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Sandiganbayan issues hold departure order vs. ex-VP Binay, son Junjun

The Sandiganbayan on Tuesday issued a hold departure order (HDO) against former Vice President Jejomar Binay Sr., his son, dismissed Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and 19 others in connection with criminal cases over the allegedly anomalous construction of the P2.28-billion Makati parking building.

The Sandiganbayan Third Division's order bars the two Binays and the other respondents in the cases from leaving the country except when there is prior approval from the anti-graft court.

The court directed the Bureau of Immigration to include the names of the Binays and the other respondents in the bureau’s Hold Departure List.

“This Court, in the exercise of its inherent power to use all means necessary to carry its orders into effect, more specifically, to preserve and maintain the effectiveness of its jurisdiction over the case/s…Hereby orders the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration to hold departure from the Philippines of the above named accused,” a copy of the HDO read.

Separate set of HDOs was issued for each charge against the respondents in connection with the Makati parking building anomaly.

Daniel Subido, lawyer of Binay, said that the HDO has no effect on the cases being heard by the anti-graft court against his client.

"A Hold Departure Order is a necessary consequence of the mere filing of an Information in the Sandiganbayan. It is applicable to all," Subido said.

"We are confident that these frivolous cases will be dismissed," he added.

Binay Sr. is facing four counts of graft, nine counts of falsification of public documents and one count of malversation of public funds in connection with the anomaly.

The younger Binay, meanwhile, is facing two counts of graft and one count of malversation as co-accused of his father.

These are apart from the graft and falsification of public documents cases that the Office of the Ombudsman had filed against the younger Binay in February of this year as primary accused for alleged anomalies in Phases IV and V of the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II also referred as the Makati Parking Building.

In the new set of cases filed by the Ombudsman on Thursdsay last week (July 14), the older Binay, Junjun, and several other former officials of the Makati City government are being accused of anomalies in the design stage as well as in Phase I, II and III of the construction stage of the project.

In its order, the Third Division said the issuance of the HDO against the respondents is to render them “at all times amenable to the writs and processes of the Court.”

The HDO was signed by Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and Third Division chairperson Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Third Division members Associate Justices Samuel Martires and Sarah Jane Fernandez.

Aside from the Binays also listed in the HDOs were:

  • Former city administrator Marjorie De Veyra
  • Former city legal officer Pio Kenneth Dasal
  • Former budget officer Lorenza Amores
  • Former city central planning management heads Virginia Hernandez and Line dela Peña
  • Former BAC head Giovanni Condes
  • Former BAC vice chariman Ulysses Orienza,
  • Former BAC Secretariat head Manolito Uyaco
  • Former BAC Technical Working Group chairman Rodel Nayve
  • Former city engineers Mario Badillo, Arnel Cadangan and Emerito Magat
  • Former city accountants Leonila Querijero and Cecilio Lim III
  • Former acting city accountant Raydes Pestaño
  • Former city treasurer Nelia Barlis
  • Former General Services Department officer Norman Flores,
  • Orlando Mateo from Mana Architecture and Interior Design, Co. (MANA)
  • Efren Canlas of Hilmarc’s Construction Company (Hilmarc’s)

Based on the information of the cases, the two Binays, in conspiracy with the other city officials, awarded a contract to Mana Architecture and Interior Design, Co. (MANA) for the design of Makati City Hall Building II project, allegedly without public bidding.

The Ombudsman said payments totaling P11,011,294.77 was given to MANA “despite its failure to deliver the approved plans and specifications under the contract.”

The Ombudsman said the Binays also awarded three contracts totaling P1.486 billion to Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation for Phases One, Two and Three of the project through a rigged or  “simulated public bidding.”

The Ombudsman said the contracts were awarded to Hilmarc’s despite the absence of approved budget appropriation, project plan, and specifications.

The Ombudsman said the invitation to bid supposedly published in the tabloid, Balita, was falsified.

The Ombudsman said the Binays approved the release of payments to Hilmarc’s despite being fully aware that its accomplishment reports were “baseless” as there were no supporting documents submitted to back them.

The former vice president posted a total of P376,000 bail on Friday last week in exchange for his provision liberty from the cases.

The younger Binay as well as the other respondents posted bail on the same day. —with Maki Pulido/KG/ALG, GMA News