Court denies Jejomar Binay's motion for separate trial from son
MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan Third Division denied former Vice President Jejomar Binay's motion to have cases filed against him be tried by a different division and separately from the cases of his son, former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr.
The Sandiganbayan division, in its 12-page resolution, rejected the argument of Jejomar Binay that a consolidated trial will entail longer proceedings, and will make the presentation of testimonies and documentary evidence more confusing.
Binay is a defendant in Criminal Cases SB-16-CRM-0439 to 0453, made up of 9 counts of falsification of public documents, 4 counts of graft, and a count of malversation of public funds. Junjun Binay, meanwhile, is an accused in Criminal Cases SB-16-CRM-0077 to 0084.
In the cases, filed in 2016, the Binays and some Makati City officials are accused of conspiracy in irregularities in the bidding, planning, and building of the P2.2 billion Makati City Hall parking building.
The court's decision to consolidate all 23 cases was made during an en banc session and was approved by all 14 justices present. The court said, “Accused Binay’s claim that the consolidation of the instant cases will result in confusion in the presentation and evaluation of evidence and issues is bereft or merit.”
The court pointed to a number of other people having a part in the 23 cases. The other individuals are:
- Former city administrator Marjorie de Veyra
- Legal officer Pio Kenneth Dasal
- Budget officer Lorenza Amores
- City planning management executives Virginia Hernandez and Line dela Peña
- Engineers Arnel Cadangan, Emerito Magat, and Mario Badillo
- Accountants Leonila Querijero and Cecilio Lim III
- Acting city accountant Raydes Pestaño
- Treasurer Nelia Barlis
- General services department officer Norman Flores
- Bids and Awards Committee members Ulysses Orienza, Giovanni Condes, Rodel Nayve, and Manolito Uyaco
Two private individuals were also named as co-accused:
- Orlando Mateo of Mana Architecture and Interior Design Company
- Efren Canlas of Hilmarc’s Construction Company
“All things considered, the administration of justice would be better served if only one trial before one court is conducted in these two groups of cases. In fine, accused Binay failed to present any justifiable reason for this Court to rule that the consolidation …was invalid and erroneous,” the court added. – Rappler.com