Binays stand trial for graft over P1.3-B Makati Science High School

MANILA, Philippines – Former vice president Jejomar Binay and former Makati City mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr will stand trial before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan for graft and falsification of public documents over the alleged anomalous P1.3-billion Makati Science High Schools.

In separate resolutions, the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division denied the motions to quash filed by the father and son.

The anti-graft justices said all the elements of the charges of graft and falsification of public documents were properly alleged.

In a Senate inquiry in 2014, Binay's ally-turned-rival Renato Bondal said the building was overpriced by around P862 million. The overpricing aspect is not covered in the charges yet, only the irregularities in bidding.

Arguments

The older Binay defended himself by citing the Local Government Code, which defines his duties as a mayor.

But the court said those are matters that are better off discussed in trial.

“Just because the law provides his official functions does not automatically mean that he carried out his functions without transgressing the law. For now, whether he carried out his functions in accordance with law is not relevant,” said the resolution on Jejomar Binay.

Junjun Binay said there was double jeopardy when he was charged of multiple counts over the same offense.

The Sandiganbayan said the younger Binay was charged of 3 counts of falsification of documents because there were alleged anomalies in the 3 phases of construction. The falsification charges then became “ingredients” to the charges of graft.

“Where a single act violates two or more or entirely distinct and related provisions of the law, the prosecution of the accused for more than one offense in separate informations is justified,” the court said. 

The resolutions were penned by Associate Justice Rafael Lagos with concurrences from associate justices Maria Theresa Mendoza Arcega and Mary Ann Corpus Mañalac. 

The Binays have posted bail. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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