Court of Appeals affirms Junjun Binay's guilt in P1.3-B school building project
Former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay failed at his bid for re-election in Makati City.
The STAR/Geremy Pintolo
Court of Appeals affirms Junjun Binay's guilt in P1.3-B school building project
Kristine Joy Patag ( - June 4, 2019 - 5:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Court of Appeals affirmed the Office of the Ombudsman’s penalty of perpetual disqualification against former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay as it affirmed the finding of guilt over irregularities in the P1.3-billion Makati Science High School building.

The CA’s Eight Division on May 28 upheld the Office of the Ombudsman’s ruling finding former Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay guilty of serious dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.

The CA also “meted the penalty of dismissal from service which shall carry with it all its accessory penalties,” as stated in the Ombudsman July 2017 ruling which include perpetual disqualification from service.

The copy of the ruling was made public only on Tuesday.

Binay argues 'condonation doctrine'

Binay, in elevating his case to the appellate court, pointed out that he was re-elected as mayor of Makati in 2013, the alleged irregularities in the conduct of bidding in the MSHS happened during his term in 2010-2013.

“Thus, Binay Jr. argues that with his reelection in 2013, any administrative liability on his part assuming there is any, has already been condoned,” the CA ruling, explaining the appeal, read.

The condonation doctrine effectively extinguishes the administrative liability of a re-elected official for an act committed in a previous term.

The Supreme Court, in November 2015, ruled on the preventive suspension order of the Ombudsman against Binay involving a different project, the P2.2-billion Makati City Hall Building II and abandoned the doctrine.

The ruling, however, stressed that it is prospective in application, which means it only covers future cases.

CA: Condonation only applicable to part of project

Noting this, the CA said that Binay’s re-election to office in May 2013 “condoned any administrative liability from the procurement of the architectural design and engineering service of the MSHS Building as well as in the procurement of the construction services of Phases of IV and V thereof.”

The CA said, however, that the doctrine does not apply to Phase VI of the MSHS building, “as the contract was entered into and implemented all during Binay Jr.’s second term from 2013-2016.”

The CA pointed out that records showed that the Phase VI of the project started with a pre-bidding conference which was supposedly conducted on June 25, 2013, although there was no actual conference, opening of bids, bid evaluation, post qualification and Notice of Award issuance.

The doctrine “does not apply here as the contract for Phase VI was entered into with Hilmarc when Binay Jr. was already serving his second term as Mayor in Makati City and not during his previous term,” CA said.

Hilmarc is Hilmarc's Construction Corp., the contractor for the project.

Junjun lost the race for Makati mayor to his sister, re-electionist Mayor Abby Binay.

Associate Justice Ronaldo Roberto Martin wrote the decision, while Associate Justices Ramon Bato Jr. and Ramon Cruz concurred.

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