Elenita Binay cleared in P72-M graft case linked to city hall furniture purchase

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2019 08:31 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2019 10:54 PM

Elenita Binay (left) in 2015. The Sandiganbayan 5th Division this week cleared the former Makati mayor of a graft case connected with the purchase of furniture worth P72 million for city hall. File/Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—The Sandiganbayan 5th Division has cleared former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay of a graft case connected with the purchase of furniture worth P72 million for city hall.

In a 31-page resolution dated June 10, the Sandiganbayan granted Binay's demurrer to evidence, a plea that seeks the dismissal of a case citing insufficient evidence.

The court noted the failed effort of the prosecution to turn another accused, former Makati City general-services chief Ernesto Aspillaga, into a state witness.

Aspillaga had claimed Binay gave him a handwritten note expressing her favor for the supplier that won the bidding.

He, however, acknowledged that he did not keep the said note as it was illegal.

The court also found no sufficient evidence on the alleged excess purchases, as the audit team was "not able to make a physical count or inventory of the items that were supposed to have been purchased vis-a-vis the number of items present in the premises."

In 2016, the Sandiganbayan 4th Division also acquitted Binay of graft over the anomalous purchase of P13.25 million worth of office furniture.