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Ex-Makati vice mayor Bobby Brillante asks Ombudsman to re-open Binay graft case

A former Makati City official has asked the Office of the Ombudsman to revisit the case he filed against Vice President Jejomar Binay more than 10 years ago.

In his letter, former Makati vice mayor Bobby Brillante decried the “hasty dismissal” of the case by the Sandiganbayan.

“[The case] was raffled on Friday afternoon of October 27, 2006  and then hastily dismissed by the Sandiganbayan Third Division the following Monday, October 30, 2006, ‘for lack of probable cause without prejudice,’” Brillante, who filed the complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman in 2003, said in his letter.

The case stemmed from Binay’s alleged anomalous purchase of office partitions and furniture for the Makati City Hall.

In his letter, Brillante also narrated his experience being jailed after he spoke out against the Binay family.

“When I assailed the highly irregular resolution and exposed the alleged P30-million bribery in exchange for the dismissal of this case in a press conference, I was cited in contempt by the same division... and was sentenced to one month in jail,” Brillante said.

He added that his “harrowing experience was a classic telenovela-like case of a complainant being unjustly tried by a Kangaroo Court, and imprisoned, instead of the accused, Jejomar Binay.”

Brillante also questioned why four other similar cases filed against Binay’s wife, Elenita Binay, herself also a former Makati mayor, were found to have probable cause.

“All five cases were covered and evidenced by one and the same COA audit report. If the case against Jejomar Binay did lack probable cause under the same adverse findings of the same audit report, the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth divisions should have dismissed the other four cases. But all were indicted, posted bail and went to trial, including Elenita Binay,” Brillante said.

Binay is currently facing a plunder complaint before the Ombudsman for the alleged anomalies in the construction of Makati City Hall Building II in 2007 when he was still mayor. He is also accused of having hidden wealth.

A strong contender in the 2016 presidential elections, Binay has denied the allegations, describing them as part of a well-funded demolition job against him by his political opponents. —Patricia Denise Chiu/KBK, GMA News