Ombudsman dismisses suspended Makati mayor

By Perfecto T. Raymundo and Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, Oct. 9 (PNA) — The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) on Friday ordered the dismissal and perpetual disqualification from service of suspended Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay in connection with the alleged “overpriced” construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Friday confirmed the dismissal from the service of the suspended Makati City mayor.

Morales said that Binay, son of Vice President Jejomar Binay, was dismissed for his dishonesty from service, among others.

Last March, the Ombudsman suspended Binay over the alleged “overpricing” in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

Atty. Claro Certeza, Binay’s legal counsel, said that they were set to file motion for reconsideration (MR) but they had not yet received the Ombudsman directive.

Carpio-Morales confirmed that Binay may still appeal the ruling, saying his (Binay’s) perpetual disqualification from service was “immediately executory.”

”Merong mga procedure na binibigay depende kung ano ang maggiging…ating appeal. Pwede tayong mag MR, pwede rin tayong umakyat either to the CA (Court of Appeal or to the SC (Supreme Court). Kaya lang kailangang pagaralan ko muna…babasahin ko,” he told the reporters in a phone interview.

Asked if Mayor Binay can still file Certificate of Candidacy for 2016 election which scheduled next week, Certeza said “pag’aaralan natin yan at ikokonsulta natin yan sa ating election lawyer, hinahawakan ko dito mga kaso lamang. Ngunit akoy naniniwala na dapat hindi ito maging hadlang kung siya talaga ang hinirang ng tao.”

For his part, Joey Salgado, spokesperson of Vice President Jejomar BInay said the order of the Ombudsman was obvious and coincident with the filing of COCs on Monday.

Last March, the Ombudsman suspended Binay over the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II. The Court of Appeals, however, issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against its implementation. –

The suspension stems from the plunder and graft complaint filed in July last year by lawyer Renato Bondal, a political rival of the Binays’.

In his complaint, Bondal claimed the construction of the building was overpriced by Php 862 million.

Bondal said VP Binay, who was Makati mayor when the building was constructed in 2007, conspired with his son, Junjun, then a city councilor, some former and current Makati officials, and 10 executives of Hilmarc’s Construction Corp. over the building’s construction. (PNA)