Ombudsman files charges vs Binays over alleged P1.3-billion school building anomaly

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2018 04:00 PM | Updated as of Nov 11 2018 09:30 PM

MANILA - (UPDATE) The Office of the Ombudsman on Friday filed charges against former Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son dismissed Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun" Binay Jr. before the Sandiganbayan over alleged irregularities in a P1.3-billion school building project.

The Binays are facing four counts of graft and three counts of falsification of public documents each for allegedly conspiring with other Makati City officials and private individuals to rig the procurement for a 10-story building of the Makati Science High School in 2007.

Based on the Ombudsman's investigation, the contract went to Hillmarc’s Construction Corporation despite irregularities such as the placement of fake “invitation to bid” announcements in newspapers.

The Ombudsman also alleged that the contract, which involved six phases during the time of the Binays as city mayors, supposedly included the construction of a four-story dormitory. The structure was never built, prosecutors said. 

The elder Binay returned as Makati mayor in 2001 after serving earlier terms and remained until 2010. He was succeeded by his son, who served until 2015, when he was dismissed over the allegedly anomalous school building project. 

Joey Salgado, spokesperson for the Binays, said the Ombudsman "clearly intends to spend her remaining months in office pursuing her obsession to prosecute" them on "false and baseless charges" while being "less enthusiastic" in investigating complaints against officials and personalities of the Aquino administration.

"This once again displays the hypocrisy and selective justice of the Ombudsman," he said in a statement.

"Our lawyers are looking forward to proving the innocence of former VP Binay and former Mayor Jun in an impartial tribunal. They will show that these cases are part of the political persecution of a biased Ombudsman," he added.

The Binays are also facing trial at the Sandiganbayan for the allegedly overpriced P2.2-billion Makati City Hall Parking Building project. Both are pressing for the cases to be dismissed.