Ombudsman files charges vs former VP Binay over car park building anomaly

admin   •   July 14, 2016   •   3084

Foremer vice president Jejomar Binay (R) and son Junjun binay (L).

Foremer vice president Jejomar Binay (R) and son Junjun binay (L).

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Two weeks after stepping down from office, former vice president Jejomar Binay is now facing cases at the Sandiganbayan.

This after he lost his privilege of immunity from suit.

The Ombudsman filed four counts of graft, malversation and nine counts of falsification of public documents against the former vice president over the anomalous construction of the Makati cark park building during his term as the mayor of Makati.

His son, Junjun Binay, who came next as mayor is also facing additional two counts of graft and malversation.

The Ombudsman noted the irregularities in the 2.28 billion worth of construction of cark park building that happened in 2007 until 2013.

According to the Ombudsman, Binay and the other accused falsified documents to guise the absence of public bidding.

The accused allegedly gave favor and unwarranted benefit to Hilmarcs Corporation when it awarded the project even without approved plans and specifications.

More than 1 billion pesos was allegedly paid to Hilmarcs while another 11 million was given to Mana Company for the architectural design.

But just like Hilmarcs, the contract was awarded to Mana despite lacking of approved plans.

Just this February, the Ombudsman filed graft and charges of falsifications of public documents against Junjun Binay over the questionable construction of Phase 4 and 5 of the car park building.

Aside from the two Binays, the Ombudsman also charged members of the Bids and Awards Committee and representatives from Hilmarcs and Mana.

Binay’s camp said they are ready to face the charges in court.

“We can now confront our accusers. We can now look at the evidence, if there is any concrete evidence against the Vice President. And we are very confident during an impartial hearing that there will be no basis for the allegations against the Vice President,” said Binay’s spokesperson Joey Salgado.

This case is set to be raffled among the seven divisions of Sandiganbayan tomorrow. A bond of 376 thousand pesos was recommended for Binay Sr. and 100 thousand pesos for the younger Binay.

Aside from this case, the Office of the Ombudsman is also investigating five other plunder complaints against former vice president Jejomar Binay.


Duterte backs call for Ombudsman probe on Pharmally issue

Maris Federez   •   October 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte supports a call for the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct an investigation on the government’s alleged anomalous procurement of pandemic supplies.

The president was referring to the appeal of the Philippine College of Physicians for the Ombudsman to file appropriate cases against all those accountable in the controversial multibillion-peso deals between the government and Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.

“We welcome the call of the Philippine College of Physicians that this matter should be immediately given to our courts and the Ombudsman. We have been saying this for the longest time and we all know that the Senate cannot prosecute. Mabuti pa ang mga doktor alam at naintindihan nila,” Duterte said.

“File cases is the right way to go. Stop using this issue in aid of election. Problema kasi sa Senate natin trying hard maghanap ng mga issue na may nangungurakot o kaya may nagkakapera,” he added.

The chief executive stated that, to date, the Senate Blue Ribbon committee has yet to build a case out of the hearings it has conducted, pointing out that that the said government deal was consistent with Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One-Act.

“And so we go back now to what has been established many times, walang overpricing […} legal ang naging proseso ng pagbili, according to what has been provided by Bayanihan 1. Na-deliver lahat at binayaran nang pagkatapos na-deliver,” the president insisted.

Duterte also dared the Senate to bring the matter to the proper courts.

“And if you think that you have identified companies with tax issues, then file the appropriate cases. Matagal na naman namin sinasabi, kasuhan niyo ang mga dapat kasuhan. Lahat naman talaga dapat magbayad ng buwis at kung kailangan magbayad, singilan para magbayad iyong may mga atraso sa gobyerno kagaya ni Senator Gordon,” Duterte said.

“Eh you call my memorandum ‘stupid?’ Well, I challenge you: bring your arguments to the proper court and I will answer you,” he further stated.

The president also slammed Senator Richard Gordon for threatening to cut the budget of the executive department if the officials will not attend the Blue Ribbon’s hearings, calling it a blatant abuse of power.

“You threaten the budget of different agencies of the Executive because the officials refuse to attend to your hearings. Ito ‘yung mga pang-abuso talaga itong masabi ko sa gobyerno — sa gobyerno ‘pag ka demokrasya, itong separation of powers, co-equal and everything; and they threatened to paralyze government,” Duterte said.

“I challenge you, do it. ‘Pag ka ‘yung mga hearing reduce the budget by one third, hinahamon ko kayo, gawain ninyo ‘yan,” he added. —/mbmf

Senate panel approves COA, Ombudsman proposed 2022 budget

Maris Federez   •   October 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Finance on Tuesday approved the proposed budget of two constitutional bodies for 2022.

Senator Sonny Angara called the budget deliberation of the Commission on Audit and the Office of the Ombudsman the shortest so far for this year, as the panel gave its approval under 15 minutes of the hearing.

The committee hearing for COA’s proposed budget of P14.4 billion only took 10 minutes and was soon endorsed for the nod of the plenary.

“No questions on the part of the Chair. […] this is probably the shortest budget meeting of this 2022 budget,” Angara said during the hearing.

Indicated in COA’s proposed budget is its request for additional funds for personnel services for the third tranche of the pay adjustments under the salary standardization law for government employees.

COA also requested a budget increase for the construction of provincial satellite auditing offices and provision for the operational expenses of these branches.

“We have written a letter to the committee asking for additional budgetary support primarily on the MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses) […] and possibly if the budget is flexible enough, maybe additional capital outlay,” said COA chairperson Michael Aguinaldo.

COA has, so far, completed the construction of 54 satellite offices, and 17 more under construction.

Meanwhile, it only took the Senate panel 13 minutes to finish the hearing of the P3.9 billion budget of the Office of the Ombudsman that was recommended by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Ombudsman Samuel Martires appealed for additional funding for its operational budget that was cut by almost half by the DBM.

“We’re not asking too much. If it will be hard for the Senate to give us the proposed budget for 2022, then we just would like to request that at least the budget that was given to us for 2021 be retained,” Martires said.

The Senate is currently on recess and is expected to resume on November 8 wherein senators are expected to start the deliberation of the national budget in the plenary. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Former VP Jejomar Binay to run for senator in 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   October 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Former Vice President Jejomar Binay will seek a Senate post in the 2022 elections under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), a party official said Tuesday.

“We welcome and are very grateful for the support extended to the former vice president by other political parties, and for him being invited to be part of their senatorial slate,” former Congressman JV Bautista, who serves as acting UNA secretary general, said in a statement.

Binay was earlier reported to be running for senator under the tandem of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Tito Sotto III.

But according to Bautista, the UNA party is still in talks with other political groups. Binay is the current president of UNA.

“At the moment, nothing has been finalized yet and UNA is still in talks with other organizations/political groups and is in the process of adopting senatorial candidates from these parties who share UNA’s vision and platform of government,” Bautista said.

Binay is expected to file his certificate of candidacy for senator on Thursday, Oct. 7.


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