Binay's wife wants graft case dismissed


Posted at Jul 02 2012 07:04 PM | Updated as of Jul 03 2012 04:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Vice-President Jejomar Binay's wife wants the Sandiganbayan 5th Division to dismiss a graft case filed against her by the Office of the Ombudsman because of alleged delays by prosecutors.

Former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay, in a 20-page motion filed through her lawyers, claim that prosecutors have delayed and "flip-flopped" about the allegations of graft involving the purchase of office furniture and fixtures.

She said prosecutors have twice amended the information against her since the case was filed on September 18, 2006.

Prosecutors initially accused her of conspiring with former city councilor Salvador Pangilinan, former city administrator Nicanor Santiago Jr., then city treasurer Ernesto A. Aspillaga and private defendants Liyee Shing, Jason Li and Vivian M. Erudise, corporate officers of supplier Office Gallery International Inc. in causing undue injury to the Makati city government in a deal worth P72.06 million.

The defendants allegedly rigged the bidding, resulting in an overprice of P21.54 million.

Prosecutors later amended the charge and removed the allegation of conspiracy.

Binay's lawyers claim that in a re-amended information filed before the Sandiganbayan last year, prosecutors tried to play up the allegation of conspiracy in the case.

The Sandiganbayan has rejected the second amendment.

"(T)he flip-flopping of theories and changing of factual assertions …is patently abhorrent to the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the Accused. Worse, this demonstrated vacillation in case theories took the prosecution all of 5 years to resolve," Binay's lawyers said in their motion.

The motion also said the Ombudsman submitted a report on the case more than a year after the anti-graft court issued a resolution for its reinvestigation.

"The accused thus respectfully submits that the almost six years of demonstrated indecisiveness of the prosecution on what charge to actually pursue against the accused, its blatant vacillation in its theory of the case and unjustified procrastination gives suitable occasion for the Court to stand up in defense of her right to speedy trial and due process," Binay's lawyers said.