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Junjun Binay vows to comply with hold-departure order

IBA, Zambales—Dismissed Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay on Wednesday said he would respect the hold-departure order issued against him by the Sandiganbayan over his graft and falsification charges.

In an interview at the ancestral house of former Sen. Luisa “Loi” Estrada during the campaign sortie of his father Vice President Jejomar Binay, he said the HDO was not an order specifically issued against him but part of the process as the court deliberated on the judicial determination of probable cause.

Binay said the court issued the order after he paid his P204,000 bail bond from two counts of graft and six counts of falsification of public documents over the anomalies surrounding the procurement for the construction of Makati City Hall Building II.

“Kaakibat kasi nung pagpiyansa ko na magkakaroon talaga ng hold departure. Hindi naman ito special case na ako lang ang binigyan. Kahit naman ang mga nagkaka-kaso sa Sandiganbayan na magpipiyansa, mabibigyan talaga ng HDO,” Binay said.

Binay vowed to comply with the court order and inform the court of his plans to leave the country pending the resolution of his case.

A hold-departure order prevents an accused person from traveling abroad unless he or she seeks special permission from the court.

“Kung papahintulutan nila ako na makalabas ng ibang bansa, may mga kaakibat naman ’yan na proseso. Susundin natin ’yan. Kung nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na makalabas ng Pilipinas, of course babalik ako,” said Binay, who was dismissed from service by the Ombudsman before being accused of the charges.

The antigraft court third division has issued the HDO as confirmed by clerk of court Dennis Pulma.

READ: Sandigan issues hold order on Junjun Binay

The Ombudsman has also indicted Binay’s father but will file charges only when the Vice President’s immunity ends after his term.

In indicting the Binays, the Ombudsman said the Vice President and his son approved the bids and awards committee resolutions, notices of awards, contracts and payments using unnumbered or undated disbursement vouchers and obligation requests despite the anomalies.

The Binays awarded the procurement of the design to Mana Architectural and Interior Design (Mana) despite lack of public bidding, according to the Ombudsman.

They also allegedly rigged the bidding to favor Mana and approved the release of P11.97-million payment to the firm.

It also said the bids and awards committee completed the procurement process for the building with undue haste or in only 11 days.

The procurement for the construction, meanwhile, was awarded to Hilmarc’s Construction despite lack of invitations to bid. Hilmarc’s was the lone bidder in four phases of the project.

The construction began despite the absence of approved design standards, contract plans, agency cost estimates, detailed engineering and programs of work.

The Ombudsman also noted collusion among city officials and Hilmarc’s to rig the public biddings.

The younger Binay’s graft charges stemmed from allegations that he and other Makati City officials made it appear that Hilmarc’s was the lowest bidder even though there was no actual public bidding.

His first graft charge involved the contract for Phase IV of the construction with Hilmarc’s despite the absence of the project’s accepted and approved plans and specifications, as well as the failure of the firm to post its performance security.

He approved the release of the P649.2 million for the contract to Hilmarc’s even though the accomplishment report was baseless and the supporting documents had deficiencies.

Binay’s second graft charge involved the contract for Phase V of the project, as he released a P141.6-million payment for the contract to Hilmarc’s.

His charges for falsification of public documents, meanwhile, stemmed from his alleged role in falsifying a July 7, 2011, issue of Balita newspaper as well as an affidavit of publication to make it appear that an invitation to apply for eligibility and to bid was published.

Binay was also accused of falsifying the bids and awards committee resolution which said there was an invitation to bid published in a newspaper; there was public bidding; and there was only one bidder (Hilmarc’s), when in fact none took place.

He was also charged of falsifying a publisher’s affidavit pertaining to the publication of an invitation to bid for the construction of the building when in fact the publisher had denied executing such affidavit. RC

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