Former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay failed at his bid for re-election in Makati City in the 2019 midterm elections.
The STAR/Geremy Pintolo, file
Appeals court upholds verdict vs Junjun Binay over P1.3-B school building project
Kristine Joy Patag ( - January 6, 2020 - 2:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Court of Appeals upheld its earlier ruling that convicted former Makati Mayor Junjun Binay of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct over irregularities in the P1.3-billion Makati Science High School Building.

The appeals court’s Former Eight Division junked Binay’s motion for reconsideration for lack of merit.

Binay sought to reverse its May 28, 2019 ruling that affirmed the Office of the Ombudsman’s ruling that found Binay guilty in the administrative cases of serious dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service. 

The case was in connection with “glaring irregularities” that surround the construction of Phase 6 of the MSHS building.

Due diligence expected

Binay, in his appeal, raised that “nothing was apparent” in the “irregularities” cited by the court that “would have prompted him to withhold his signature with the [Bids and Awards] resolution, Notice of Award, Notice to Commence Work, Certificate of Completion and Acceptance and the disbursement vouchers.”

He also raised that Arias doctrine in 1989 case of Arias v Sandiganbayan should apply to him. The ruling in that case held that "heads of offices have to rely to a reasonable extent on their subordinates and on the good faith of those who prepare bids, purchase supplies, or enter into negotiations."

"There has to be some added reason why the head of office should examine each of the documents he is supposed to sign," the Arias doctrine also holds.

Binay said that as Head of Procuring Entity he acted in “good faith in the performance of his official functions” in connection with Phase VI of the project and his good faith should "negate the element of deceit in Dishonesty and willfull violation of corruption in Grave Misconduct."

But the CA said Binay’s reliance is “misplaced.”

The appeals court said that due diligence was expected of Binay as Head of Procuring Entity, unlike in Arias where the head of office has no reason to examine each vouched in detail.

“Had Binay Jr. exercised due diligence expected of him, he would have easily noticed that the requirements under RA 9184 were not complied with,” the ruling, written by Associate Justice Ronaldo Roberto Martin, read.

RA 9184 refers to the Government Procurement Reform Act.

'Rules on bidding imbued with public interest'

The CA also pointed out that Binay approved the BAC resolution despite the Invitation to Apply for Eligibility and to Bid containing incomplete information which prevented prospective bidders from joining and favored Hilmarc's Construction Corp.

Hilmarc's was the contractor for the project.

The court also stressed that Binay had authority to approve or reject any bid, making his approval of the BAC resolution “not an empty formality.”

The court emphasized: “The rules on competitive public bidding and those concerning the disbursement of public funds are imbued with public interest. Government officials whose work relates to these matters are expected to exercise greater responsibility in ensuring compliance with the pertinent rules and regulations.”

Binay ran and lost in the 2019 midterm elections to his sister, re-electionist Makati Mayor Abby Binay.

The ruling is dated Dec. 20, 2019 but was made public only Monday.

Concurring with Justice Martin were Associate Justices Ramon Bato Jr. and Ramon Cruz.

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