‘Hilmarc’s execs should be charged with Binays in graft case’

Buena Bernal
The motion of the complainants in the graft case against the Binays alleges that 10 Hilmarc’s executives are 'co-conspirators in the scheme to unconscionably raid the public funds'

MANILA, Philippines – The complainants in the graft case against Vice President Jejomar Binay and son Makati Mayor Erwin Jejomar Binay want 10 past and present officers of Makati building contractor Hilmarc’s Construction Inc to be prosecuted along with the Binays in their complaint.

In a motion filed Tuesday, October 7, before the Ombudsman, Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso VI moved that the Hilmarc’s executives be charged along with the father and son for graft.

Moved to be impleaded are the following:

  • Efren M. Canlas
  • Damian R. Ramos
  • Ma Trinitas D. Canlas
  • Susan C. Ramos
  • Ma. Shiela R. Dayrit
  • Edouard Ferdinand F. Canlas
  • Juan Paolo Canlas
  • Cristina Elisse F. Canlas
  • Hak Jin Kim
  • Robert Henson

The motion alleged that Hilmarc’s is the “favorite contractor with respect to infrastructure projects within Makati City.”

“The excessive spending in the construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building would not have been possible without the deliberate actions and complicity of past and present directors and officers of Hilmarc’s,” the complainants alleged.

A check by Rappler showed that Hilmarc’s was awarded at least P2 billion ($44.67 million*) in government contracts for infrastructure projects in Makati City from 1999 to 2004, covering the mayoral terms of Vice President Binay and wife Elenita. (READ: Red flags in ‘overpriced’ Makati infra projects)

Vice President Binay was Makati mayor from 1986 to 1987, 1988 to 1998, and 2001 to 2010. His wife Elenita took over from 1998 to 2001. 

The complainants alleged that given Hilmarc’s bid prices, “it is clear that the excess portion goes to his benefactors who are the Binays, the respondent councilors, and the COA auditor.” (READ: Complainants: Binay building overpriced by higher amount)

Bondal and Enciso alleged that the “corporate acts” of Hilmarc’s make their officers “co-conspirators in the scheme to unconscionably raid the public funds.”

“They should not be spared from ferreting out the truth, and from eventually returning to the public such huge amount of money that had been robbed from the people,” the motion read further.

Vice President Binay was Makati mayor from 1986 to 1987, 1988 to 1998, and 2001 to 2010; Mayor Binay is the incumbent.

Senator Trillanes earlier urged the provisional blacklisting of Hilmarc’s from contracting with government.

Senate probe

At the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan also on Tuesday, detained senator Jinggoy Estrada decried what he regarded as “political persecution” against Vice President Binay.

Claiming the same for himself, Estrada faces plunder and graft cases for the alleged diversion of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to ghost projects of bogus nongovernmental organizations run by alleged pork barrel scam mastemrind Janet Lim Napoles.

“That’s what they did to the 3 senators, and that is what they are doing right now to Vice President Jojo Binay,” Estrada said of himself and two other senators accused of PDAF misuse, which was also investigated by the Senate prior to the filing of court cases.

He said Senate President Franklin Drilon “shouldn’t allow the members of the Senate to use any committee for that matter to persecute and to destroy the reputation of other people.”

Drilon is a stalwart of the administration party, while Binay and the 3 senators are members of the political opposition.

The Senate investigation into the controversial Makati building is poised to end Wednesday, October 8, and has generated corruption allegations against the Binays.

Several former Makati officials had testified before the Senate panel that rigging bids were the usual practice in Makati City to allegedly favor the Binay’s anointed contractor, for kickback purposes.

Estrada also slammed Senator Teofisto Guingona III, who nixed the Binays’ challenge against the Senate probe, for “doing nothing but protecting his allies.” (READ: Binays get no support from Guingona on jurisdiction challenge)

He reiterated his call for the chamber to begin its investigation into a separate scam that siphoned off government proceeds from natural gas operations off the shores of Palawan known as the Malampaya Fund.

Bakit ayaw imbestigahan ni Senator Guingona ito? Dahil ba may tinatago siya, meron siyang pinoproteksyunan? (Why does Senator Guingona refuse to investigate this? Is he hiding something, protecting someone?)” Estrada asked, implying that administration allies are involved in the Malampaya Fund scam. – Rappler.com