Sandigan chief insists on handling Elenitaâs cases
Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang rejected former Makati City Mayor Elenita Binay's motion for reconsideration for Tang to recuse herself from handling the former mayor's case.

Sandigan chief insists on handling Elenita’s cases

Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - April 4, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang stood firm on her decision not to recuse herself from handling the graft and malversation cases against former Makati mayor Elenita Binay.

In a 21-page decision dated March 22, the anti-graft court’s Third Division, chaired by Tang, denied Binay’s motion for reconsideration on its Jan. 13 ruling dismissing the former mayor’s motion for Tang’s inhibition and for the re-raffle of the cases.

In the new resolution penned by Tang herself, the court said Binay “failed to present any sound reason” to warrant the reversal of its earlier ruling.

Associate Justices Sarah Jane Fernandez and Zaldy Trespeses concurred with the decision.

Binay, wife of former vice president Jejomar Binay Sr. is facing two counts of graft and two counts of malversation of public funds before the Third Division.

The cases stemmed from the alleged anomalous purchase of hospital beds worth P36.43 million in 2001 and autoclave sterilizers worth P8.83 million in 2000 for the Ospital ng Makati or OsMak during her term as Makati mayor.

Tang said that while partiality is a valid reason to call for a judge’s voluntary inhibition under the Rules of Court, such allegation must be backed with “clear and convincing evidence” rather than “mere suspicion.”

The court likewise affirmed its decision to conduct one trial for all the cases despite Binay’s claim that her graft and malversation cases over the purchase of hospital beds have separate sets of respondents, evidence and witnesses from her graft and malversation cases over the purchase of the sterilizers.

Binay is also facing a graft case before another Sandiganbayan division over the allegedly anomalous purchase of office partitions and furniture worth P72.06 million in 1999.


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