vice President Jejomar Binay, to travel anew to Tokyo, Japan this month.

    In a two-page ruling issued on Thursday by the Sandiganbayan which was made available only to the media on Friday, the Fourth Division has allowed Binay to travel to Tokyo from December 18 to 23.

    “Acting on accused Elenita S. Binay’s motion for authority to travel abroad (Dated Nov. 25, 2014) and after considering the prosecution’s comment/opposition thereto (Dated Dec. 1, 2014), the court resolves to grant said accused permission to travel abroad to Tokyo, Japan,” the ruling said.

    The Sandiganbayan required Dra. Binay to deposit to the court a cash amounting P90,000 as travel bond.

    Binay earlier deposited to the court travel bonds amounting P90,000 on July 23, 2007 and P45,000 on May 27,2009 “which have not been withdrawn by the accused, and the same shall now answer for the travel bond required herein.”

    The court further disclosed that the itinerary of Binay’s travel shall cover Tokyo, Japan only “and not any other places.”

    The court reminded Dra. Binay to submit herself to the Division Clerk of Court within five days upon her return in the country together with her passport, and present to the Clerk of Court the pages bearing the stamps of her departure from and entry to the country.

    The court stressed that the accused is only allowed to leave not earlier than December 18 and be back not later than December 23.

    The former chief local executive is facing one count of graft before the Fourth Division in connection with the alleged anomalous purchase of P13.25-million worth of panel partitions, accessories and assorted pieces of furniture for the Makati City Hall in year 2000 during her incumbency as Makati City mayor.

    In 2006, the Office of the Ombudsman found out that the purchased items were allegedly overpriced and the purchase was done without holding public bidding.

    The Fifth Division of the Sandiganbayan granted late last month a similar motion of Binay to travel to Tokyo.

    Binay is facing two counts of graft before the Fifth Division also in connection with the alleged anomalous purchase of office partitions and furniture worth P21.5 million in 1999 and P21.7 million in 2000.

    This time, the Office of the Ombudsman said the purchases were done with rigged or simulated bidding.

    Both divisions of the anti-graft court have already granted Binay’s motion to travel abroad, the former Makati Mayor cannot rejoice just yet as she is yet to be arraigned for another set of cases pending before the Third Division of the anti-graft court.

    The Sandiganbayan said that Binay is likewise facing malversation and graft charges before the Third Division in relation to the alleged anomalous purchase of P45-million worth of hospital beds and medical supplies also during her incumbency as the mayor of Makati City in 2000 and 2001. PNA

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