MANILA -- The Court of Appeals (CA) has cleared former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay, Jr. of administrative liabilities over alleged anomalies in the construction of the PHP2.28-billion Makati City Hall Parking Building II (MCHPB).
In a resolution dated March 18, 2019 by Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon, the CA’s Former Tenth Division turned down the motion for partial reconsideration filed by the Office of the Ombudsman citing its failure to raise new arguments.
In its original decision on the case issued last year, the CA nullified the joint decision issued by the Office of the Ombudsman on Sept. 7, 2015 against Binay and several other officials.
The CA, in sustaining its earlier ruling, said the Ombudsman erred in ordering Binay’s dismissal since the condonation doctrine should have been applied in his case, which states that an erring official is considered to have already been forgiven for acts in his past term if he is reelected.
“While it is true that the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Carpio-Morales was indeed relative to this Court’s issuance of injunctive reliefs and was not about the OMB’s main findings of administrative guilt against Binay, Jr. it cannot be negated that the abandonment of the condonation doctrine -- declared prospective in application by no less than the Supreme Court -- should not be given any retroactive effect as to the prejudice Binay, Jr. for the acts he allegedly committed when said doctrine was still in effect and duly recognized,” the CA ruling said.
The CA sustained the dismissal order issued by the Ombudsman on other respondents, namely City Legal Officer Pio Kenneth Dasal, City Budget Officer Lorenza Amores, Civil Engineer of the Central Planning Management Office (CPMO) Arnel Cadangan, CPMO chief Line dela Pena, City Legal Officer Giovanni Condes, Technical Working Group (TWG) officer Rodel Nayve, General Services Department staff Norma Flores, Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) member Ulysses Orienza, CPMO staff Connie Consulta, BAC secretariat Manolito Uyaco and BAC member Gerardo San Gabriel.
The Ombudsman, in its resolution, found Binay, along with 19 other city officials, guilty of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct for the irregularities committed for alleged overpricing in the procurement of the architectural design and engineering services and construction of Phases I to V of the Makati City Hall Parking Building.
The Ombudsman, in the same decision, ordered the dismissal of Binay and his co-accused from service.
The CA noted that the alleged irregularities in Phase III to V of the MCHPB which was the basis of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct filed against Binay before the Ombudsman transpired prior to his election in 2013. (PNA)
Photo by Mark Saludes/Rappler