Former Vice President arraigned as he seeks court permission to go overseas
As he seeks permission to fly to Israel for a pilgrimage in Jerusalem, former Vice President Jejomar Binay had to listen to a litany of charges against him in connection with the allegedly anomalous construction of the P2.3-billion Makati City Hall Building 2 when he was still Makati City mayor.
The former vice president had to be conditionally arraigned by the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division, a standard requirement for respondents seeking permission to travel abroad.
Binay is facing eleven counts of falsification of public documents, three counts of graft, and one count of malversation for the controversial parking building construction, where his son, former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, is also among respondents.
The anomaly is among a string of allegedly controversial deals raised against the elder Binay in the runup to the May 2016 elections, where he failed in his presidential bid.
Binay did not enter any plea to all the charges read to him, prompting Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and 3rd Division Chair Amparo Cabotaje-Tang to enter 'not guilty' pleas for him, as per the Rules of Court.
The last hurdle for Binay is the approval of his motion to travel, which is now submitted for resolution.
The prosecution has opposed his motion citing that he is a "flight risk" among others.
If allowed by the court, Binay will leave on May 15 and will back to the country on May 29. Binay is supposed to leave with his wife, Dr. Elenita Binay, who has also pending cases before the Sandiganbayan and is also awaiting the decisions of two divisions where her travel motions are still pending.