By Czarina Nicole Ong
Former Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. is asking the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division to drop the graft and falsification charges in relation to the overpriced P1.3-billion Makati Science High School building.
Binay Jr. is facing four graft and three falsification charges together with his father, former Vice President Jejomar (Jojo)Binay. This is for their involvement in the procurement of several items for the Makati Science High School building.
In the charge sheets filed against them, both father and son were faulted for entering into a P17.37 million Architectural & Engineering (A&E) consultancy services contract with Infiniti Architectural Works for the design of the building back in September 2007.
They pushed through with the contract despite several irregularities in the selection of the consultancy services.
After the A&E portion of the project, the accused local officials were accused by the Ombudsman of having “rigged” the procurement processes for the building’s construction.
These are divided into six phases for the years 2008 to 2013, and it was Himarc’s Construction that won the total construction deal at P1.33 billion net cost.
In his supplement to motion to quash, Binay Jr. said that his charges should be dropped because of “the uniform ground that they charge more than one offense.”
After reviewing the information filed against him before the Third Division in relation to the Makati Parking Building Project, Binay Jr. realized that “the prosecution is following a particular pattern in the filing of criminal Information against him,” he wrote in his motion.
He explained that each of the graft charges also includes the offense of falsification of public document even though he has already been slapped separately with falsification charges.
“With all due respect, it is undeniable that the same act charged as constituting violation of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019…is also charged as falsification of public document,” he said.
As a result, the younger Binay said he was subjected to the test of double jeopardy, which is the prosecution of an accused twice for the same offense.
Meanwhile, Binay Jr. has two counts of graft and one count of malversation before the Third Division in relation to the phase three of the overpriced P2.2 billion Makati City Hall Parking Building contracts. In these charges, the younger Binay is the co-accused of his father.
On the other hand, he is the primary accused for phases four and five of the parking building project. In it, he has been slapped with two graft and six falsification charges.