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Ombudsman OKs criminal raps vs VP Binay, son

The Ombudsman has found probable cause to pursue the cases against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son, suspended Makati Mayor Junjun Binay. Philstar.com/Jonathan Asuncion, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Ombudsman on Monday said it has found probable cause to indict Vice President Jejomar Binay, his son Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay and 22 others over anomalies linked to the overpriced Makati City Hall II parking building.

In a statement, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales's office said criminal charges to be filed are for malversation and falsification of public documents in violation of Section 3 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Morales said the existence of conspiracy among respondents is evident from the chain of events and as shown by the evidence.

"The finding of probable cause comes after more than one year of investigation," the Ombudsman added.

The Ombudsman's announcement came on the same day the elder Binay formalized his presidential bid before the Commission on Elections main office in Intramuros, Manila.

The probe, acting on complaints on bidding irregularities and violations on the Makati project, started in September 2014, while the preliminary investigation began in March this year. The elder Binay oversaw the P2.28-billion carpark building project as Makati mayor, while his son took over after his tenure.

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"Binay is being investigated for criminal acts committed while he was a city mayor and not as vice president," the Ombudsman added.

Jejomar Binay and Junjun Binay are each facing four counts of graft, six counts of falsification of public documents and a malversation charge.

The anti-graft body, however, noted that the elder Binay as vice president is an impeachable officer within the "investigatory power or jurisdiction of the Ombudsman."

"However, as he is an impeachable officer, the information will be filed after the expiration of his tenure," it said.

On Friday, the Ombudsman also ordered the dismissal of Junjun Binay as mayor of Makati City for his involvement in the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Science High School building.

RELATED: Junjun Binay dismissed from service

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