Ombudsman to indict ex-VP Binay, son Junjun, others over alleged anomalies in Makati Science building project

(Eagle News) — The Office of the Ombudsman is set to indict former Vice President Jejomar Binay, his son, former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and several others, in connection with the allegedly anomalous P1.3-billion Makati Science High School project.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales ordered the filing of four counts of graft and three counts of falsification of documents against each of the Binays in two separate resolutions approved on August 1.

Also ordered indicted were 19 individuals–bids and awards committee chairpersons Marjorie de Veyra and Eleno Mendoza Jr.; BAC members Pio Kenneth Dasal, Lorenza Amores, Ulysess Orienza, Gerardo San Gabriel and Mario Badillo; BAC secretariat members Giovanni Condes, Manolito Uyaco, Norman Flores and Ralph Liberato; BAC Technical Working Group member Rodel Nayve; city accountants Leonila Querijero, Cecilio Lim III and Raydes Pestano; and city cashier Nelia Barlis.

The Ombudsman also ordered the filing of raps against Virginia Garcia of Infiniti Architectural Works, and Efren Canlas and Julius Ramos of Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation.

According to the Ombudsman, the Makati Science High School on Kalayaan Ave. was supposed to be a 10-storey building with a four-storey dormitory, but it was completed without the dorm.

“Hilmarc’s was placed on higher footing than any potential bidders whom, by lack of publication of the (invitation) in newspapers of general circulation, and by the limited time of posting in the PhilGEPS, city’s website or conspicuous places, were deprived of sufficient chance to participate in the biddings,” she said.

She noted that in fact, “no other bidder participated in the public biddings for phases 2,4,5 and 6.”

“The records are also bereft of a showing that there were completed architectural designs and engineering plans before the publication of the invitation for phase 2. This logically shows that the public biddings were nothing but a sham,” she added.

“Selective prosecution”

In a statement, Joey Salgado, the Binays spokesperson, said the allegations have already been answered but have apparently been “disregarded by the Ombudsman.”

“It once again underscores the selective prosecution of the Binays and the Ombudsman’s tendency to look the other way when other political personalities are involved,” he said.

He noted that the Binays were “confident that in a fair and impartial trial, they will be able to clear their names and dispute the baseless charges of a patently biased Ombudsman.”