Elenita Binay posts bail over new graft cases

Buena Bernal
Elenita Binay posts bail over new graft cases
The two additional cases stem from an old probe into alleged anomalous purchase of hospital supplies when she was mayor and which the court remanded to the Ombudsman for reinvestigation

MANILA, Philippines — Elenita Binay, wife of Vice President Jejomar Binay, showed up before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan on Tuesday, October 28, to post bail over new graft and malversation raps filed against her.

The two additional cases stemmed from an old probe into allegedly anomalous purchase of supplies for the Ospital ng Makati when she was mayor and which Binay had appealed before the Ombudsman for dismissal.

Binay posted bail ahead of her arrest warrant for these two cases involving the anomalous purchase of P8.83 million of medical equipment. The court required her to post bail at P70,000 for both her cases, 3rd division clerk of court Dennis Pulma said.

Mrs Binay said she had to be present in court Tuesday to be able to eventually request for permission to leave the country. “I’m going to travel…for my medical check-up,” she said.

An accused in a criminal case is barred from leaving the country, but may be allowed if he or she is not a flight risk.

Binay already posted a bail bond of P70,000 last May for separate graft and malversation charges over the same anomaly, also lodged before the Sandiganbayan Third Division.

Revived cases

Earlier this year, the lawyers of former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay threatened to file charges against the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) of the Ombudsman for grave abuse of authority and violating her constitutional rights “for reviving cases against her that were dismissed with finality 3 years ago.”

Mrs Binay earlier faced charges for the alleged overpricing of hospital beds at the Ospital ng Makati when she was mayor from 1998 to 2001. (READ: Heidi Mendoza to CA: My only fault is filing case vs Binay)

Mrs Binay’s lawyers have said that the complaints against her were filed over 10 years ago and dismissed in 2011. However, her co-accused in the case filed a motion for reconsideration. In acting on the motion, the OSP again included Mrs Binay in a resolution last year.

The Binay camp added that she never received a copy of the motion for reconsideration, and was denied due process. The lawyers argued that the dismissal of the cases against her was “final and executory.”

‘Part of politics’

Her husband, the Vice President, and son Makati Mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay Jr are also facing a graft complaint before the Ombudsman for an allegedly overpriced Makati city hall building.

The anomaly is the subject of a Senate inquiry in aid of legislation, which the Binay camp had tagged as politically motivated.

Asked about the issue, Mrs Binay said: “Siguro part na ng politics yan eh, ‘no (Perhaps that is already part of politics)? But we’re strong and we support the Vice President.” – with a report from Ayee Macaraig/Rappler.com

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