Ombudsman suspends Junjun Binay, et al

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2015 12:08 PM | Updated as of Mar 11 2015 10:33 PM

MANILA (UPDATE 2) - The Office of the Ombudsman has imposed a six-month preventive suspension against Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and several Makati officials.

In a Twitter post, the Ombudsman said Binay and the others have been suspended for six months “pending investigation of the Makati carpark complaint.”

The order will be immediately executed.

Last week, the Office of the Ombudsman decided to proceed with the preliminary investigation after giving credence to the case build-up prepared by a special panel of investigators.

The probe will look into the procurement and award for the design and architectural services to MANA Architecture and Interior Design Company.

The P11.9 million contract supposedly did not undergo public bidding.

Included in the complaint are former City Administrator Marjorie de Veyra, City Legal Officer Pio Kenneth Dasal, City Budget Officer Lorenza Amores, former Central Planning Management Office (CPMO) Chief Virginia Hernandez, former City Engineer Mario Badillo, former City Accountant Leonila Querijero, former Acting City Accountant Raydes Pestaño, City Accountant Cecilio Lim III, Acting City Accountant Eleno Mendoza, City Treasurer Nelia Barlis, CPMO Engineers Arnel Cadangan, Emerito Magat and Connie Consulta, CPMO Chief Line Dela Peña, Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Secretariat Heads Giovanni Condes and Manolito Uyaco, Technical Working Group (TWG) Chairman Rodel Nayve, BAC member Ulysses Orienza, General Services Department (GSD) OIC Gerardo San Gabriel, GSD staff member Norman Flores, as well as private respondents Orlando Mateo of MANA and Efren Canlas of Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation (Hilmarc).

The case is an offshoot of the plunder complaint filed by lawyer Renato Bondal, who alleged that the P2.2 billion building was overpriced.

In an interview with ANC, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim president Toby Tiangco said he already foresaw the issuance of the suspension order.

He said the Ombudsman has been too quick in its actions insofar as this particular case is concerned.

The Ombudsman decided to proceed with the probe only last week, he said. On the other hand, several lawmakers have yet to be suspended over the pork scam case, he added.

He said he got to talk to the mayor yesterday and this morning and informed him that he has already been receiving reports that a suspension order has already been signed.

“The mayor would not believe it at first because he has just received a summon to answer the allegations. He said he would not believe the Ombudsman would be suspending him,” Tiangco said.

He called the case “unique” due to the special attention given to it by different agencies.

“You have a special audit team, there’s also a special committee at the Senate. Now, there’s a special team of investigators. These special panels are not out to seek the truth, but to pin the Binays down,” Tiangco said.