Binays ordered charged over ₱1.3-billion Makati Science High School building

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Former Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun Binay

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 3) — The Office of the Ombudsman ordered the filing of graft charges against former Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, dismissed Makati Mayor Junjun Binay over irregularities in the construction of the Makati Science High School building in 2007.

In a statement on Thursday, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said the older Binay, then Makati mayor, and the younger Binay who was city councilor, "conspired to rig the procurement processes" for the ₱1.3-billion project. 

The Ombudsman issued two separate resolutions on August 1, saying both Binays will be charged with four counts of violation of Section 3 (e) of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

It holds public officials accountable for "giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence."

The Binays will also face three counts of falsification of public documents.

Criminal raps will also be filed against several co-accused former Makati City official, namely, Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairpersons Marjorie De Veyra and Eleno Mendoza, Jr.; members Pio Kenneth Dasal, Lorenza Amores, Ulysess Orienza, Gerardo San Gabriel, Mario Badillo, Giovanni Condes, Manolito Uyaco, Norman Flores, Ralph Liberato Rodel Nayve;  accountants Leonila Querijero, Cecilio Lim III and Raydes Pestaño; and cashier Nelia Barlis.

Contractors from Infiniti Architectural Works and Hilmarc's Construction Corporation will also face charges.

All six phases of the Makati Science High School building construction were awarded to Hilmarc's Construction Corporation at a total net cost of ₱1.33 billion, without proper bidding, the Ombudsman said.

"This was made possible by respondents, acting in conspiracy, through the falsification of bidding documents, suppression of information to prospective bidders, and undue haste in the award of the contracts," the Ombudsman said.

It added that then Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay entered into a ₱17.37-million consultancy contract with Infiniti for the design of the Makati Science High School building, also without proper bidding.

Also read: VP Binay, son face graft probe over 'rigged' bidding

In a statement on Thursday, the Binays' spokesperson, Joey Salgado, said all charges were "baseless," and the Binays are ready to clear their names.

"The allegations have been answered, but apparently 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," Salgado said.

Shortly after his term as vice president ended on June 30, 2016, the Ombudsman filed corruption charges against Binay over the allegedly overpriced parking building worth P2.8 billion.

Anti-graft court Sandiganbayan issued a hold departure order against the Binays and their co-accused.

In 2015, the Ombudsman ordered the dismissal and perpetual disqualification from public office of Junjun Binay over the parking building. It could not charge then Vice President Jejomar Binay because of his constitutional immunity from suit.

CNN Philippines' AC Nicholls contributed to this report.