Elenita Binay acquitted of graft anew
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - June 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has dismissed another graft case against former Makati mayor Elenita Binay in connection with the supposed anomalous procurements during her term as the city’s chief executive.

In a 31-page decision promulgated on June 10, the anti-graft court’s Fifth Division granted Binay’s demurrer to evidence, which sought the dismissal of the complaint for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

“After careful evaluation of the prosecution’s evidence, the court finds the evidence against Binay insufficient to support a finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt,” the ruling read.

Filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2006, the case stemmed from the alleged anomalous purchase of office partitions and furniture worth P72.065 million during Binay’s term as Makati mayor in 1999.

The ombudsman said the bidding for the purchased items was rigged in favor of Office Gallery International. State prosecutors said the items were overpriced by P21.536 million.

In its ruling, the Fifth Division said none of the 10 witnesses presented by the prosecution had testified having first-hand knowledge or direct participation in the purported bid-rigging.

The Sandiganbayan said the prosecution merely relied on a Notification Letter of Award dated Sept. 15, 1999 issued to Office Gallery, informing the company that it bagged the supply contract even if the bidding was conducted only on Sept. 17, 1999 as shown in the document signed by Binay.

The court pointed out that the Letter of Award does not bear the name or signature of Binay, but it was issued by the city’s General Services Department then headed by former councilor Ernesto Aspillaga.

This is the fourth graft case against Binay dismissed by the Sandiganbayan.

ELENITA BINAY GRAFT AND CORRUPTION
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