Mrs Binay to charge Ombudsman for reviving cases

MANILA, Philippines – After crying political persecution, Vice President Jejomar Binay’s camp now plans to file charges against the Ombudsman over the revival of graft cases against his wife.

The lawyers of former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay will 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.”

Watch this report below.

Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman, said that the revival of the cases was part of the “demolition job” against the Vice President now in “full swing.” He even related the cases against Mrs. Binay to the pork barrel scam, where Binay’s allies are implicated.

“We had hoped that given the highly charged political atmosphere arising from the revelations of Janet Lim-Napoles, the Ombudsman's OSP would have shown greater prudence to avoid allegations that it is persecuting those who are not allies of the administration," Salgado said in a statement on Monday, June 2.

Salgado reiterated that the OSP’s review of the dismissed cases “showed undue haste, harassment, and the blatant absence of transparency.”

The case against Mrs Binay stems from 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, but the co-accused 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.”  

Last Friday, Mrs Binay posted a P70,000 bail at the Sandiganbayan’s 3rd Division  after it issued another hold departure order against her. The Vice President, and children Senator Nancy Binay and Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay accompanied the former Makati mayor.

The Sandiganbayan division issued the order on May 20. It is separate from the earlier hold departure order that the court’s fourth division issued against Mrs Binay in relation to her case involving supposed anomalies in the purchase of office furniture for the Makati City Hall.

The fourth division had allowed the former mayor to travel to Hawaii from June 7 to 26 for a vacation.

Dragged in PDAF scam?

Salgado also claimed that Binay’s political critics are attempting to implicate him in the pork barrel scam through “a white paper masquerading as an investigative report” that is supposedly “being peddling to media outlets.”

According to Salgado, the “white paper” aims to link Binay and daughters Senator Binay and Makati Representative Abigail Binay Campos in the scam. He did not say who was supposedly circulating the paper and how exactly it linked the Binays to the scandal.

"This is but a poor attempt to drag the Vice President's name into the controversy. Since the PDAF scandal broke, the records of the Vice President, Senator Nancy, and Congresswoman Abby have been made open to the public for review. These records will show that the projects were properly implemented and fully liquidated," Salgado said.

The Vice President said in past interviews that he has no involvement in the scandal because he was never a legislator, and did not got pork barrel fund allocations.

Binay’s camp has repeatedly decried alleged black propaganda in relation to his 2016 presidential bid. Surveys show that the Vice President is the leading contender in the race, with a huge lead over other aspirants. Analysts said corruption is the top issue against Binay. 

Still, Binay has faced criticism over alleged “weak” statements on the pork barrel controversy where allies Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada are indicted for plunder. 

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano warned that the opposition senators will get acquitted under a Binay presidency. Binay though said the speculation was far-fetched. – Rappler.com