Sandiganbayan junks graft, malversation raps vs. ex-Makati mayor

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Former Makati mayor Elenita Binay (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 10) — The Sandiganbayan acquitted a former Makati mayor and three others of graft and malversation charges stemming from the alleged anomalous purchase of hospital supplies.

"Accused "Elenita S. Binay, accused Ernesto A. Aspillaga, accused Dulce P. Cruz and accused Luz R. Yamane-Garcia are hereby acquitted ... for failure of the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt," read the decision released on Thursday.

The charges stemmed from the questionable purchase of ₱45 million worth of hospital beds and sterilizers for the city-run Ospital ng Makati in 2000 and 2001.

Binay, wife of former Vice President Jejomar Binay, served as mayor of Makati City from June 30, 1998, to June 30, 2001.

She has not yet issued a statement on the Sandiganbayan's decision.

Acquitted with Binay were Aspillaga, head of the city's General Services Department; Dulce P. Cruz, a city accountant; and Yamane-Garcia, city treasurer.

City Supply Officer II Conrado B. Pamintuan and Administrative Officer I Jaime P. Delos Reyes were also cleared of malversation charges, but they were convicted in two graft charges.

The two were sentenced to six to eight years behind bars with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.