MANILA, Philippines – Last year on this day, lawyer Renato Bondal and Nicolas “Ching” Enciso VI filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against Vice President Jejomar Binay for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The complaint was in relation to an overpriced contract for the multi-billion-peso Makati City Parking building II – described in the complaint as “the most expensive parking building in the entire country, if not the entire world.”
At the time, Binay was leading surveys as the top choice for the 2016 presidential elections.
The case filing was followed by numerous Senate blue ribbon committee hearings, an investigation by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), arrests and contempt citations, and other events.
Here’s a review of what has transpired since the filing of the plunder complaint. Click on the months below to see the events on those dates.
July 22 – A plunder case is filed against Binay in relation to an overpriced multi-billion-peso new Makati city parking building contract.
July 23 – Binay defendes the building, saying it is “high quality” and not overpriced. He admitts, however, that he did not have details such as the price of the property.
August 20 – [SENATE HEARING] The very first Senate blue ribbon committee hearing is held. Bondal presents assorted cakes to demonstrate how the Binays allegedly overprice facilities and services.
August 26 – [SENATE HEARING] Former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado claims that both Binay and his daughter earned from the overpriced building and cakes.
September 4 – [SENATE HEARING] Former Makati City employee Mario Hechanova claims that fixing bids is “usual practice” in Makati.
September 11 – [SENATE HEARING] Mercado details how Binay allegedly got 13% “kickbacks” from city projects when he was still Makati mayor.
September 11 – [SENATE HEARING] Businessman Marcial Lichauco Jr testifies that he found himself stuck inside a Makati City building elevator on his way to bid for the city’s rescue and emergency equipment.
September 18 – In a speech, Binay says that all the allegations hurled against him by his former allies in Makati City are recycled “lies” that may be acceptable to the “circus-like” Senate but will not stand up in court.
September 25 – [SENATE HEARING] Mercado says Binay used “dummies” to purchase property and acquire businesses.
October 2 – [SENATE HEARING] COA confirms several “red flags” in infrastructure projects in Makati City.
October 8 – [SENATE HEARING] Mercado presents videos of “Hacienda Binay,” a 350-hectare farm that supposedly spans 4 barangays in Rosario town in Batangas province, and a colorful narration of the Binay family’s expensive taste and hobbies. Binay denies ownership of the property.
October 8 – AMLC confirms that the government is monitoring “possible money laundering offenses” in connection with the Senate probe.
October 15 – Binay hits back at “elitist” members of the Cabinet and Congress, citing their “unusual interest” in his critics’ allegations of corruption against him.
October 15 – Binay’s camp issues a statement that he is not breaking up his friendship and alliance with Aquino.
October 20 – An SWS survey shows that a big majority of Filipinos agreed that Binay should face the Senate probe to directly address the string of corruption exposés made against him.
October 20 – Binay calls the Senate a “kangaroo court,” and insisted that appearing before the probe is a waste of time.
October 22 – Binay accepts the challenge of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to personally confront corruption allegations against him and his family in a debate.
October 28 – Binay’s wife shows up before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to post bail over new graft and malversation raps filed against her.
October 29 – The Senate invites Binay to attend the probe into the alleged overpriced Makati city parking building on November 6.
October 30 – [SENATE HEARING] The Senate grills businessman Antonio Tiu, who flatly denied being Binay’s dummy.
November 5 – Binay shows up early in a Cabinet meeting on Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) rehabilitation, days after Aquino said he is free to leave the Cabinet if he no longer agrees with where his administration is headed.
November 6 – Binay doesn’t attend the Senate hearing. He cites several reasons for his decision, among them, his belief that he would not get any fair treatment.
November 6 – [SENATE HEARING] Binay is revealed to have owned several dollar accounts in foreign banks that he did not declare in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) from the late 1980s up to the late 1990s.
November 11 – On his 72nd birthday, Binay backs out of the scheduled November 27 debate with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
November 18 – [12th SENATE HEARING] The likely overpricing of another Makati City building that began construction during Binay’s term as mayor is revealed, along with rumors that Binay owns a unit in every Makati condominium building.
January 13 – In a letter to blue ribbon committee chairman Senator Teofisto Guingona III, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III says Binay’s son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay, should be cited in contempt for refusing to attend several hearings.
January 22 – [SENATE HEARING] Mercado claims Binay had pocketed close to P200 million in a deal with property developer Alphaland for a Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) property in Makati city.
January 29 – Binay’s son is arrested after snubbing 3 Senate hearings on alleged anomalous contracts in his city.
February 8 – Binay visits wounded troopers of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Special Action Force (SAF) – survivors of the bloody Mamasapano clash – confined at the PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame.
February 18 – [SENATE HEARING] More senators turn up when the deal between BSP and Alphaland is discussed, and lament how the organization’s 2.2 million members had been supposedly shortchanged in almost every aspect of the agreement.
February 28 – Binay urges government prosecutors to be compassionate and allow house arrest for his ally, detained Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile.
March 16 – Binay’s son is served a suspension order by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) over the overpriced parking building.
March 29 – Binay, as preidential adviser on OFW concerns, visits the parents of convicted Filipina drug courier Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso to assure them the government will exhaust all means to save their daughter’s life.
April 6 – The Court of Appeals (CA) extends indefinitely the restraining order on the suspension of Junjun Binay.
April 13 – [SENATE HEARING] The Senate revisits the long-running housing scam involving businessman Delfin Lee’s Globe Asiatique. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV questions the charges filed against Lee as he backed the property developer’s extortion allegations against Binay.
April 16 – [SENATE HEARING] Binay is accused of overpricing a housing and relocation program in Makati by P1 billion ($23 million).
May 11 – The CA issues a freeze order on 242 bank accounts and investments of Binay, his family, and his alleged dummies, saying it found probable cause that these were related to “unlawful activities.”
May 11 – [SENATE HEARING] Trillanes delivers a presentation showing that Binay’s political allies and friends got P134 million in development loans from Pag-IBIG Fund. But CEO Darlene Berberabe explains there was no irregularity involved in the loans.
May 18 – The Senate orders the arrest of Gerardo “Gerry” Limlingan Jr and 14 others for snubbing the hearings.
May 28 – [21st SENATE HEARING] Mercado urges the AMLC to investigate Binay’s bank transactions in the dollar accounts he owned from 1994 to 1998, when the Vice President was still Makati mayor.
May 28 – The Senate comes out with a partial report that recommends to the Ombudsman the filing of plunder charges against Binay, his son, and co-conspirators over the overpriced parking building.
June 18 – Binay slips to number 2 in a survey on preferred presidential contenders. Grace Poe leads the survey.
June 20 – Binay is re-elected national president of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
June 22 – Binay submits his irrevocable resignation from the Aquino Cabinet, saying he felt “awkward” and the “odd man out” in a Cabinet dominated by the ruling Liberal Party.
June 24 – Binay writes Senator Aquilino Pimentel III a letter, telling the lawmaker “magpakalalaki ka” (be a man).
June 29 – Junjun Binay receives his second suspension order from the Ombudsman over graft allegations involving yet another overpriced building – the Makati Science High School building.
July 1 – Junjun Binay steps down from city hall following the CA decision to hold in abeyance its action on his petition for a TRO on his suspension order.
July 1 – Binay leads the formal launch of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and the election of its officials. In his speech, he blasts the Aquino government and Senator Grace Poe.
– with research by Abigail Abigan/Rappler.com