- The Sandiganbayan issued a hold departure order against former Vice President Jejomar Binay, Sr., dismissed Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, Jr., and 19 others due to anomalous Makati building
- The hold departure order is in connection with criminal cases over the allegedly overpriced construction of the PHP 2.28 billion Makati City Hall parking building
- Binay and his son will only be allowed to leave the country with prior approval from the anti-graft court
The Sandiganbayan directed the Bureau of Immigration to include the names of the Binays and 19 other respondents in the Bureau’s Hold Departure List.
A copy of the Hold Departure List reads: “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 separate set of hold departure order was issued for each charge against the respondents in connection with the anomalous Makati parking building.
The two-page order was signed by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, chairperson of the Sandiganbayan Third Division.
Daniel Subido, legal counsel for Binay, said that the hold departure order has no effect on the cases filed 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.
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“However, it has no bearing at all on the merits of the case. We are confident that these frivolous cases will be dismissed,” he added.
While the Sandiganbayan has issued the hold departure order, the Bureau of Immigration stated that the anti-graft court has yet to furnish them a copy of the hold departure order.
In a statement, BI spokesperson Ma. Antonette Mangrobang said, “We have not received a copy of the order… But of course we would implement it as soon as we get a copy.”
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The former vice-president 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 Makati parking building anomaly.
On the other hand, his son, Binay Jr., is facing two counts of graft and one count of malversation as co-accused of his father.
Several respondents are former Makati City officials: 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, Giovanni Condes, Ulysses Orienza, Manolito Uyaco and Rodel Nayve.
While the other co-accused are 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.
Several private individuals were also charged in connection with the criminal cases such as Orlando Mateo from Mana Architecture and Interior Design Co. (MANA) and Efren Canlas of Hilmarc’s Construction Corporation (Hilmarc).
Based on the court records, the Binays and Makati City officials awarded MANA a contract for the first and second phases (the design stage) of the Makati City Hall Building II project even without holding a public bidding.
According to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), MANA received a total of PHP 11,011,294.77 as payment “despite its failure to deliver the approved plans and specifications under the contract.”
Further, the OSP said that the former president and his son must also be held liable for conducting a “simulated public bidding” when it awarded Hilmarc three contracts amounting to PHP 1.486 billion from 2007 to 2011. The contracts were allegedly awarded to Hilmarc even if there was no approved budget appropriation, project plan, and specifications.
The OSP charged Binay and son for allegedly approving the release of multi-million peso payments to Hilmarc despite their knowledge that the accomplishment reports given to them had no supporting documents.
Additionally, the OSP charged Binay, Sr. for conspiring with the other respondents since they allegedly falsified the Post Qualification Report despite knowing that there was no real bidding conducted.
The former vice-president posted bail on July 15 which amounted to PHP 376,000.