Elenita Binay seeks SC intervention in Sandigan's admission of evidence

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 09 2019 03:50 PM

Elenita Binay seeks SC intervention in Sandigan's admission of evidence 1
Former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay. File Photo

MANILA - Former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay has filed a petition before the Supreme Court, seeking to nullify documentary evidence used by the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division in connection with her two graft and two malversation of public funds cases.

In Binay's petition for certiorari, she argued that the anti-graft court committed grave abuse in admitting documentary evidence like photocopies of documents, unauthenticated original copies and documents which were not marked during pre-trial.

Binay’s lawyers said the resolutions of the court admitting the documentary evidence submitted by the prosecution should be nullified, citing, among others, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court or “The Best Evidence Rule” which mandates that “when the subject of inquiry is the contents of a document, no evidence shall be admissible other the original itself.”

“Thus, no evidence shall be received which is merely substitutionary in its nature so long as the original evidence can be had,” Binay’s lawyers from Yorac Sarmiento Arroyo Chua Coronel and Reyes Law Firm said.

The petition for certiorari was filed before the Supreme Court on December 27, 2018 and a copy was received by the Sandiganbayan on January 8, 2019.

Binay is on trial for the supposed irregular purchase of hospital beds, cabinets, autoclave dry heat sterilizers, heavy-duty dry heat sterilizers amounting to P45 million for the government-run Ospital ng Makati when she was city mayor, in 2000 to 2001.

The prosecution had presented 10 witnesses, including former vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, whose documentary evidence was among those contested by Binay.

“As regards Exhibit P, while the prosecution purports the same to be an original, the authenticy and provenance of the said document remain contested the same having been presented by Mr. Ernesto Mercado who was undeniably not legal custodian of the said document,” Binay’s lawyers said.

Binay also has a pending motion for leave to file demurrer before the Sandiganbayan.